Green Nudge Reviews
Feb 16, 2020
This is an honest (and unbiased) review for JentleCo’s Complete Set, written by Clare, our Marketing and Communications Associate. If you are keen to try their products, Green Nudge and JentleCo are offering a 10% discount when you use our promo code “GREEN&JENTLE”. Promotion lasts till 28 Feb 2021. To visit their online shop, click here. Enjoy! :)
(Note: While this post is not sponsored, the set was free.)
Every day, individuals toss their used toothbrushes, empty toothpaste tubes and plastic floss into the waste bin without much thought. Yet, have we ever stopped to consider how much waste we (and everyone else) are generating just from our daily routines?
Aimed at reducing our everyday waste, JentleCo is a local company based in Singapore which seeks to change the narrative of oral care. Through products ranging from bamboo toothbrushes, toothpaste tablets to biodegradable silk floss JentleCo hopes to keep our teeth clean and make a greener impact.
While many of us are keen to live more sustainably, such products offer a new way of going about our daily routines. Here is our take on their range of products so that you can make an informed decision before making the switch!
When I first pulled out JentleCo’s toothbrush from its packaging, what caught my attention was its ergonomic handle design which made it different from the other bamboo toothbrushes I had before. Simple, smooth and slick, its gentle curvy handle made it more comfortable and easy to grip as compared to other typical bamboo toothbrushes which often comes with a straighter and more “blocky” design (see below).
Besides its light brown earthy aesthetics, what I love about this toothbrush is its bristles which (true to its name) were soft, smooth and gentle on my teeth. The bristles are thin enough and are effective in removing any stuck food bits as well.
Generally, dentists recommend that we change our toothbrushes every 3 - 4 months, or when the bristles are frayed. To further extend its lifespan, JentleCo encourages users to “repurpose before disposing” as shown on their packaging. (Pro-tip: Reuse them to clean sinks or other hard-to-reach areas in your house!)
Like other bamboo toothbrushes, JentleCo’s toothbrush handles are compostable, and the common advice is to use a pair of pliers to remove the bristles or snap the head off the toothbrush before composting the handle (which should take about 4 - 6 months to break down!).
However, while that advice may be useful for users who may need to compost, this is not useful if you do not have a composting bin. The 4 to 6 months timeline also means that you will probably incur a couple of toothbrush handles before they fully decompose. Instead, we suggest reusing the handle for other purposes such as the label of your pot. In a country where we incinerate our waste, having wooden toothbrushes may not be absolutely different from a waste standpoint particularly if we had disposed of our waste properly.
Furthermore, JentleCo’s bristles are made out of nylon and while nylon as a material is recyclable in Singapore, it is not safe for recyclers to recycle used bristles (and plastic toothbrushes in case you were wondering) as it poses a health risk. Even if they are washed, their size is too negligible for them to be recycled. Thus, we would advise you to throw them away instead. This is still a very small amount (~ 0.5g) compared to an entire plastic toothbrush which on average weighs about 15 - 20g of plastic.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Storage Tip: Keep your toothbrush dry by placing them on a dry spot or across the rim of your cup to prevent mould from growing.
After tearing open the bag containing the tablets, I was immediately greeted with their strong peppermint scent. Initially, I was afraid that the tablets would crumble due to its powder-like texture. Surprisingly, JentleCo’s tablets are pretty sturdy and hold quite well - though there were a few tablets that came broken.
The first bite
I must admit that when I chewed on my first tablet, I was not very used to its purely peppermint taste as compared to the sweet taste just like Colgate’s. However, after several bites, I grew accustomed to the taste.
After brushing, the tablet left my teeth clean and feeling refreshed - just like what it’s supposed to do! However, I do notice that when the tablet is broken down and gets in contact with water and our saliva, the resulting powdery solution tends to be a bit runnier as compared to when using conventional toothpaste - guess this means you don’t need to use a lot of water while brushing!
From a packaging perspective, these toothpaste tablets help to replace the toothpaste tubes that cannot be recycled. Not only that, how many times have we used a toothpaste tube until we are left with some remaining paste inside which we often find a hassle to squeeze out? These tablets, therefore, aim to cut down on the paste wastage too.
With the glass storage jar, JentleCo makes their tablets easy to store and aesthetically pleasing. They also sell refill sets of 90 tablets (to last for about one month and a half)! However, we noticed that the tablets came in a cellulose bag (which looks like plastic but JentleCo assures is compostable). This certainly would be much less plastics than traditional packaging. More importantly, these tablets are made in Singapore which reduces the amount of carbon footprint used to transport these tablets locally.
