Kickstart: Rethinking the toothbrush, sustainability

A pair of designers are taking on the humble toothbrush, but rather than trying to add yet another tweak to its shape or function, they’re looking at a way to make it more sustainable with bio-based materials.”People use around 400 toothbrushes during their lifetime, which produces the corresponding amount of waste,” the development team behind the Tio toothbrush said in a news release. “Couldn’t this be done more sustainably?”Designers Benjamin Beck and Fabian Ghoshal said that bristles made from animal hair for so-called “eco brushes” can split with use, creating a place where bacteria can hide and grow. So instead, they turned to bio-based Vestamid nylon from Evonik to improve sustainability while also providing a good, safe product.The pair also joined forces with Volker Dreher, an experienced mold maker who knew how to make their ideas into a manufacturable product.”Suddenly we had contacts with material and toothbrush manufacturers,” .In addition to using plastics sourced from castor oil, the Tio brush has a replaceable head, so the same handle can be used multiple times, reducing waste.And in one other sustainability move, the toothbrush uses thermoformed packaging only for the smaller head — because the handle does not need to meet the same cleanliness standards — another move that cuts down on the amount of plastics used. One of the biggest questions facing an auto industry trying to shift to electric vehicles is a basic one: Will consumers buy them?New data out from the first half of 2021 looks positive. Registrations of EVs more than doubled for the first half of the year compared with the same period of 2020.Of course while the 214,111 vehicles registered in the period looks impressive vs. the 98,351 in the first half of 2020, EVs only represented about 2.5 percent of all new-vehicle registrations in the U.S. for 2021, up from 1.5 percent in 2020.The bulk of those registration numbers comes from people purchasing Tesla model cars, . But General Motors Co. saw sales of its EVs also rev up by 152 percent between the two years while Ford Motor Co.’s new Mustang Mach-E entered the sales arena with more than 11,000 new registrations as it hit the market.Meannwhile, you can check out the Daily Drive podcast on Automotive News from Aug. 16 where our sister publication spoke to . to talk about lightweighting vehicles for both EVs and standard powertrain cars. Sure you can make a musical “instrument” out of Plastic drain pipes, but should you?Jerusalem-based industrial designer Asaf Wainberg created Octav, a “wearable musical instrument made from plastic drain pipes” that makes “otherwordly sounds” by playable pads made from foamed polyethylene, he notes .Bang on the pads with your hands or sticks to create different rhythms and sounds.Click through to the website for videos on just how the Octav sounds.  Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you’d like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at Staying current is easy with Plastics News delivered straight to your inbox, free of charge. Subscribe to Plastics News Plastics News covers the business of the global plastics industry. We report news, gather data and deliver timely information that provides our readers with a competitive advantage.Customer Service:

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