How Dental Care is Evolving with the Digital Age

Dentistry has been a critical part of our health for centuries. But with the advancement of technology, it’s evolving in ways we never thought possible. There are now new ways to keep your teeth and gums looking healthy that offer more convenience and comfort than ever before. From simple tools like toothbrushes to sophisticated digital toothpaste applicators, dentistry is becoming more personalized and accessible with every passing day. Here are some ways dental care is evolving with the digital age.

 How dental care is evolving with the digital age

In the past, people would visit their dentist to have a toothbrush or toothpaste applied. Today, it’s possible to get a custom-made app for your phone that will clean your teeth automatically.

One of the most popular new innovations in dental care is digital toothpaste applicators. These devices apply specific amounts of toothpaste with a consistent amount of pressure and speed for a consistent brushing experience. They also provide a timer so you know when to move on to another part of your mouth.

If you have braces, there are apps that can clean them for you with just one click! You simply attach your phone onto a holder that clips onto your braces and then select the appropriate mode from the app. It cleans off any food caught in between brackets while avoiding damage from metal bristles.

Even traditional tools like toothbrushes are evolving thanks to technology. There are now brushes on the market that track everything from brush time to where you need more attention, helping you achieve a healthy smile easily!

 The Future of Dentistry

 Brushing one's teeth is an experience. It's a time to relax, reflect on the day, or just enjoy oneself in general. But in the age of technology, this is changing.

With innovations like Bluetooth toothbrushes and digital toothpaste dispensers, brushing your teeth can be more about efficiency than enjoyment.

The toothbrush industry has been rapidly upgrading its products to make them more convenient for the average consumer. From self-cleaning brushes that recharge when they're finished brushing to electric toothbrushes that are able to brush two times faster than manual ones, there are plenty of ways we can make our oral care routine easier than ever before.

Digital technologies have also made it easier for dentists who want to offer more personalized treatment plans at their offices. With digital x-rays, dental impressions, and panoramic x-rays becoming more popular in the dental world, it's easier than ever for dentists to see your teeth and gums with stunning clarity—and help you better understand how you can enhance your dental care routine.

The Evolving Toothbrush

 The toothbrush has been a staple in households for a long time. We use them to keep our teeth and gums healthy, but they've also evolved into something more. Like so many devices nowadays, toothbrushes are getting smarter too.

In the 1980s the first electric toothbrush was released. These days, there are digital ones that track your brushing habits and offer helpful feedback on how well you are doing based on pressure and technique. They can even be paired with an app to show when you need to replace your brush head or repair your handle.

As technology continues to evolve, we'll likely see new innovations that will make brushing even easier and more efficient than ever before!

 The Evolving Toothpaste Tube

 We’ve all seen toothpaste tubes before, but not like this. One of the newest innovations is a digital tube that allows consumers to choose how much paste they want and dispense it with a click of a button. This offers two benefits: convenience and customization.

The most obvious benefit is the ease of use. The new digital tubes make it easier than ever to grab just the right amount of toothpaste, eliminating the risk of squeezing out more than you need or accidentally using too little. You can choose precisely how much paste you need depending on your brushing habits and dental needs.

The second benefit is customization. With the ability to choose your desired level of thickness, you can create a paste that caters exactly to your specific preferences in terms of thickness and texture. These changes are perfect for people who experience sensitivity in their teeth or gums or who have braces and want to avoid damaging their appliances with excess pressure while brushing.

 Conclusion

 So, what does all this mean for your dental care? It means that you are now able to take control of your dental health at home. Nordics products are designed with natural ingredients and cutting-edge technology to provide premium dental care at home. Our latest innovative product, the Kids Strawberry Splash Toothpaste contains the processed probiotic SymReboot OC, which sustains the oral cavity’s instinctive defenses and supports the healthy balance of the oral microbiome.

Learn more about how Nordics combines innovation and sustainable techniques to provide affordable and holistic dental protection here.

