Saturday, April 18, 2009

eco: Sonicare battery

A long time ago my dentist recommended the Sonicare. It lasts about 5 years, I'm on my third. The rechargeable handle contains toxic NiCad batteries, so I didn't want to throw them away. Sonicare used to provide an envelope for you to send it back, but they scrapped that, no doubt when they found doing the right thing costs money. I finally cracked the two handles open and pried out the batteries.
Sonicare toothbrush handle and its toxic batteries(The red marks are blood.)

How many people bother to do this? There's so much hate for Greenpeace in the USA, yet they have the right idea: don't produce toxic products. It should be illegal for someone to sell you a toxic product unless they pay to take it back. End of story.

I should have Googled first, someone already blogged about this, he heroically tried to replace the dead batteries. Newer Sonicare toothbrushes are apparently easier to disassemble: “The battery inside your Sonicare cannot be replaced, but is easily removed for recycling.” But why not allow easy battery replacement? They don't want you to keep your equipment working, they want it to fail, so they deliberately use a crappy short-lived toxic battery. This is the exact opposite of sustainable design. Again, legislation is the answer.

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