Eco-Friendly Products: Preserve Toothbrush
Question: How many yogurt cups do you see in the photo below?
Are you scratching your head now and saying, “This writer is crazy, there is not a plastic cup in sight?”
If you are, just look a little harder. Now can you see them? Still no?
To be honest, I’m not sure how many yogurt cups we’re looking at, but they are in that purple toothbrush handle. More accurately: they are that purple handle.
How Many Plastic Yogurt Cups Can You See?
The Result of Recycling
This toothbrush is made by Preserve, a company that makes products from recycled plastic, and has done so since it beginning in 1996. In particular they manufacture products from plastic with the Number 5 symbol, which many municipal recycling schemes do not accommodate.
Every product they make is free from Bisphenol-A, a hormone-disrupting chemical commonly found in plastics, and banned in babies’ bottles in the European Union and Canada.
Preserve has B Corporation status, which means its business practices have passed some rigorous tests. Using Gandhi’s attitude that we must be the change we seek, B Lab, a non-profit organization certifies companies that meet its criteria. This certification is done after rigorous scrutiny, in a similar way that TransFair, in the US, and the Fairtrade Labelling Organization worldwide, certifies Fair Trade products.
Preserve Products is considered by B Lab to have areas of excellence in governance, which includes corporate accountability and transparency, and in environmental impact. Its work environment is also considered to be good.
Since it is recommended by dentists that we should change our toothbrushes every 3 months, a lot of toothbrushes are thrown away each year, and Preserve have clearly thought out every aspect of the environmental impact of this toothbrush. The packaging my toothbrush came in is a clear plastic container that can be used as travel holder.
After you’ve finished with your toothbrush you recycle it again. In the USA, Preserve provide “Gimme 5” recycle bins in many Whole Foods Market stores and other locations. You can pop your toothbrush into one of those when you buy a new one. But if you don’t have a Preserve “Gimme 5” bin nearby, you can send both it and the packaging back to Preserve and collect “Recyclebank” points for doing so. These points go towards discounts on groceries. UK purchasers don’t get the points, but can send the toothbrushes back to an UK address for recycling. (Not all Preserve toothbrushes come in a travel holder, but those that don’t come with packaging that can be used to mail the toothbrush back for recycling.)
So when you buy this toothbrush, you can do so with a clear conscience, knowing that the people who made it were treated fairly and its impact on the environment is minimal. Only the bristles are made from new nylon fibers.
But is it any good?
That is the question I asked myself several months ago when I bought my first Preserve toothbrush. The reviews on Amazon were mixed, and in particular a few people complained about bristles falling out. I felt disappointed when I read this, because I was really excited to have discovered a toothbrush that was so good for the environment, and wanted to share the news here on HubPages.
Then I noticed that every poor review was for the extra soft toothbrush, and many reviewers regarded Preserve toothbrushes as softer than their usual brand. I have found this to be the case. Although I have always used a soft toothbrush in the past, my Preserve toothbrushes have been medium, and are equivalent to a soft brush.
To be certain that I could recommend this toothbrush I decide to test it for the full recommended time. In three months of brushing not one bristle escaped from my toothbrush, as you can see in the photo below. The blue brush is a new one, just taken from its packet. The green one is three months old. (You can tell by the toothpaste that I couldn’t clean off the ridge of the handle when I tried to pretty up my old toothbrush for its photo!)
Quality Check: comparing new and used Preserve toothbrushes
Preserve Medium Toothbrushes are available on Amazon
A pack of medium toothbrushes with the mail back pack option
A multi pack containing 12 medium toothbrushes in travel cases.
An Explanation About the Unusual Shape.
Preserve consulted with dentists when designing their toothbrushes. (I know most manufacturers say this, but remember Preserve is a B Corporation who has an area of excellency in transparency so I believe them!)
Their toothbrushes are angled backwards, which may take some people a bit of getting used to. I am not one of those people. I loved the shape from the start. I’ve long had an annoying habit of accidentally bashing my gum with my toothbrush, and ending up with mouth ulcers. That has not happened once with these toothbrushes.