Sources:

https://www.adea.org/GoDental/Dental_Blogs/Words_From_Your_Peers/The_Future_of_Dental_Technology_and_Innovation.aspx


Dental Care Around the World

A healthy mouth equals a healthy body! Good oral health is often linked to overall wellbeing and optimum health. The dental specialists rightfully advocate the importance of proper oral care, because the mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body. An infection in the teeth and or gums, due to poor oral hygiene can compromise more organs such as the lungs, heart, and brain and cause severe and irreversible damage. This is why the presence of oral medical centers plays a significant role in the promotion of proper oral care. However, the people in need of dental treatments are less likely to have access to them for various reasons.

 The State of Oral Health Care worldwide

According to the World Health Organization WHO, roughly 15-20% of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 have advanced gum disease, while over 30% of adults worldwide between the ages of 65 and 74 have none of their natural teeth intact. Furthermore, the statistical evidence reveals that 60-90% of children and approximately 100% of adults in the world have dental cavities at least at one point in their lifetime.

 Tooth decay is the most commonly diagnosed dental disease in the world, affecting nearly 90% of the population. It's also the most prevalent childhood illness, afflicting more than 70% of school-aged children3. Oral hygiene habits among children from 41 countries demonstrate a variation in brushing frequency between North American and European countries, based on the most recent surveys. Reports by the American Dental Association (ADA) reveal that 78% of adults in the USA brush their teeth twice daily, while in the case of children only 44% of them do. European countries such as Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Norway have the highest ranking in oral care, and specifically up to 75% of adults brush their teeth twice or more daily. Ranking lower in oral hygiene are countries like  Finland, Romania, Greece, Lithuania, Turkey, and Malta, where fewer than 46% of adults take good care of their teeth.

The skyrocketing rise of oral diseases is a major public health threat globally. Fortunately,  the Global Oral Health Programme, introduced by WHO, is drawing attention to the importance of oral health around the world. The objective of the program is to identify strategies to help the millions of people who are unable to receive preventative dental care due to a lack of financial resources or access. Several European countries have privatized oral health care services in recent years, making it unaffordable for many. Furthermore, most eastern European countries have stopped providing school dental services, leaving children without access to oral health care. Dealing with oral diseases effectively, to drive these percentages down, will require access to dental care products and dental treatments for everyone.

 

Oral care in Developed Countries

 The United States, Japan, and Canada are the top 3 countries with the highest number of hired dental professionals globally, indicating that developed countries have the best access to oral health care. Income levels play a significant part in determining good oral health. Since many health insurance policies do not cover dental care, middle-class families often struggle to afford the recommended twice-yearly checkups and necessary dental work.

 One thing worth noting is that, as research continues to uncover the many hazards associated with gum disease, the number of dental hygienists joining the industry has been increasing in all developed countries over the last decade. Between 1987 and 2006, the number of dental hygienists in Canada grew by 200%, whereas the number of dental hygienists in Italy increased by a stunning 2207%! The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States has predicted a 38% increase in job growth in the profession between 2010 and 2020, which is much higher than the average for all occupations. A rise in population, a larger need for preventative dental treatment, and the need to maintain oral health, by minimizing dental problems in the elderly population, are among the reasons for this considerable increase.

 Oral care in Developing Countries

On the contrary, the reality in developing nations is entirely different. For example, although tooth decay is very common in the developed world, it is surprisingly rare in African countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this is primarily due to the scarcity of sugar in people's diets. A bacterial infection that affects impoverished children and destroys the soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity called Noma, is prevalent throughout the Sub-Saharan region in lieu of dental caries. As shown by studies, it may surpass death rates of HIV/AIDS and malaria in the upcoming decades. As a response to that, the International No-Noma Federation was established by a group of 30 foundations and non-governmental organizations. In Africa, a coordinated effort to address the disease includes village-specific awareness programs, malnutrition solutions, and increased surveillance. While prevention is vital, a treatment-based strategy involving dental surgery is frequently required but costly. Such programs rely on both private investments and a sufficient group of dental professionals.

 Conclusion

The reports show that dental health problems affect both the developed and the developing world. The first step to address them is the integration of oral health in the healthcare system, the appropriate distribution of medical staff across the world, and educational programs and campaigns for the low-income and high-risk populations. Spreading awareness will be a long process, but it starts with the preventative measures taken by individuals. The quality of life depends on personal hygiene, of which dental care should be an integral part.

