At the end?
Yellow bin, bio-waste container or residual waste?
Residual waste is incinerated. Thermal energy and electricity are the result of thermal recycling. If a biobrush-toothbrush is disposed of through residual waste, it will not cause any harm. As it hardly contains any fossil material and will have negligible carbon dioxide emission.
This is right place to dispose of plastics and, of course, also bioplastics. Common plastics like PET or PP are sorted and recycled in modern waste separation facilities. Bioplastic, including ours, are still quite exotic and are not recognised as resource. They will be handled as residual product and incinerated.
An increasing use of bioplastics in future, will ensure their reaching a critical mass, from which recycling of bioplastics in waste separation facilities will become economically justifiable. Suitable technical procedures are already being worked on. Our toothbrush, when correctly sorted and provided the head and bristles have been removed, can be recycled.
Bioplastics – not in the bio-waste container
Bio-waste containers are used to recycle organic waste, in order to produce compost for agriculture. Rotting time and nutrient content are of utmost importance. Bioplastics take too long to rot and, therefore, they should not be disposed of in a bio-waste container. Currently the disposal of bioplastics poses a problem to waste separation facilities, as they need to sort these plastics and have them incinerated.
What about our biobrush?
The handle is biodegradable. The castor oil based nylon bristles along with their anchoring add up to about 6% of the overall weight of the toothbrush and are not biodegradable! A comparable, equally hygienic and biodegradable material for the bristles is not available on an industrial scale at the moment. These bristles would consequently remain as a rotproof resource in industrial composting. Therefore, it is back to yellow bin!
What if a biobrush ends up in the landscape after all?
Conventional plastic will not decompose completely in a time span of more than 400 years.
The German Federal Environmental Agency stated in 2013, that even after an extremely long time (>400 years) of continuous grinding a complete decomposition is not possible.
Bioplastic will only need a fraction of this time span to decompose
94% of the biobrush will, depending on climate conditions, rot within a few years. The nylon is not yet biodegradable. As soon as an equally hygienic and biodegradable material for the bristles is ready to go to the market, we will apply it.
Just a small tip:
The touring exhibition „Plastic Garbage Project“ clearly shows the consequences of the pollution of the seas by plastic waste.