The other day I receive an order from an online pharmacy and it comes with a free sample of a new product from Colgate called "Wisp". Basically, it is a plastic, one-time use toothbrush so that you can "freshen up multiple times throughout the day."
Hey - I'm all for fresh and minty breath, but really. Isn't this just another example of "just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should"?
These things cost more than 50 cents each, so if you use one three times a day, you are looking at $500+ per year to brush your teeth in between brushing your teeth.
But never mind that. How you spend your money is up to you.
The thing that got my wheels turning is that one has to assume that if a big company like Colgate-Palmolive put millions into R&D and will spend millions more manufacturing and marketing these things, that the company hopes it will be a big commercial success.
So imagine, say, 20 million people, brushing their teeth three times a day with these things and then throwing them out. That's 60 million little plastic toothbrushes, with the half-life of plutonium, going into our landfills every day. Multiply that by 365 days and that comes out to...9,000 bazillion pieces of unnecessary of polyethylene ending up in our landfills each year. That's plastic made from foreign oil. (Think of it this way: Every time you use a Wisp, a Saudi-backed terrorist gets his wings.) And they are packaged in individual plastic and paper containers.
Now, I am not a crazy environmentalist, but I am very much opposed to hypocrisy.
Which is why I find Colgate's supposed environmental stewardship to be such an insult. It's called "Respect for our Planet."
Um, yeah. If respect for our planet means throwing up a web page and then manufacturing utterly useless products that will sit in our landfills until the Sun burns out, you guys have it nailed.
PS: What lame marketing asshat came up with the oh-so-tragically hip web site for this product? I can just imagine the conversation among the marketing gurus around conference table at Colgate who actually approved this:
"Don, I think this web site really speaks to the kids!"
"You're right, Courtney. Those foul-mouthed Gen-yers will really get down to our funky beat!"
Let's start a pool as to how long it takes this product to die a quiet and deserved death. I give it a year, tops.