  Sources:

 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs318/en/

http://www.webdentistry.com/Article1421-fra.html

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Dental+hygiene+around+the+world%3a+present+and+future+considerations.-a0245543673

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm

http://www.who.int/oral_health/disease_burden/global/en/

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022034515582062

http://www.nonoma.org/en/nos-activites/prevenir/


Struggles and Solutions for FMCG Companies in the Pandemic

The global pandemic has had a significant impact on every industry, particularly those that are FMCG (Fast-moving consumer goods) companies. The pandemic has caused many consumers to change their spending habits, opting for cheaper alternatives instead of more expensive brands. As a result, some FMCG companies have seen considerable decreases in sales due to this behavior shift. 

The consumer goods industry is struggling with a number of challenges nowadays:

  • Competitive pressure is high because its markets are fairly saturated.
  • Customers are reacting to this abundance in a price-sensitive way.
  • Because private labels are pushing into the markets, the pressure on manufacturer brands to innovate is increasing.

Another problem is that consumers perceive the range of consumer goods as homogeneous and therefore interchangeable. Thus, the consumer goods market has the highest perceived brand uniformity compared to other sectors.  

Stagnation due to disrupted supply chains

For some items, such as toilet paper and flour, supply chains have been completely sucked dry. Stocks, which are usually enough to cushion fluctuations in sales, were also gone. What is now being newly produced is being sold off again directly – even if this has hardly anything to do with actual demand. People stock up on everything, also oral hygiene products. 

In ordinary situations, consumers purchased fast-moving consumer goods when needed. The pandemic caused people to start buying these goods in bulk and store them for future use. This sudden shortage of goods put pressure on the entire FMCG industry, many found it hard to cope with the sudden increase in sales.

Most FMCG companies relied on getting raw material from the international market, which caused stagnation and halts in production. Many companies have already started restructuring their supply chain. If the state is in lockdown again, the industry maintains its supply chain and prevents manufacturing stagnation.

Mental health issues due to isolation 

The effects of the pandemic are not only felt in the sales figures, delivery difficulties or lack of digitalization – many employees suffer greatly from mental health issues due to the current isolation. Also, the increased demand of such products can lead to problems such as burnout, here it is important as an FMCG company to invest in good HR power to guarantee suitable solutions for the mental and physical health of employees in the long term. 

Food retailers had a special boom for weeks as many people built up extra stock at home. Parallel to this, demand is shifting away from bulk supply in canteens or restaurants to retailers, as many companies and restaurants are still closed. Even though this does not change the total amount consumed: Food out of Home is declining massively which led to financial loss for many companies, which then relied on government aid and funding options. Food-related FMCG products such as cosmetics, toiletries, etc. are experiencing high demand. However, some sales channels have been closed due to the crisis, which in turn may lead to relocation effects. 

Digitalization is more important than ever 

A consumer survey on the topic of FMCG focused on a company's touchpoints with its customers on various channels. What becomes clear is: In the Awareness and Information phases, customers primarily use the brand website to obtain information. In the consideration phase, however, independent test reports are preferred, and the purchase itself is then made on retailers' websites. 

In the after-sales phase, however, the brand's website regains importance again: this is where inquiries are made to customer service when customers need support. The results show that cooperation between dealers and manufacturers is and remains essential. Both sides would benefit from sharing information and data about target groups. Not to be forgotten: The aforementioned, digital channels tend to reach a younger generation under 40, while older customers still use traditional contact and information options. 

Top trend: sustainability and health 

It's a trend that's been a long time in the making but has picked up speed once again due to the pandemic: Consumers are placing more and more value on sustainable products, regional sourcing of goods, and healthier lifestyles. Retailers are responding to this trend by increasingly listing products that meet these demands – other products inevitably have to make way for them and make room on the shelves. For the marketing of these consumer goods, this means: These topics need to be highlighted. 

Tip: Show consumers where the products come from and what impact they have on the environment. And here too, listen to your customers, actively include their wishes and needs in product developments, and also work closely with retailers, as they are naturally often closer to the customer. 

