NIS-ECO’s Bamboo Toothbrushes: A Step Towards Eco-Conscious Hotel Amenities

“NIS-ECO”, a sustainability project run by Niseko locals, has begun selling bamboo toothbrushes to hotels as amenities, aiming not only to reduce plastic waste but to also shift the culture surrounding disposable amenities.

The bamboo toothbrush, with a bamboo handle and a nylon brush, uses about 97% less plastic than traditional plastic ones, significantly reducing potential plastic waste.

Priced at 120JPY (80JPY during trial period) without tax, the project aims to maintain the prices low by placing bulk orders for the entire Niseko area, with all profits being used for initiatives that promote environmental sustainability.

The project aims to replace plastic toothbrush amenities in accomodations to reduce plastic waste, but most importantly, to turn disposable amenities into long-term, non-disposable items.

Yuko Takai, the representative of the project and also the chairman of a local NPO called Niseko Mirai Support Tai (translates to Niseko Future Support Team), explains that unlike traditional plastic toothbrushes, hotel guests are more likely to continue using the bamboo toothbrushes instead of disposing them, due to their pleasing appearance and comfortable use.

I believe that what truly is harmful is the habit of using disposable items, so I didn’t want to make anything that would be thrown away after just one use.

Takai Yuko
Representative of NIS-ECO

Takai-san also suggests that hotels sell the toothbrushes as an optional amenity to their guests instead of distributing them freely, considering that the bamboo ones are several times more expensive than the usual disposable toothbrushes.

“I hope free amenities become something that isn’t necessarily required for hotels in the first place,” she said.

“Hotels should consider shifting towards selling amenities only to those who forget them instead of giving them away to everybody,” she also added.

Takai-san said that using bamboo toothbrushes is a great way to initiate that transition, because there is a higher chance people will receive the message that the shift is for the environment, and not just for cost reduction.

Currently, about five hotels are considering purchasing the toothbrushes either to provide them as VIP amenities or to sell them to guests.

NIS-ECO is a project run by a Niseko-based NPO that aims to raise awareness and promote eco-conscious activity.

As one of their initiatives, the project organized a tour for children in October to learn about forestry in Niseko.

This was funded with the money they collected through sales of donation products, which allocates a portion of their sales to the project.

Article Source: Powderlife