following is an extract from My Plastic – Free Life. go here for full original article.
There’s no perfect toothbrush, but some toothbrushes are less perfect than others, and sadly, a few of them aren’t even what they claim to be. Here are a few disappointing facts I have learned recently about other companies’ toothbrushes.
Fully Compostable = Animal-Based
Right now, the only completely compostable toothbrush has a handle made from sustainably harvested wood and bristles made from pig hair. (Here’s an example.) The pig hair is a by-product of the Chinese meat industry. It would normally have been thrown away. If you eat meat, perhaps this toothbrush would be the right decision for you. I personally have chosen not to use it because the only meat I eat comes from humanely raised animals from local farms in Sonoma or Marin Counties. Since I don’t know how the Chinese pigs are treated, I don’t feel comfortable using their bristles for a toothbrush. Perhaps one of the local pig farms out here could team up with a toothbrush manufacturer to develop a toothbrush I’d be more likely to trust.
What About Nylon-4?
Several toothbrush manufacturers claim that their bristles are made from Nylon-4, a petroleum-based plastic that has been shown in lab studies to biodegrade in the environment under certain conditions. However, lab studies and real life are not the same things, and none of these manufacturers has provided any third-party proof that their toothbrush bristles actually will biodegrade, especially not in the cold waters of the ocean. Furthermore, it is questionable whether all of them really contain Nylon-4 in the first place.
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