How FMCG companies responded in the short-term to the consequences of the pandemic

  1. Flexible staff scheduling due to employees' absence caused by illness, and higher protection standards and safety margins. Many producers have to cancel shifts, while others operate on a rotating basis.
  2. Ensuring the availability of sufficient logistics capacity. Many producers have problems transporting their goods to the retail distribution centers on time and in sometimes increased quantities under appropriate conditions.
  3. Supply chain management: goods are rescheduled at short notice. Time and again, dependencies on individual ingredients or parts arise that block entire production processes and have to be resolved ad hoc to avoid a production standstill. In the non-food area, goods are canceled, returned, and talks are held with suppliers in order to negotiate other conditions and acceptance periods.

Summary

After the crisis, there will be a substantial reorganization of supply chains. This cannot be done in the short term. Here are the essential elements, as far as they are already visible today:

  • Dual or multiple sourcing instead of single sourcing – procurement will be broadened. There will also be a shortening of supply chains. 
  • FMCG companies need to focus on their employees' mental health in order to keep up with the changing demand for their products
  • The increased build-up of safety stocks of critical precursors, especially for raw materials and goods that are only found in a few regions of the world.
  • Making it as easy as possible for consumers to gather all the information they need is essential to company's success in the future. 
  • The issue of sustainability should be considered in its entirety. For a world population that will exceed the 10 billion mark in a few decades, companies will need new utilization concepts for existing resources. Ideally, these will be implemented in combination via a merging of sustainability approaches and restructuring of supply chains.

Sources:

https://cnr.ncsu.edu/news/2020/05/coronavirus-toilet-paper-shortage/

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/cons-products/fmcg/fmcg-firms-moving-fast-to-restock-stores/articleshow/74765042.cms?from=mdr

https://www.mckinsey.com/about-us/covid-response-center/response-tools/for-business-leaders/rethinking-the-consumer-goods-supply-chain-in-response-to-covid-19

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nazbeheshti/2021/04/15/the-pandemic-has-created-a-new-kind-of-burnout-which-makes-well-being-more-critical-than-ever/?fbclid=IwAR3FQ8bIf75WgHO0IYqQzyvfoSq8OY8eVW0tv8VU07i_dzXeUahuORzHHEA

https://www.kantar.com/inspiration/consumer/covid-19-led-to-$22-billion-fall-in-out-of-home-sales

https://www.euromonitor.com/the-impact-of-coronavirus-on-beauty-and-personal-care/report

https://www2.deloitte.com/si/en/pages/strategy-operations/articles/changing-consumer-digital-marketing-impact-Covid-19.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55630144


Facts and Figures: COVID19 and the Toothpaste Sector

The Oral Care Industry

Due to rising consumer awareness about dental health across emerging nations, the importance of toothpaste and oral care products has increased significantly in recent years. The essence of oral-care products derives from the fact that the majority of oral health problems can be prevented and/or treated using commercially available products. World Health Organization (WHO) states that oral diseases affect almost 45% of the world population, posing a great health challenge for many countries, where the affected people deal with lifelong severe dental infections resulting in pain, disfigurement, and even death. Despite the life-threatening implications an oral disease can trigger, dental treatments are costly and are not covered by medical insurance companies. They only cover 5% for dentist visits and treatments in high-income countries, while in most low- to middle-income countries there is little policy to cover this type of medical expenditure.

Considering the number of oral diseases, the dental care industry serves both consumers and dental practitioners. Goods and oral care solutions are nuanced, and the level of skill and infrastructure required to manufacture these products vary substantially. However, due to the volume of customers worldwide, generic products that appeal to consumers outperform those that cater toward more specialized sectors in terms of value. As a result, the market's main sales and distribution channels comprise supermarkets and convenience stores, drugstores and pharmacies, specialty stores, and, more recently, the online retail marketplace.

 Toothpaste sales vs Covid-19

Since toothpaste falls under the category of commodities, the export of such products across borders was allowed with little to no restriction.

