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Egregious Packaging Hall of Fame: Oral B Pulsar Toothbrush

by , 08/12/10

eco design, environmentally-friendly packaging, green design, packaging the future, packaging waste, sustainable design, green design, oral b pulsar, egregious packaging, excess packaging, wasteful packaging

Photo: Instructables user Nairda

Hearteningly, some smart folks have been working on hacking the toothbrush in order to extract the motor inside so that it can be used for something else. Doesn’t it strike Oral B that something is wrong when people are making YouTube vids and Instructables photo sets about how to get more mileage out of their toothbrushes or reuse the parts at home?

It seems like this flood of hard, unrecyclable plastic is increasing, even as we become more aware about the lifecycle of products.

With companies winning “Product of the Year” awards for disposable crap (The Colgate Wisp, a one-time use toothbrush that includes toothpaste built-in is one such example), it seems like this flood of hard, unrecyclable plastic is increasing, even as we become more aware about the lifecycle of products (if you haven’t checked out Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff, take a gander). If we are going to make disposable stuff, it should be biodegradable, compostable, or at the very least, recyclable.

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11 Comments

  1. Egregious Packaging Hal... September 20, 2010 at 10:44 am

    [...] way that most electronics (and their concomitant accessories, additional parts and hardware) are packaged is really, really annoying. We’ve all had the experience of purchasing a shiny (or matte, if [...]

  2. nikna August 15, 2010 at 6:26 am

    even worse is that manufacturers are pushing towards ever more shorter product use cycles. Products are not anymore made to last, and that causes even more impact on heavy disposal, than bad product design. But I couldn’t agree more, we don’t need a car to go shopping next block, neater a help for brushing our teethes.

  3. Ju August 14, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    What does it mean? That I, another little brick, make such an effort to enhance my good eco-acts and huge conglomerates aren’t giving a damn?

    Paradoxical as it might seem, it motivates me.

  4. Egregious Packaging Win... August 14, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    [...] your life “easier.” But when conspicuous consumption trickles down to something as simple as brushing your teeth, you’d better believe something is awry. In this week’s installment of “Packaging the [...]

  5. DavidW August 12, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    You think this Oral B thing is bad you have to see the new Sensodyne aerosol can toothpaste tube they are introducing soon. I am a Dentist and I was totally shocked at this metal shaving foam type can being used to deliver a more frothy type of toothpaste that of course is so much better just because it froths and gets into all the small nooks and crannies.I have never owned and electric toothbrush and have not had any decay for decades……laziness just seems to be the order of the day!!

  6. Lea Bogdan August 12, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Radius is a great company. Some of the first projects I worked on as a wee young designer were for them (personal cases). Another the team worked on, while I was working at Eldon Design Associates, was an “electric” toothbrush for Radius. It is essentially a timer embedded in the handle which helps kids know they are brushing long enough, and replacing the heads often enough. http://www.radiustoothbrush.com/intelligenttoothbrush.aspx

  7. Sara Ost August 12, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Thank you for this. Could not agree more. The Wisp in particular gets me so furious!

  8. nigmarc August 12, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I am complete agreement regarding stupid packaging and the throwaway nature of our society HOWEVER I would like to point one thing out to the author… electric toothbrushes are not just for those too lazy to brush themselves and its somewhat offensive of you to say so. I have massive problems with sensitive gums to the point where I have to use aloevera toothpaste and a sonic type electric toothbrush. Using a manual toothbrush or even a regular rotating electric one for more than a couple of days results in bleeding gums. At home I have a rechargeable model but this is impracticable for travel so I use one of the oralB disposables you’re slagging off.

    My point is that yes having a general disposable attitude towards products is extremely bad but sometimes these products are necessary for certain niche markets.

  9. Mike Chino August 12, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Brilliant – hack your toothbrush!

  10. chrismerwin August 12, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I always wondered about the connection between your 2-months of use and the compulsion to buy a new toothbrush. I love the idea of just buying a reusable head and I think the toothbrush looks more elegant too!

  11. Diane Pham Diane Pham August 12, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    great post. i really can’t get over how wasteful society has become and how many unpractical, sloth inducing products are thrown at us under the guise of making our lives easier.

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