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Zero Waste Toothbrush

A biodegradable toothbrush that aims to solve the global issue of plastic pollution caused by the disposal of plastic toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes around the world.

  • The zero-waste toothbrush is a solution to the global issue of plastic toothbrush pollution.

  • Zero-Waste toothbrush a biodegradable solution.

    Zero-Waste toothbrush a biodegradable solution.

  • Technical Drawing/Engineering draft of finger-based and tongue-based Zero-waste toothbrush.

  • finger-based toothbrush which can be worn on the finger & can be used to brush teeth & massage gums.

  • Tongue-based toothbrushes which can be beneficial for individuals with physical impairments.

  • Mind map depicting complete problem and solution to it

What it does

An estimated 24 billion plastic toothbrushes and 20 billion toothpaste tubes are used and discarded worldwide. The zero-waste toothbrush is a newly designed and engineered toothbrush solution that aims to solve this global problem of plastic pollution.

Your inspiration

I stumbled upon a documentary one day that revealed how regular toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes were contributing to plastic pollution. In a 2022 study by the World Economic Forum titled "Why we urgently need a global treaty on plastic pollution", toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes make up about 7% of the world's plastic pollution which ends up in the ocean and landfills, that's around 507 million pounds or 230 million kilograms of plastic. It made me want to do something about it. After lots of research, mind mapping, and brainstorming I finally came up with a solution to solve the global plastic problem by creating a biodegradable brush.

How it works

The zero-waste toothbrush is made of biodegradable material and comes in two variations: finger-based and tongue-based, the toothbrushes used on the tongue have punch holes and tiny bristles, whereas the toothbrushes used on the fingers have ridges and uno bristles. This design aids in the efficient cleaning of teeth, tongue and gums. This toothbrush is made of ingredients like corn, semolina, sugarcane and mint extract to name a few, and also contains other tooth-cleansing chemicals to help clean the teeth, prevent plaque and give the mouth a fresh scent and experience. Both toothbrushes contain toothpaste in the base material itself and can be used as chew and throw. While finger-based can be used as an attachment to a finger, tongue-based toothbrushes can be beneficial for individuals who don't want to use their fingers in their mouth and for individuals with physical impairments.

Design process

The universal design accessibility is taken into consideration while creating the two versions of the zero-waste toothbrush, which are finger-based and tongue-based. my original plan was to invent a biodegradable toothbrush, but as I was brainstorming, researching and looking for solutions, I discovered that toothpaste tubes are also made of plastic. As a result, I changed my mind and decided to design a toothbrush that contains toothpaste already in it in the form of the toothbrush itself, so that it is both comfortable and effective when brushing. After ten prototypes, I found the right solution in the form of the finger-based toothbrush and after five prototypes for the tongue-based toothbrush, I then began to think about how this may be utilized by other age groups and people, so I made an effort to make it available in various sizes and forms to accommodate the wide range of people. The design is made in such a way that the toothbrush is biodegradable and at the same time effective in cleaning teeth and massaging the gums.

How it is different

Existing toothbrush designs are purely made of plastic like polyethylene or polypropylene, with nylon bristles, and there are even bamboo brushes with nylon bristles. Zero-waste toothbrushes are made of biodegradable materials, so they can easily be thrown away or composted, leaving no plastic traces behind. This helps to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in our oceans and landfills, where it burns and creates toxic greenhouse gases like nitrous oxides and oxides of carbon. The zero-waste toothbrush is also vegan and sugar-free creating it an ideal choice for consumers to utilise. The Zero Waste Toothbrush is a newly designed and engineered solution with special grooves and unique uno bristles that are smooth and soft to give a relaxing, non-abrasive experience. The fact that this toothbrush massages the gums and strengthens them in comparison to a conventional toothbrush is another benefit of using it.

Future plans

My plans with zero-waste toothbrushes are to manufacture and trade them at a lower price than plastic toothbrushes so that people can use them to reduce their dependency on plastic toothbrushes thus reducing plastic that ends up in the ocean and landfills choking the earth. After getting a patent, I am also going to make it an open-source product so it reaches the maximum number of people, I hope that by winning the james dyson award, this invention can reach the maximum number of people and can be beneficial for reducing plastic pollution that happens due to toothbrushes.


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