By Emily Rooney

A small zero-waste company in Leicester is finding success with bamboo toothbrushes and straws.

Will Taylor, who runs Eco-Bru, has been selling his toothbrushes and straws at events, and has also been supplying NADA, the zero-waste shop in Leicester city centre.

The 25-year-old started the company around March 2018, with his first order delivered in June of the same year, but said: “I started research in November of 2017, it took me a while to put my first order in.”

Will added: “My main inspiration started when I saw Blue Planet and I saw what we were doing to our planet as a whole.”

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ECO-FRIENDLY: One of Eco-Bru’s bamboo toothbrushes

While bamboo toothbrushes are available from a few companies, most reusable straws are metal, and Eco-Bru takes a different approach with this, manufacturing theirs out of bamboo instead.

Will’s deciding factor on which material to use actually came from his sister. He said: “She doesn’t like to put metal in her mouth, and she always bangs her teeth on bottles and stuff, so she said bamboo would be better.”

However, as bamboo is a simpler wood product, rather than being a highly processed metal, it is also biodegradable, and as such could even be more environmentally friendly, as if a metal straw is discarded and not recycled, it will sit in landfill for years without degrading.

A criticism that is sometimes given to environmentally friendly products is that they don’t look good.

Eco-Bru hopes to combat this stereotype, as Will stated that when he started the brand: “I wanted to create a brand that bridged the gap between style and sustainability, and this was a massive thing in the way that a lot of products that are eco-friendly aren’t that aesthetically pleasing, and I wanted to bridge that gap with my brand.”