OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

Poppits® Toothpaste Pods

Fresh toothpaste sealed inside a soft gel pod that melts in your mouth.

Photo of Alan
39 57

Written by

Toothpaste without a tube.
Poppits are individual pods of toothpaste. The small minty pod dissolves in your mouth as you brush releasing a fresh burst of gel toothpaste.
Rinse with water for a clean mouth and healthy teeth!

No waste.  No plastic tube.  No mess.

"I think it's genius!" - Matt Lauer, The Today Show

Kids love it!
Kids Poppits® come in fun colors and contain fruit flavored fluoride toothpaste. It makes oral care FUN!  They love the sensation of popping it in their mouth and the burst of fruity flavor.
Unique Possibilities
The water-soluble film can be colored, flavored and even printed upon using edible ink, creating endless marketing possibilities.  Everything from hotel logos to TV characters can be printed right onto the pods!



Follow us:         Facebook   |    Twitter   |    IG    |    Web

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

DID YOU KNOW?
On average over 1.3 billion plastic toothpaste tubes are dumped in our landfills every year.
 
Plastic tubes take up to 500 years to biodegrade!
Our cardboard packaging is environmentally-friendly and biodegradable.
You'll be doing your part to reduce plastic pollution by eliminating use of plastic toothpaste tubes.
You're welcome Mother Nature!

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

This is a game changer for the global toothpaste industry.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Prototyping: You have conducted some small tests or experiments with prospective users and will continue developing idea through these tests.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Wayne Solan (inventor and CEO) was cleaning his bathroom after guests had stayed. He looked at a messy squeezed up tube of toothpaste with excess gunk around the nozzle and simply thought "somebody should invent a better way to use toothpaste; something like little toothpaste pods that melt in your mouth". And that was it! He patented the idea, worked with a lab to engineer the film and boom; Poppits® were born!

Tell us about your work experience

Wayne Solan - CEO and inventor: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wayne-solan-50785a8/

Alan Daly - Chief Operations Officer: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alan-daly-a3b58943/

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

Dental Development Systems LLC. is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

39 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Vanessa Sore
Team

Hi Poppits Toothpaste Team,

Wow, such a great idea. I can see why there are multiple applauds for your idea.
This idea appears to be innovative and sustainable for long term growth in so many ways - biodegradable and environmentally friendly, mess-free, great for travelling, partnerships with hotels and branding etc. I like how you've adapted an everyday household product.

I'm interested to know a little more.....
1. As part of your business model are you specifically only targeting children?
2. Have you established any partnerships for branding your films yet? ie. hotels, brands?
3. Also, how has your product evolved? What type of changes have you applied after prototyping and feedback to your original design/business model?

Cheers,
Vanessa S

Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi Alan and the Poppits® Toothpaste Pods team!

We have received your Refinement Phase Submission Questions! Just a friendly reminder that the phase closes tonight, August 31st at 11:30 p.m. PT. so please update your contribution on the platform before the deadline.

Thank you for all your work this Refinement Phase and for being member of the OpenIDEO Community!

Photo of Soren
Team

Did you get any feedback from the EPA on the polymer you release into the eco system?

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Alan!

There are 7 days left in the refinement phase.

If there is key information in the comments on your idea submission, I recommend that you move them to the main body of your idea submission before the cut-off time.

I just want to remind you that the deadline to complete the Refinement Questions via the online submission form is August 31 at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Alan!

Welcome to refinement!

It would be really beneficial if you would highlight the following from the comments section in your idea submission:

‘We use food-grade PVOH film that has been thoroughly tested, analyzed, approved and is far below the permitted levels. In fact each pod is only 3% film and 97% toothpaste.

We will be seeking FDA approval in our next step.

Our products are not yet on the market but we are in the process of establishing our supply chain.’

Also, would you answer the question - ‘Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.’ If you sign into your OpenIDEO account, click here - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/circular-design/refinement/poppits-toothpaste-pods/, you will see an ‘Edit Contribution’ button and you will see this question there.

Do you have any feedback from people who have used Poppits that you can share with OpenIDEO?

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me by tagging me here (@ followed by my name) or send me an email - krushton@ideo.com

I just want to remind you that the deadline to complete the Refinement Questions via the online submission form is August 31 at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Photo of Svein Persen
Team

Best new idea out there for reducing plastic waste, and really good way of delivering portions of toothpaste without any mess or waste

Photo of Cristina Faulkner
Team

Really inspiring idea. The beauty of the idea is that it is such an appealing solution.
Best of luck!

Photo of Soren
Team

Hi Alan,
A brilliant idea! Congrats!
Observation: What you (and the soap balls from Nohbo) do is to replace the plastic tube with a water-soluble polymer film. I don't have access to your patent application but I would imagine that this film consists of PVA (PVOH) with some (secret) additives? I also assume that most of the polymer is spit out into the sink together with the toothpaste. Some is probably swallowed. A general concern when substituting a well-known "danger" (the plastic tubes) with something new and "unknown" (the polymer film) is that it may look great from a designer's point of view but it turns out to be worse! I am not stating that this is the case here but it could be great if you could provide additional info or data on that aspect! From what I can google, fish can survive in a 5% solution of PVOH. What would the environmental impact be if you substitute 100% of the present tubes with your invention? With a great answer to the above, I think you stand a chance of being more than a niche product - with a real positive impact! Good luck!

