We posted about the Radius company's "Source" model toothbrush in 2007, when all-things corn were still the rage, saying: "The Source toothbrush helps to cut waste by using a reusable handle made of wood fiber, blended with a plastic derived from Nebraska maize. Into this you can put disposable heads, which cuts down on 4/5ths of waste when you replace it, compared to throwing away a traditional toothbrush." My how things have changed in just two years.
These days, it's all about who gets to handle the money. Amidst the global economic meltdown, Radius appropriately changed the design specs of its Source model handles to be a composite of old US dollar bills and recycled plastic. The entire item is advertised as "BPA free," by the way.From Radius website:
Source handles are molded from recycled US Dollar bills/Recycled Flax and Recycled Wood all blended with recycled polypropylene resulting in a bio-plastic that is 100% renewable or recycled.The replaceable heads make this a pretty fine design. Product names are a little weak, however. Were I in charge of marketing Source might have one called "The Maddoff" and another called "Kenny Boy." Who would be a good namesake for a ladies model?
The real money.
Price went down since 2007. Radius' list price for a single Source model brush is now US$6.95; and, replacement heads are $6.95 for three, making the average functional unit cost per brush a total of US$3.48 each (before shipping). That's much more competitive with the traditional throw-away brushes.
The Radius website claims they are working on making their blister packs "more sustainable" by making the blister out of recycled plastic bottles. The blister material is sourced from SmartCycle™ (pdf file).
Green jobs and green sourcing.
Radius is located in Kutztown, a State college town in eastern Pennsylvania. For our US readers sake, we'd like to know more about how local Radius' suppliers are. Perhaps they'll drop us a comment.