100% Compostable Anarres Bamboo Tooth Brushes!

After two years of preparation, I have a 100% compostable bamboo toothbrush made just for Anarres Apothecary. The Anarres toothbrush is:

* 100% biodegradable body AND bristles!
* 100% recyclable packaging
* Vegan
* Made of bamboo grass, not trees!
* Good for You; Good for the Earth
* Contributes 10% of proceeds to prevent plastic pollution
(I am in the process of negotiating a partnership with a fabulous organization that focusses on plastic pollution in the oceans. More soon!)

The 100% recycled, 100% compostable kraft board box will feature the Anarres tree logo and lots of good advice right there on the packaging.

Why does it matter that I use a bamboo instead of a polluting toothbrush?

Toothbrushes you might through out in your lifetime = 320
...by Canadians = 11,612,800,000
% of Earth's surface covered in plastic = 25%
% of plastic that has EVER biodegraded = 0%
% of life of earth impacted by plastic waste = 100%

This is what a Hawaiian albatross spit up, including monofilament fishing line from fishing nets and a discarded toothbrush. Ingestion of plastic flotsam is an increasing hazard for albatrosses. Photo by Sabine's Sunbird (Duncan Wright). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Why are you making your own bamboo toothbrushes?

We have carried bamboo toothbrushes for years, but the toothbrushes we have carried have several problems I wanted to solve.

* Out of stock from the distributor when we need them
* Come with plastic liners and plastic windows
* Use nylon bristles or animal hair
* More expensive than good quality polluting toothbrushes

I don't want people to not be able to afford to be good stewards of the Earth,
so making the most affordable bamboo toothbrush is important to me.

Why use bamboo to make the Anarres toothbrush?

Bamboo is:
* A grass - the fastest growing plant on earth!
* Contains naturally-occurring antimicrobial agents
* Grown without fertilizers or pesticides

Photo by annieo76 (Flickr profile) (Original webpage:[1] Website publisher: Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

How do I care for my bamboo toothbrush?

Your Anarres bamboo toothbrush will last as long as your ex-plastic toothbrushes! Change to a new bamboo toothbrush every 3-8 months or when bristles are worn.

Your Anarres bamboo toothbrush is just as hygienic as a plastic toothbrush, or more so! Bamboo is generally less porous than plastic and resists growing germs.

* Let your brush air dry between uses.

* Soak for a minute in vinegar, peroxide or salty water to sanitize.

What do I do with my toothbrush once it's worn out?

Your toothbrush should last 3 months, or even 8 months according to some bamboo brushers who tested them! But eventually, you'll need to move your toothbrush on. Here's how to give your bamboo toothbrush an ethical afterlife:

Retire your toothbrush to:
* Your compost Returns to the soil in 6 months.
* Your kitchen to clean dishes and hard to reach grooves
* Your bathroom cabinet for cleaning, or as an applicator for hair colour, or eyebrow brush
* Your tool box for applying glues and cleaning
* Your craft cabinet Make a picture frame, use as a paint or glue brush.
*Your garden or houseplants as a stake that you can write on in pencil

What is the Anarres bamboo toothbrush actually made of?

* 100% mao bamboo head and handle
* 100% biodegradable vegan bristles

I chose the lightest handle available that's still comfortable and easy on cost and carbon footprint. China is far away. I chose the lightest handle shape to reduce the carbon footprint of your toothbrush and to make it the most affordable one on the market, on par with good quality polluting toothbrushes.

The natural bamboo handle is heat treated and polished smooth. The bamboo surface is heat treated by carbonization, giving it a quality finish and long life. The carbonization finishing process provides water resistance, cracking and prevents the growth of microbes (bacteria and moulds) during normal use. The colour of the handle may be a little different from each batch due to the degree of carbonization.

The bristles are made of 90% bamboo fibre and 10% biodegradable Nylon-4.

Does Nylon-4 really biodegrade in real life?

Although our toothbrush bristles only contain 10% nylon-4, we care about what happens to that 10%. The good news so far is that nylon-4 has been shown to biodegrade in soil and in water:
It has been reported that nylon 4 was degraded in the soil [88] and in the activated sludge [89]. The results confirmed that Nylon 4 is readily degradable in the environment. Furthermore, the biodegradability of nylon 4 and nylon 6 blends was investigated in compost and activated sludge. The nylon 4 in the blend was completely degraded in 4 months while nylon 6 was not degraded [90].

Don't throw your toothbrush in the ocean, but FYI...

88. Hashimoto K, Hamano T, Okada M. Degradation of several polyamides in soil. J. Appl. Polymer. Sci. 1994;54:1579–1583.

89. Kawasaki N, Atsuyoshi N, Naoko Y, Takeda S, Kawata Y, Yamamoto N, Aiba S. Synthesis, thermal and mechanical properties and biodegradation of branched polyamide 4. Polymer. 2005;46:9987–9993.

90. Hashimoto K, Sudo M, Ohta K, Sugimura T, Yamada H. Biodegradation of nylon 4 and its blend with nylon 6. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2002;86:2307–2311.

Where are the Anarres Bamboo Toothbrushes made, and who makes them?

The toothbrushes are made in Ningbo, China. Unlike most other products produced for the North American market, it makes sense to manufacture bamboo toothbrushes there, because bamboo grows in China! The manufacturer I chose has many years experience making eco bamboo/wood products: including bamboo sunglasses, wood sunglasses, bamboo toothbrushes, bamboo phone cases, wood phone cases, wood razors, etc. They use quality material, skilled workers and strict quality controls, and I have viewed their certificates and corresponded with them for over 5 months for this project.

They write; Our philosophy is to supply you with the best eco bamboo/wood products and contribute to the environment as much as we can.