Innovation Profile: Preserve Toothbrush

Innovation Breakfast will be reviewing innovative products and company concepts, and we want you to help.  Tell us what you think!  Where does each product/company/inventor fall on the Genius or Kook scale?

CompanyPreserve. Based right in downtown Waltham, Preserve creates various eco-friendly home and health care products from recycled plastic.  From cutting boards and colanders, to razors and toothbrushes, Preserve’s products are beautiful and eco-friendly.

Product/Concept: The new Preserve toothbrush comes in a package that can be reused as a travel case, and, when the toothbrush needs to be replaced, serves as a mailer to send the toothbrush back to the company to be reprocessed.

Our “good cop” thoughts:  Love the eco-friendly concept and our pretty aquamarine toothbrush fits nicely in the hand, as well as any of the various toothbrush holders we have in the house.  The idea of the packaging serving double duty as a travel case is great, especially since we’ll need it to mail the toothbrush back to the company for recycling.  So the container goes right into the bathroom vanity drawer rather than the wastebasket.  We threw nothing away when the toothbrush entered our house, except the small strip of tape that sealed the case close.  When the time comes, need to remember to mail it back to the company using a prepaid mailer downloadable from the company website. Neat idea for a toothbrush subscription plan — one toothbrush sent at regular intervals.

Our “bad cop” thoughts: Not much here to whine or complain about.  As with any inexpensive physical product, the first concern is usually availability but all the zip codes I tested showed a wide variety of stores carrying the products (locally everything from Target and Shaws to the independent Theater pharmacy in Lexington center.)

Will I remember to send it back to the company?  Maybe, because I’ll be using it everyday but put in the hands of one of my kids or my husband and it might end up in the wastebasket and off to the landfill before I know about it.

And, who’s the poor soul at the other end of the line who gets all the used toothbrushes mailed to them — ewww.  Does the company really see enough returns to make a difference?  How many toothbrushes does it take to make a plastic picnic table?

And as for the toothbrush subscription plan — wouldn’t it be eco-friendlier (and cheaper to ship) to get all four toothbrushes at once rather than individually mailing them?

What do you think?

Where does this fall on the "Kook or Genius" scale?

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