Creators of Eco Toothbrush To Attend Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas
25 tons of plastic toothbrushes are thrown away annually around the world. A Ukrainian start-up created an environmentally friendly toothbrush made from paper
In 2017, Illia Kichuk and his wife Daria began to participate in environmental competitions with the idea of creating paper toothbrushes.
“Back then, we did not even have a sample of our future product. We just presented the idea and described how it might look, the concept in general. When we got positive feedback from people, we realized that we should continue to work on it,” Kichuk, the toothbrush inventor, said.
The project with the first toothbrush prototype entered the top five among global startups at the Clim@ competition in Germany. The team also won a trip to New York. For four months they lived in the United States, where they were looking for investors, partners, and customers.
They succeeded in finding them. “These are hotels and large, corporate brands. They have already agreed to buy our products. It’s called a pre-order, which we are doing now,” Kichuk said.
They decided to produce the eco-brush in China. It was the only country that agreed to work on the complex technology. “It is made from cellulose, not from wood. It is made from sugarcane waste. We do not cut down trees. We have one element, nylon, which is not environmentally friendly. But at this stage, the dental association recognized it as the most preferable,” Kichuk said.
Now Illia and his team are working on an improved version of the brush without plastic. It can be used for a whole month.
Technical director Kostiantyn Shcherbyna said, “Every time we show this brush to someone for the first time, everyone who takes, wants to bend it. However, these brushes can handle it.”
The reusable cellulose toothbrush will be available for about 1 US dollar on the retail market next year. Negotiations with one of Ukraine’s supermarket chains are being conducted.
“We are developing a brand of environmentally friendly products. This is a rational use of products. We want to replace everything disposable with environmentally friendly products,” Kichuk says.
The Ukrainian eco-brand plans to create an entire travel kit: a paper comb, slippers, cotton swabs, and containers for shampoo and shower gel.