The manufacturing of environmentally friendly products is quite complex and anyone who looks into it naturally has questions that we are happy to answer.
With our sustainable brand TIO we want to prove that environmental pollution is avoidable. A sustainable redesign of an everyday object – such as a toothbrush – that billions of people use every day can make a huge difference. This is precisely why we are constantly developing our products with a focus on resource-saving materials and are pioneers in the use of plant-based plastics. Just imagine how many tons of plastic waste we could save our planet if we switched to renewable resources.
Unfortunately, bioplastics are not yet accepted in Germany’s industrial composting system, although they are partially biodegradable. Detailed information on the disposal of the individual components of our products can be found on the respective product pages.
If factors such as the material, the application and the service life of the product – made of bioplastics – are taken into account, up to 70 percent less CO₂ is emitted during its production. The clever cultivation of plants as a raw material for the production of plastics interferes less with nature than with oil production and keeps its cycle in balance. In addition, natural substances are also less risky in terms of transport: potential accidents do not cause any ecological damage compared to oil deliveries – for example as tanker accidents. Bioplastics are made from plant-based raw materials. The rapidly (re-)growing plants draw carbon from the atmosphere during growth. We primarily use plastic based on sugar cane, a related species to bamboo. By processing it into plastic, we can manufacture sophisticated products such as electric toothbrush heads or dental floss, which is not possible with completely natural products such as bamboo. In addition, the smooth surfaces enable us to achieve better hygiene, as germs cannot penetrate the surface.
Although our products are designed to be very sustainable, emissions are produced during production and transport. In order to compensate for these as far as possible, we support the reforestation project of Plant-for-the-Planet. According to the current state of knowledge, nothing can combat global warming as effectively as reforestation. Plant-for-the-Planet has set itself the task of creating an awareness for global justice and climate change among both children and adults, to counteract the latter through tree planting campaigns. In addition, Plant-for-the-Planet supports education for climate justice for children and young people with its own academies. You can find more information about Plant-for-the-Planet at https://www.plant-for-the-planet.org/de/startseite.
According to a WWF study, about one third of the world’s food is lost every year on its way from the field to the plate. In figures, this means approximately 1.3 billion tons per year. The annual production of bioplastics currently amounts to approximately 2.5 million tonnes, which represents 0.2% of food waste. Unfortunately, we are facing a global distribution problem here. So less bioplastics does not mean less hunger. We do not therefore see direct competition with food, but rather a distribution problem. Even if this distribution problem is solved, we are certain that the ecological advantage of bioplastics in the ecosystem is worth the land under cultivation. If one tenth of the area under cultivation for these foods were to be separated off and used for the cultivation of raw materials for biobased plastics, all petroleum-based plastics needed worldwide could be replaced.
In theory, some plant-based plastics are compostable, but they are currently not accepted in any industrial composting plant, as they have longer cycle times for rotting than the plant waste usually processed there. As soon as they are thicker than a film, they would take too long to rot even in nature. That is why we use recyclable materials wherever possible, such as plant-based PE, which can be safely disposed of in the yellow bin.
The global warming potential is a measure of the comparability of different greenhouse gases. Since one of the major causes of climate change is the CO₂ emissions during energy conversion, a CO₂ equivalent is given for gases such as methane, nitrous oxide and various refrigerants. This figure thus indicates the extent to which a mass of this gas, compared to the same mass of CO₂, contributes to global warming.
In the future we are still in the process of having complete LCA’s (Life Cycle Analyses) carried out on our products. A complete analysis for each product is very complex due to many intermediate steps. Therefore, we have had these analyses carried out only by the materials we use for the time being.
Sugarcane: The bio-based PE polymer resin leads to an average removal of CO₂ from the atmosphere of -2.15 kg CO2/kg. Compared to petrochemical PE, which has a GWP100 effect of +1.83 kg CO₂/kg PE, the GWP100 net advantage of the bio-based HDPE (slurry) is -3.98 kg CO₂/kg bio-based PE in the base case.
BioNylon (bristles and dental floss): has a value of 4.0 kgCO₂/kg compared to > 9 CO₂/kg PA 6.
This means that the material we use alone saves us a significant amount of CO₂. Through our cooperation with the Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation, we support their reforestation projects and thus remove CO₂ from the atmosphere, which is released by production and transport routes. In addition, minimal packaging and maximum reusability help to conserve resources and save CO₂.
In order to create the most environmentally friendly products possible, we adhere to the following principles of sustainable design:
1. Rethink the material you use – Instead of crude oil-based plastics, we use plastics from renewable resources. This creates a significantly better CCO₂ balance.
2. Reduce the amount of resources you use – We try to use as little material as necessary and leave out everything superfluous. In this way we manage to conserve valuable resources. With our manual toothbrush with replaceable head you can save about 70% waste, because the head can be replaced again and again.
3. Reuse what makes sense: We focus on durability and reusability. No matter whether reusable packaging or recyclable plastics. We think holistically and try to produce as little waste as possible.