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(MCT)—Annually, 450 million plastic toothbrushes make their way to landfills nationally, according to recycling experts. The majority of those toothbrushes never biodegrade and will remain there intact for decades.

To reduce those numbers, a company known for creating compostable products made from plants — not petroleum — launches what it says is the country’s first compostable toothbrush.

World Centric has unveiled a line of compostable toothbrushes and travel cases that are made from a plant-based resin called Ingeo. The toothbrush and case are certified compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), according to a company press release.

The toothbrush is designed to fully compost within 3 to 6 six months when sent to a commercial composting facility. Simply sending the toothbrush and case to the landfill will not allow it to biodegrade because that kind of site is not designed for that function, according to the company.

For customers who don’t have access to a commercial composting facility, World Centric will provide a prepaid envelope that customers can use return the toothbrush and case. The company will then send the returned product to a composting facility for biodegradation.

The soft bristles of the toothbrush are made of nylon but are not compostable; the industry is still working to come up with bristles that are fully compostable. A handy notch between the head and the handle of the toothbrush is designed to make it easy to break off the head before to sending it to a composting facility.

The 7-inch toothbrush and case comes in blue, green and orange and sells for $4.55. They are available at natural grocery stores, some Whole Foods stores nationwide and online at http://www.worldcentric.org.

Kathy Van Mullekom is home and garden columnist for the Daily Press; follow her blog at roomandyard.com/diggin or contact her at kvanmullekom@aol.com.

Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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