The BURST Sonic Toothbrush (rose gold edition) is not sustainable, especially going strictly off the information on their website. The company provides all these “perks” presented at the end of the “toothbrush” webpage. These all can look good at first glance that a buyer can assume they are getting an all-around great product. However, when taking a bit longer look at the meaning of each symbol, then more is revealed that so much information lacks on the environmental impact that BURST products have. The only environmental related symbol they have present is the “cruelty free and vegan friendly” koala symbol. This is not enough information and should not be the only perk that displays the company’s environmental impact.
It is understandable that sometimes presenting an excess amount of information can be overwhelming for the customers or is not the priority when trying to launch a new business, so companies try to avoid it. However, without a strong level of transparency brings skepticism. BURST Oral Care lacks supply chain-transparency, which makes their brand look very suspicious and almost anti-environment like.
The BURST Sonic Toothbrush is made out of plastic with a rose gold metallic color. The toothbrush body and head piece are made out of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic, polycarbonate (PC), polypropylene (PP), Silicon, and Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). The bristles are made from a charcoal infusedPBT nylon (http://%20https//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polybutylene_terephthalate). The type of charcoal used is Binchotan charcoal from Japan. This specific type of charcoal is antibacterial, anti-fungal, may aid in plaque reduction, help whiten teeth more naturally, and reduce bad breath. Unfortunately, the brush head and body cannot but fully recycled or incinerated due to the risk of releasing toxic fumes that most of the parts will end up in the landfill. Thankfully, some companies like Colgate (https://www.electricteeth.com/recycling-electric-toothbrush/)are stepping up to care for the environment by creating convenient ways for people to properly dispose of brush heads and recycle the rest of the electronic toothbrush components through shipping. The brush powers on a 700mAh Lithium Ion battery, which is may seem great for battery life, but not so much for the environment. Many toxic chemicals (https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/features/lithium-ion-battery-environmental-impact/) are used to make these type of batteries. If not disposed of correctly (which usually involves commuting to a specialized battery waste facility (https://gsiwaste.com/battery-recycling-is-important-for-environmental-health/)), then they end up in landfills leaching into earth’s surface contributing to air and water pollution. Additionally, lithium corrodes easily, (https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/renewable/the-environmental-impact-of-lithium-batteries/) so it’s hard to reuse most of the lithium parts leading to more lithium extraction practices to make new lithium batteries.
On the BURST website, there is not much information on how the sonic toothbrush is made, except for a quick story on how they work ethic to getting the deal for this product. BURST Oral Care lacks transparency on how the brush is made. On the BURST “About Us” page, it states in the middle that their toothbrush is made “With a whole lot of love, coffee, and fairy dust. Well, maybe not so much of the last one, but the first two...yeah, gallons of both! In fact, all our products have a similar sort of process.” Fairy dust, really? I get it that they want to have a large-range in their target audience to increase their profits, but this does not have to be at the expense of nature’s health. General aspects on how electric toothbrushes are made were searched for on the internet with most being machine-made in China (https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/06/burst-oral-care-series-c/), but BURST Oral Care itself does not give us much information pertaining specifically to their own. Therefore, I emailed the company inquiring about how their products are impacting the earth. They replied, “We're working to understand our options to create a sustainability program, unfortunately, we do not have one at this time. When we have something in place in regard to this, we'll be sharing it with the entire BURST community!“ So, maybe not the answer hoped for, but it's a start.
At first I was not sure who made the BURST sonic toothbrush, but after an email inquiry- it was revealed that the brush is made in China. The brand started in the UK and incorporates the charcoal infused nylon bristles from Japan based on information on their website. This is all that was revealed from the email response and not much else information on who makes it can be found on the BURST website.