Why Bioplastics? What kind of plastics are there? There are conventional plastics or bio-plastics. • C onventional plastic is fossil-based (crude oil or natural gas) which is a limited resource and not renewable. When it is incinerated, carbon that was bound in the oil or gas is released into the atmosphere. • B ioplastics are plant-based (sugar cane, castor oil, cellulose) and comprise of a large family of different materials with different properties and applications. They are made from renewable resources. What is the TePe GOOD® toothbrush made from? The handle and filaments are made from plant-based bioplastics. The handle is made from bio-based polyethylene (PE) from sugar cane which has a renewable content of 96%. The filaments are made from plant-based polyamide from castor oil. Both are from 100% renewable resources. Why is TePe GOOD toothbrush made from sugar cane and not bamboo? • Bio-based plastic PE from sugar cane fulfills most of the critical characteristics defined by TePe, including its virtually neutral carbon footprint. • Under our CSR policy and our commitment to ISO 14001, we secure full control over the supply chain, ensuring high quality materials and that the working conditions of our suppliers are fair and safe. With bamboo production mainly in the far east, these elements are much more difficult to control. • B io-based PE allows the manufacture of ergonomic products, which can be bent / adjusted to the user’s needs. The products can be delivered to a consistent high quality. The TePe bio-based toothbrushes are more durable than bamboo and comply with ISO standards. • Sugar cane regrows in one year, compared to bamboo which takes several years, so the recycling of CO₂ is faster. Is the TePe GOOD® toothbrush bio-degradable? No. Our TePe GOOD® products degrade, but not to the levels that are adequate for the environment. They should be disposed of responsibly. Questions & Answers Are TePe products biodegradable? No. Our products are degradable, but not to the levels that are adequate for the environment. We are working with the leading manufacturers in the world, but there is currently no “off-the-shelf” solution. Hopefully technology in this area will improve soon. Are TePe products sustainable? TePe GOOD® is made from sustainable materials. We consider all elements of sustainability when sourcing raw materials, manufacturing and transporting goods. What is TePe doing about reducing its packaging and unnecessary use of plastic? We are certified to ISO 14 001, which is an international standard that requires us to have a process to plan, implement, monitor and continuously improve our environmental impact. We are reviewing our materials usage and our environmental footprint regularly. Has TePe considered having replaceable heads for it’s IDBs? Won’t that use less plastic? We used to have replaceable heads on our handles but discontinued them for reasons of dexterity of our customers who were struggling with small parts. TePe’s commitment to oral health and the environment As you would expect from our Scandinavian heritage, we take our impact on the environment very seriously. As a forward thinking, responsible company, and as part of our commitment to ISO 14 001 which we have held since 2002, we are constantly striving to improve as part of our strategic commitment to the environment. We consistently review our carbon footprint, our materials and methods of production. We have been sourcing sustainable materials for some time and evaluating the effect of these materials on the quality and efficacy of our products. We only launch new products when they meet our stringent high quality standards. Plastic remains the safest and most hygienic material for our oral hygiene products and we all have a responsibility to ensure that plastic is disposed of responsibly in appropriate waste bins. Our corporate social responsibility policy Energy consumption and the environment • 100% of our electricity usage in Sweden and the UK is from renewable sources including wind and hydro – “green energy”. • W e have heat exchange units in our offices which reduces our energy consumption. • W e recycle waste plastic from our production process, for products and packaging. • We manage rainwater flow into local rivers. • In addition, on a sunny day we can produce all our toothbrushes from the solar energy we produce. We have solar panels on our office and warehouse in the UK, and are the largest solar power plant in Malmo! Head office: The largest solar power plant in Malmö Suppliers • W e actively work with suppliers who have an environmental policy and clear code of conduct towards human rights and corruption. • W e have a clear policy to consider our impact on the environment when purchasing raw materials eg using recycled paper, water based printing inks. Employees • As a family owned business, we strive to keep the culture of belonging and sense of responsibility to each other as we grow. • We provide a safe and dynamic working environment, encouraging diversity and equality. Quality • T ePe continues to work closely with the dental profession to continuously develop and improve our functional, high quality products. • We have stringent quality controls in our factory. The full CSR policy is available to read on our website: www.tepe.com/uk/about-us/sustainability For more information please call TePe UK on 01749 608800.
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