Millions of toothbrushes are thrown in wastebaskets in households across the country — likely to end up in landfills. One 4-year-old company that manufactures consumer products from recycled resin introduced a brush that it hopes will limit the amount of plastics from these personal-care items in the waste stream.
The company, Recycline Inc. of Somerville, Mass., even provides a postage-paid envelope for consumers to return the brushes.
The product is called Preserve, a recyclable toothbrush with a handle made from 100 percent recycled polypropylene. The product was launched in 1997 and mainly was carried in natural food stores. Today, some regional grocery stores also carry the product, according to a company spokeswoman.
In a company news release, Recycline President Eric Hudson said about 10 percent of used Preserve toothbrushes are returned each year, but he hopes the return rate will increase with the included mailer as extra incentive.
The company also acknowledged the retail price of $3.79 is a little higher than other brands, but it is starting to fall in line with the average retail cost of national-brand toothbrushes, a company spokeswoman said.
The brush already has generated enough demand for the company to introduce a child-size Preserve brush in September, Hudson said in a telephone interview.
The brush, with an ergonomic, backward sloping handle, is injection molded by Team Technologies Inc. of Morristown, Tenn.
Hudson said the company plans to introduce tractor-trailer accessories and other consumer goods from recycled plastics in 2001.