Portlanders are all about composting, so it’s no surprise that a Rose City company has created a compostable toothbrush. The Goodwell Company has set out to make the last toothbrush you’ll ever need. Don’t worry. It’s not as icky as it sounds.
The $59 toolkit includes a reusable handle made of medical-grade aluminum; the toothbrush attachments, made of bamboo composite and Binchotan charcoal bristles, are biodegradable. Flosser and tongue scrapper attachments, also compostable, are also included, as is a travel case.
Worried that the toothbrush won’t work as well as the plastic utensil you get from the dentist? Don’t be. Those black bristles pack a punch. Binchotan is a Japanese charcoal that minimizes bacterial reproduction on the brush and can give you fresh breath, even without toothpaste. Every month, Goodwell will send you a replacement brush, along with a goody, like toothpaste, from a supporting partner. The subscription is $70 for the year.
The toolkit got its start on Crowd Supply, reaching its $12,500 goal in a month and a half.
Over their lifetimes, Americans throw an average of 300 toothbrushes into landfills, according to Goodwell. Industrial designer Patrick Triato hopes to reduce the amount of plastic ending up in the Great Pacific garbage patch with the toolkit, but his vision goes beyond dental care. The design is open source, and he hopes other designers will make all kinds of crazy attachments for the toothbrush handle — from laser pointers to marshmallow roasters. Plus, the bottom of the handle unscrews so you can keep pills inside (or secret messages, if you’re a spy).
If anything can get us to give up our electric toothbrush, it’s the thought of all that plastic ending up in the trash vortex.