With much fewer packaging waste generated from this, we quite like the toothpaste tablets and think it serves its purpose well. Being lightweight means this can be stored easily, thus making it handier as a camping or outdoor item to bring.
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Caution: Do remember to keep your fingers dry before picking up a toothpaste tablet. Wet fingers might risk getting water onto the rest of the tablets in the jar making them dissolve.
I was pretty excited to check out JentleCo’s biodegradable silk floss as it sounded quite ‘atas’, along with its aesthetically-pleasing bamboo dispenser. Held together very intricately, the silk floss looks like the replica of a long silk cocoon (see below)! Even though the floss feels like cotton string, the candelilla plant wax coating makes it smooth, giving it a faint glossy look. This also allows the floss to glide between my teeth easily for a meticulously clean finish. While it feels slightly thicker than the conventional plastic floss, it was still able to do a good job getting in between my teeth and removing hard-to-reach food bits and plaque.
What I was quite impressed with was that JentleCo’s silk floss is strong and it does not break or tear easily while flossing, as compared to other plastic flosses I have used which tore slightly whenever they got stuck in between my teeth. Moreover, its texture feels quite gentle on my gums, thus making it ‘friendly’ for those with soft and weak gums that bleed easily.
As mentioned by JentleCo, both their silk floss and bamboo dispenser are compostable. This means they are considered more eco-friendly than their plastic counterparts if you have a compost bin at home. In terms of hygiene, do take care when disposing your used silk floss into your compost bin!
JentleCo’s floss is refillable, enabling one to use the bamboo dispenser for a longer run. The only downside is that their floss is not considered vegan since they are made from silkworms.
While their bamboo dispenser gives an earthy aesthetic feel, perhaps a glass or even a recyclable plastic dispenser might be more sustainable in the long run as mould can easily grow on the dispenser if it is in contact with moisture for a prolonged time.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Storage Tip: Just like the bamboo toothbrush, do ensure that your bamboo dispenser is also kept in a dry place.
JentleCo’s packaging materials are either made from paper and cardboard which are compostable and recyclable or from plastic materials that are biodegradable. The team was also intrigued by their ‘criss-cross’ paper bubble wrap replacement (see below) that protected their products from damage during transport.
While we are heartened to see JentleCo’s efforts to ensure that their packaging materials help to close the loop, the amount of paper packaging used was quite a lot. We suspect this was because the items were placed in a large box and sufficient packaging had to be used to prevent breakage during shipping. Given that this was the complete set of items to be purchased, one suggestion could be to reduce the size of the box if fewer items were purchased, thus reducing the use of packaging.
While recycling helps to reduce the waste being sent for incineration, it is not and should not be the panacea in tackling our waste problem. Instead, we often encourage our clients and the community to focus more on reducing their waste at the beginning and not at the downstream for a greater impact. [Furthermore, many may not realise that the carbon footprint in manufacturing paper packaging can actually be more than that of plastic packaging!]. Plastic packaging only becomes a hazard if one were to leave them in the natural environment since they cannot biodegrade. Thus, using paper packaging is more effective when users reuse or recycle them. So please do so after you purchase their products!
We did feedback to JentleCo about this and were glad that they were open to our suggestion to consider used packaging to enhance their sustainability mission.
On the whole, we like it that JentleCo strives to ensure that their products, packaging and even the messages they put out are as earth-friendly as possible. They are also informative and provide clear and friendly call-to-action messages on both their website and packaging to guide their customers on how to use and dispose of their products and packaging in a more eco-friendly way.
We especially like it that they take the time to address potential concerns from toothpaste tablets. This concept of using toothpaste tablets is relatively new among Singaporeans and we appreciate the team for providing heaps of information so as to manage their customers’ expectations and allay their uncertainties by being transparent with the ingredients they use. The care that they strive to show to both their customers and the environment is indeed meticulous and refreshing!
At $34.90, the set of products may be a little pricey versus other products. However, these items may also be sold separately and the idea of popping toothpaste tablets is quite an experience and we would recommend giving it a try!
Interested to give JentleCo’s products a try? Green Nudge and JentleCo are offering a 10% discount on their products when you use our promo code “GREEN&JENTLE” on their website. Promotion lasts till 28 Feb 2021.
Note: This is an honest and unbiased review (while it is not sponsored, the Complete Set was free). We are independently owned and the opinions that we provide in our reviews are purely our own. For collaborations, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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