 The COVID-19 pandemic seemed to have a minor effect on the global toothpaste sector.  The demand for toothpaste was generally unaffected throughout the year. Nevertheless, the consumers around the world were more likely to favor brands that offered discounts on additional purchases, as well as products that were high in volume yet low in price due to the overall financial hardships. Lately, the rising number of dental conditions among children and adults as a result of bad dietary habits, as well as the increasing interest in herbal oral care products, are the key factors driving the toothpaste sector. Furthermore, the escalating trend of premium brands and consumers demanding more specialized solutions are propelling the market's growth.

 The top oral care brands have taken advantage of the increasing customer awareness, expanding their product categories with more specialized options such as teeth-whitening toothpastes and other innovative oral care products. The technological advances allowed brands to implement more competitive marketing strategies revolving around sustainability and the addition of natural ingredients such as herbs.

What About Statistics in the Oral Care Sector?

According to surveys, the international toothpaste market is expected to increase at a CAGR of 3.4 percent from 2019 to 2027. Specifically, the global market share was 17.75 Billion US Dollars and it is estimated to reach almost 22 Billion during the forecast period.

 The Asia-Pacific region holds the largest market share, mainly because of the high number of customers, the lifestyle shifts, and the rise in household expenses. Hence, the shift towards sustainable policies is utterly essential. In fact, industry leaders are putting an emphasis on environmentally friendly packaging. A lot of the top producers like Colgate are adopting waste-minimization techniques and developing entirely recyclable toothpaste tubes. Due to the single-use packaging, 300 million toothpaste tubes are dumped at landfills around the world to address the problem.

 As for the product categories, the herbal toothpaste segment will present the highest CAGR of 5.6% by 2027. There are various factors driving this growth, such as the global movement towards natural and eco-friendly personal care products and the consumers’ preference to eliminate chemicals in essential goods. Yet, the dominant product will still be the conventional toothpaste, as it is perceived to guarantee fresh breath, gum and teeth infections, and bacterial overgrowth. (Source: www.alliedmarketresearch.com/toothpaste-market-A11278)

Regarding the segmentation by region, the Asia- Pacific will hold the leading position, as it accounts for 60% of the global population. Domestic brands such as Dabur and Lion Corporation are gaining ground in the regional markets and they form partnerships with leading distribution companies to test their products on the global market.

It is worth noting that Europe and North America are projected to accelerate considerably due to lifestyle and dietary choices such as smoking and consuming coffee, acidic soda drinks, and meat, as it’s part of their culture. Thanks to the high levels of income and the citizens’ priority to proper dental hygiene habits, they turn towards the premiumization of dental care and sustainable practices.

 The Top 5 Brands in the World

The top brand names in the toothpaste sector are:

  1. Procter & Gamble
  2. Colgate-Palmolive
  3. Lion Corporation
  4. Unilever
  5. GlaxoSmithKline PLC

The majority of the shares are held by the above-mentioned companies, except Lion Corporation, which is based in Japan. The market is highly competitive with a lot of small regional brands, but these five hold the leading positions. This offers them the competitive advantage to expand their product portfolio and provide niche products, addressing more issues such as sensitivity and pain relief. In fact, GlaxoSmithKline PLC launched a mint toothpaste in 2018, specifically for customers with sensitive teeth and gums across significant markets. Plus, a year prior, Unilever Ghana Limited introduced a similar product to the market, but in three variants, whose unique formula offered holistic protection and treatment for sensitive teeth.

 Sources

www.alliedmarketresearch.com/toothpaste-market-A11278

 https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/oral-health

https://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/3869-toothpaste-tubes-an-environmental-hazard

https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/toothpaste-market-104484

https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/global-toothpaste-market


How Dental Care Earned Their Spot In eCommerce

How many times have you bought a toothbrush or toothpaste without even thinking about it? Probably more than you can count. And how many times did you use eCommerce for the purchase? Dental care is an important element of overall health and well-being, which is exactly why it is crucial to invest a little more thought into what kind of products you use. Luckily - according to an Oral Care Hygiene Market report, people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of oral health for overall health, which has transformed the way we choose and buy dental care products.

Commodity goods and the law of demand

All commodities derive their value from their ability to be sold on the global market. The sale of commodities is a universal process that remains unchanged regardless of the product's use or the country that it is sold in. The sale of any commodity depends solely on the law of supply and demand.

