Piksters Bamboo Range
Bamboo is the perfect material for toothbrush and interdental brush handles. It is strong, flexible and hygienic. Better still, it’s 100% biodegradable and compostable. Moso bamboo, which our Bamboo Piksters are made from is one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly crops available:
• Organically grown – doesn’t require pesticides or fertilizer
• Requires less water than traditional agriculture
• Naturally antibacterial and antifungal
• Produces up to 35% more oxygen than equivalent trees
• Absorbs more CO2 from the air than equivalent trees (up to 5 times!)
• Fast growing - matures in as little as 3 years
• Not labour intensive - doesn’t require replanting or stump removal
• Stabilises the soil with a complex, permanent root structure
Just in case you were wondering, pandas don’t eat Moso bamboo. So none of our cuddlesome friends will go hungry when you pick Piksters Bamboo.
100% Nach: Plant-based Bristles
Piksters Bamboo is now available with plant-based biobristles. These bristles are made with castor bean oil. While the bristles are not biodegradable, they are made from a sustainable resource and reduce the carbon footprint of the toothbrush. The castor bean plant is a very hardy species and can be grown in soil not suitable for general agriculture. This means that food production does not need to be reduced.
How Quickly Does the Bamboo Handle Break Down?
• Industrial composter – just a few weeks
• Home compost – up to six months
• Buried in the garden – 3 years
• On top of the soil – 5 to 10 years.
Don’t be Bamboozled
Biodegradable ≠ compostable ≠ recyclable ≠ sustainable
Biodegradable products can be completely broken down to naturally occurring particles by microorganisms in the environment. This process should occur in a relatively short space of time (one year). During breakdown the product should not leach or leave any toxic residues.
Compostable is similar but not equivalent to biodegradable. To be compostable, the material must be able to break down in a commercial composting facility. These facilities process material in a different way to home compost. The mixture is hotter and continually fed with the bacteria and nutrients to break down the load. This is why commercial composting facilities can break down bioplastics, such as PLA, that home composting usually can’t. Many compostable materials such as PLA are not naturally biodegradable or recyclable. This means that if you dispose of your compostable products in general waste they will likely persist like regular plastic. If they are recycled in even small quantities they can damage recycling processors and contaminate entire batches of recycled plastic. This can render the recycled pellets less functional or even worthless.
Recyclable means that the product can be processed to reclaim the base components for reuse in other manufacturing processes. However, not all recycling facilities are equal. Like any technology, advancements are inevitable. The most modern recycling facilities can process wider ranges of materials, which includes nylon bristles and even whole toothbrushes. Under the FTC Green Guide claims for recyclability must consider exactly what the consumers local recycling facilities can handle. In order for the product to be recyclable, at least 60% of consumers must have a suitable recycling facility available to them. Unfortunately, municipal recycling programs usually don’t employ the best technology and cannot recycle toothbrushes or even the bristles.
Sustainable or renewable means that materials that are used to produce the product can be replenished at the same rate or faster than they are consumed. In most instances this means that the source components are grown or farmed. Depending on the product the source material, the way that it is produced and disposed of may also affect a claim that it is sustainable.
Sustainable Choices and Responsible Disposal
No toothbrush lasts forever. Once the bristles start to bend and fray you’re not getting your cleanest smile. The brush may still be good for other purposes though. Its uses are only limited by your imagination. Here’s a list of 22 great ideas to get you started.
Once there’s nothing left for it to do we recommend disposing of the whole bamboo toothbrush or interdental brush in general waste. Our handles are 100% compostable and biodegradable bamboo. Unfortunately, there is no biodegradable bristle to match it’s quality.
Many manufacturers will recommend removing the bristles and putting them in the recycling bin. While nylon bristles are technically recyclable, most recycling facilities cannot actually process them and they contaminate the recycled plastic. Worse still, loose bristles are easily dispersed into the environment where they contaminate our land, waterways and oceans. If you place the whole product in the garbage these tiny pieces of plastic stay together and remain buried in landfill. The entire head can be removed.
The PLA Myth
Polylactic acid or PLA is a bioplastic made from fermented plant matter (often corn starch or similar). It’s a fabulous step forward for sustainable plastic. The plastic requires less energy to produce and is composed of carbon taken from the atmosphere. When it breaks down it does not release toxic compounds. This is much better than overusing finite crude oil resources.
Unfortunately current PLA technology is not the final step in producing the perfect sustainable plastic. While it is compostable in a commercial facility, it generally doesn’t decompose in landfill or home composts much faster than regular plastic. It cannot be recycled and in fact causes more problems if it makes its way into recycling facilities. It generally has slightly poorer physical properties compared with traditional plastic too.
PLA requires a commercial composter to break down. Most people lack access to commercial composting and some who do, are unaware how to send their PLA there. It presents a new sorting problem for consumers and a dilemma for recyclers. While there is some evidence that PLA can break down faster than traditional practice this is not definitive or universal.
We believe that PLA is a better alternative to traditional plastic. We encourage its use but also urge our customers to dispose of their PLA products responsibly. This means ensuring either only the PLA components are directed to a commercial composter or the whole product is disposed of in general waste.