Toothbrush handle made of paper: Ukrainians win environmental startup competition

This development has been recognized as one of the best in the field of environmental protection.

– I design the gadgets, and this circumstance largely contributed to the fact that I, my wife Daryna Vasylenko and my friend Konstantin Shcherbina started to creating a toothbrush that would not pollute the environment, – says co-founder of startup Effa Ilya Kirich. – I will explain my opinion. Most gadgets have an average life span of two to three years. Then they become garbage, often dangerous to the environment. But there are many products designed to be used only once: disposable toothbrushes, razors… This is a colossal stream of plastic waste! I came up with the idea of creating an environmentally friendly brush. The most affordable and effective solution for it is a dense paper pen. Just when this idea came up, I met a wonderful girl Daryna Vasilenko. I told her about the eco-brush project, and we started doing it together. And after a while, Daryna became my wife.

– How did you create the prototype eco brush?

– At first we decided to make it by our-self. We created a vacuum mold for the paper, received the first samples. They disappointed us. It became clear that we needed to use factory presses, and we were looking for an enterprise in China that would take our small order. It was not easy, because everyone wanted to get orders for more or less large batches of products, and we needed a few dozen pieces. Finally we found a factory that made them for us. But this time the quality was not quite the same as we expected. I had to finish the pens by myself. Then we hired people who connected the handles to the bristles. The products were ready and we could show them to potential consumers and investors.

– Have you participated in exhibitions and competitions?

– Yes, and in the first competition of environmental startups (it was held in Germany), we took first place. Then we participated in many other similar events and each time were among the winners. One startup company paid us a four-month business training course. Instead, we have provided shares of our future eco-brush manufacturing company.

– Does your paper pen handle bend under the influence of water?

– No, I can confidently say that, as I have been using the latest modification of our brush for a month.

– What is the brush bristle made of?

– Nylon. When disposing of our product, the bristles must be separated from the handle and processed separately. We are currently in talks with one of the Swedish companies to start mass production of eco brushes. We are looking forward primarily to the markets of the USA, Western Europe, developed countries of Asia.