E-commerce of dental care products 

In the light of recent events, new opportunities have opened up in the oral care market. The growing popularity of e-commerce stores for oral care products is setting new trends in dentistry. Now more than ever, oral care products are being sold on e-commerce platforms. Pandemic has reshaped the way people shop for everyday products, including cosmetic products and toiletries. In fact, shopping at online oral care shops is now more popular than in physical stores like pharmacies. That fact can easily be explained by the advantages e-shopping brings along like the availability of multi-brand oral care products, price promotions, bundles, ease of purchasing, and free shipping. It is no surprise that because of this growing trend major market players have increased their investments in these channels.

A marked shift in the way people buy dental care products

For decades, toothpaste has been marketed as a cosmetic product, regarded as having little importance to overall health. As such, people weren’t exactly thinking or doing any research about what kind of toothpaste or toothbrush they should use. Most would simply head to the nearest supermarket and buy the first toothpaste they see.

Due to the Covid pandemic as well as the growing awareness of oral health importance, there has been a marked increase in online purchase of oral care products. In fact, according to the Research and Markets 2020/2025 forecast report, the oral care hygiene market is projected to reach USD 53.3 billion by 2025, with the toothpaste segment holding the highest market share.

These two consumer behavior changes have helped rank products like toothpastes and toothbrushes higher on the list of priorities. In addition to that, these realizations have had a huge impact not only on a personal but also on an economical level, which we’ll discuss in the subsequent paragraphs.

Implications on an economic level

With that in mind, it is no wonder that the FMCG market has been growing rapidly over the last decade. In fact, sales in the FMCG industry grew from $1.5 trillion in 2012 to $1.68 trillion in 2016. In a year-over-year comparison, the industry grew by $217 billion. The huge growth of the FMCG markets is detectable not only in the United States, but also in Europe, China, India, and Brazil. Another contributing factor to more toothpastes and mouthwash being sold globally is the fact that consumption of sugar is growing steadily, and is suspected to rise to about 171.8 million metric tons by 2020/2021. Excessive sugar consumption, as you probably know, is tied to tooth decay because of the way it alters the bacteria in your mouth to produce acid which then eats away the enamel causing cavities and bad teeth.

Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) take up a significant percentage of spending in developed countries like the United States. These everyday products, including cosmetics and toiletries like toothpastes and soaps, account for more than half of total consumer spending. Because people are paying more attention to the fact that dental products are both a necessity and a commodity, these products are now becoming more available online.

 

Implications on a personal level

In most cases, when you set out to buy a commodity good, you simply buy the most affordable or easily reachable item and then move on with your life. However, thanks to a boom in online shopping, people are now choosing more deliberately what they buy. 

Browsing online, as opposed to physically visiting the store has several benefits, especially when it comes to dental care products like toothbrushes, toothpastes, and dental floss.

Being able to shop for FMCG online has several advantages:

  • you can easily compare prices of different brands and product types;
  • you can read other people’s reviews to make an informed choice;
  • you can compare features, look at the ingredient list - something you rarely do at the pharmacy or store because there is no sales pressure;
  • you can relax and make an informed choice at your own pace, worthy of your money.

People are often not aware of the health implications everyday personal care products may have on their health. Little by little, chemicals in these products can affect your overall wellbeing. Why not avoid that when you can? Opt for naturally derived oral care products whenever you can. You should never skimp on oral care, even when you are trying to save money - simply because oral health has a huge impact on many aspects of your overall well-being. 

Sources:

https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/oral-care-market-80546246.html  

https://econsultancy.com/how-fmcg-brands-are-adapting-products-in-response-to-the-shift-to-ecommerce/ 

https://www.statista.com/map/europe/branch/consumer-goods-fmcg 

https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/4714888/oral-care-market-forecast-to-2028-covid-19?utm_source=GNOM&utm_medium=PressRelease&utm_code=dzj63n&utm_campaign=1547178+-+Global+Oral+Care+Market+Report+2021-2028+-+Mounting+Preference+for+Online+Purchase+of+Oral+Care+Products&utm_exec=chdo54prd

https://unctad.org/news/how-covid-19-triggered-digital-and-e-commerce-turning-point 


Nordics recyclable tubes: a life-saving innovation

You might have been buying toothpaste for years, but have you ever wondered where the plastic tubes end up when they’re empty? The collapsible toothpaste tubes were first made of metal, such as tin or lead, and later on, a combination of plastic and aluminum. This allowed flexible packaging, however not really being recyclable. Oral hygiene companies across the globe have taken initiatives in the last few years in order to address the sustainability issue by introducing sustainable and innovative packaging products.

