North Dakota siblings Heather and John McDougall have created an eco-toothbrush which according to them “will be the first toothbrush you will actually care about.” Having grown up with a dentist as a father, the pair have merged their backgrounds in design and policy to create the Bogobrush, which they claim to be “100 percent biodegradable.”
The toothbrush is simple in its design and features a smooth handle that has been sculpted from bamboo, and the brush’s bristles are made from “biodegradable nylon.” While the company doesn’t expand on the specifics of the bristles, nylon commonly takes between 30 and 40 years to break down. Generally, though, a biodegradable material, like food or leaves, will decompose into elements found in nature within a year. Putting that into perspective, a cardboard box will take approximately four weeks to break down, whereas a plastic bag could take up to 500 years. Semantics aside, the Bogobrush is most probably a better choice than the plastic toothbrushes that find their way to the bottom of the trash can each year.
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Incidentally, when in it is eventually time to dispose of your Bogobrush, it might be best to bury it in the backyard. According to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), biodegradable products may be unable to biodegrade in a landfill. “Landfills are designed to shut out sunlight, air, and moisture,” the FTC states. “That keeps pollutants out of the air and drinking water, but also slows decomposition. Even materials like paper and food could take decades to decompose in a landfill.”
To launch the product, Bogobrush has pledged to donate a toothbrush to someone in need, with every brush purchased. “We are really excited to give people in need an actual Bogobrush, because we believe everyone deserves to use a toothbrush they actually care about,” says Heather McDougall.
Bogobrush is currently available for pre-order online, however it does come with a somewhat expensive price tag of US$10. Remember you are effectively buying two, as the company will give the second one to someone within its community of Give Partners across the Unites States. The Bogobrush will also be available in early 2013.