 Why do more and more companies quit using plastics? Plastics are produced by oil or petroleum, which are finite sources that could possibly be depleted in the next 50 years. In addition to that, manufacturing plastics releases chemicals, which are extremely harmful to the environment. Despite the advantages plastic packaging offered until now, it is time to eliminate all materials which endanger the natural sources of our planet and the air quality and atmosphere. Considering the volume of plastic which ends up polluting our oceans and ecosystem, and the fact that it can end up inside our system through what we consume, makes it so much more concerning and we must implement immediate measures on a global scale.

The Rise of Bioplastics

Bioplastic was introduced as a potential alternative material, made from biological material instead of petroleum. A material is considered bioplastic if it meets at least one of two criteria:

  • It is manufactured by renewable plant-based resources
  • It is biodegradable, meaning it has the capacity to be decomposed into water and carbon dioxide by microorganisms.

Due to the plant-based sources used for bioplastic production, the carbon dioxide emissions are very low, so the integration of this type of material is highly recommended by environmentalists and climate organizations.

 

The first bioplastic, known as polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) was discovered almost 100 years ago by a French researcher. However, people used exclusively petroleum for its price and abundance until the 1970s, when the petroleum crisis led them to use alternative materials and take a closer look at the bioplastic discovery.

 How is it produced? There are two ways to manufacture it. The first one refers to extracting sugar from sugarcane or plants like corn and converting it into polylactic acids (PLAs). The second way refers to processing microorganisms, resulting in polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). The PLAs are more used in food packaging while the PHAs can be found in medical equipment and surgical tools. Between the two types, the PLAs require less capital to manufacture, actually making them the least expensive bioplastic product. Hence, manufacturers took an interest and put it to use for utensil production, food packaging, and more.

 

Nordics Mission

Our mission has always been focused on two key areas: sustainability and premium quality. We aim to inspire change by setting an example with our ethical standards through the ingredients and the manufacturing of our oral care products. Apart from choosing certified, cruelty-free, and vegan first materials for our organic dental care products, Nordics has revolutionized toothpaste packaging. True to our mission, Nordics has introduced a recyclable tube, made of Sugarcane-based Polyethylene (PE). Equipped with the same properties as its non-recyclable counterpart, a sugarcane tube presents the following benefits:

 

  1. It is made by the residue of sugarcane, which is used to produce ethanol
  2. It is a renewable source, meaning that it does not endanger the finite sources of energy of our planet
  3. It is recyclable, so it can be reused for the same or other products, not like the typical toothpaste tubes which end up on landfills
  4. The carbon footprint emission is considerably low, as the sugarcane metabolizes more carbon dioxide to grow than most plants and it regenerates by itself.

 

One of the biggest challenges oral care companies had to face was to source collapsible tubes which could be recycled. Up until now, the regular plastic tubes had an inner lining of aluminum, crucial for the structure, which made it impossible to recycle. However, the global consumer interest in sustainable packaging and the introduction of bioplastics have allowed more companies to discontinue the harmful plastic tubes.

Conclusion

 The big companies in the oral health sector have recently announced the shift to recyclable packaging in order to tackle climate change and adopt sustainable techniques. We at Nordics are proud to represent the much-needed movement towards green energy and plant-based renewable sources.

 While the top oral hygiene brands now introduce new recyclable toothpaste tubes and transform their branding and positioning, the driving forces behind our purpose have remained the same since day one. Nordics products will always be equivalent to innovation, sustainability, top oral health and the utmost respect for our Mother Nature.

Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/technology/bioplastic 

 https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/are-bioplastics-made-from-plants-better-for-environment-ocean-plastic