Photo of Ratna Chatterjee
Team

I agree !

Photo of Alan
Team

Thanks Hans & Soren. We asked that same question when we started. We use food-grade PVOH film that has been thoroughly tested, analyzed, approved and is far below the permitted levels. In fact each pod is only 3% film and 97% toothpaste. The film dissolves in saliva or water and is rinsed away after brushing. As you mentioned, it is not intended for ingestion since the user brushes and rinses away as with any toothpaste. Even if accidentally ingested, the ingredients of the film are well within safety limits. Safer in fact, than bubble gum. We will be seeking FDA approval in our next step.
We are hoping to eliminate or greatly reduce plastic packaging from our environment. Thanks!

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Alan,

Great answer! What is the process for getting FDA approval?

Photo of Soren
Team

Alan Thanks for your comments! "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." In this case: You have to substantiate and if possible quantify the benefits compared to the negative effects! It's never black or white. A recent example of that in the toothpaste space is the Triclosan case (https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/07/well/live/why-your-toothpaste-has-triclosan.html)! In any case, we're not worried about the FDA approval (you'll get that easily as PVOH is already used a lot). We are worried about the environment! Have you asked NCEA (https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-national-center-environmental-assessment-ncea) about the environmental impact when the dissolved polymer is released into nature? 3% of the total toothpaste used adds up! The MSDS for PVOH (http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927396) - section 12 - is not really very clear. That is not a bad sign for your concept, it's just not very clear! I hope you can clarify that for us - and for the environment! We really like your idea! Thanks! :)

Photo of Soren
Team

Did you have time to check the environmental impact of the polymer you intend to use? We think that this is vital. We assume that you agree?

Photo of Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN)
Team

This is a great idea!

I would love to see this combined with opportunities for bulk purchasing, in order to totally eliminate the outside packaging altogether. Wholesale quantities could be sold to bulk retailers, and customers could purchase the quantity/volume/weight of pods they want in their own reusable container.

I can also see it's applications in small scale "micro-business" (i.e. in developing countries) because the pods themselves can be sold in very small quantities.

Compostable packaging (for the outer box) would also be a great addition to this overall concept.

Photo of Elaine Coffey
Team

Fantastic idea. My kids will love these. It will be so much easier to get them to brush their teeth! And safer for the environment too - brilliant!

Photo of Alan
Team

Yes, kids LOVE using these! It's fun! Thanks so much for your support. - Alan

Photo of Angela
Team

I applaud a product that is biodegradable and is environmentally friendly plus has a basic use: toothpaste! I can't wait to see this on the market....my whole family would definitely love to use this on a daily basis. When do you think this would be available in the stores?

Photo of Alan
Team

Hi Angela, we are hoping to have this product launched within a year. Thanks so much! - Alan.

Photo of Tega Sowho
Team

Nice. Is it affordable?

Photo of Alex O'Sullivan
Team

Fantastic idea!!!

Photo of Isaac Jumba
Team

Hi Alan and team, totally love the idea! I'm super interested in how the product will be packaged - stored and use, and at what point(hygienically) it should be used - to avoid other risks such as contamination, especially when targeting low end markets

Photo of Benjamin
Team

Love it guys!!

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Alan, if you have not seen it already, you might want to check out Benjamin's Nohbo balls. You might be interested in his experiences in packaging his balls. There might be some learnings for Poppit.

Photo of Benjamin
Team

Hi Kate,

Alan and his cofounder Wayne are close associates, and have helped me out a lot throughout the process! They were the driving force that helped me switch from compressed balls with a sprayed on membrane to film based pods.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Alan,

It is great to see you in the challenge. Interesting product!

Is this the website for your company - http://www.poppitstoothpaste.com/? Would you include it in your full description?

Who else is working with you on this idea? Please provide a 1-2 sentence bio and/or LinkedIn profile for each member of your team in the Tell Us About Your Work Experience section of your post. To update your post, hit the Edit Contribution button at the to of your post. Scroll down to your Full Description field. Then click Save after you’re done updating.

I noticed that you have two patents for this product. Is it on the market?

How is this solution positioned in the current marketplace? Have you identified any competitors? What are you offering in your solution that competitors have not tapped into?

Do you have any existing barriers to developing your idea that you’d like to share to help the OpenIDEO community understand where they might join the conversation and provide feedback?

Photo of Alan
Team

Thanks Kate for your interest and your suggestions! Yes that's our website; I added the link to our profile along with our Linkedin profiles. We do have issued patents. Our products are not yet on the market but we are in the process of establishing our supply chain. We are excited too bring Poppits® to market! Cheers! - Alan

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Thank you, Alan! I can see myself initially using Poppits on short haul vacations where I am only travelling with hand luggage and have a limited allowance for liquids so for 3/5 days (6 to 10 poppits)

What sort of feedback have you received from potential customers? Is there a trend in terms of when and where they would use Poppits?

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hello Alan!

Wanted to congratulate your post being a featured contribution. Please visit the main ideas page to see your feature.

Photo of Alan
Team

Thanks so much guys!!! :)

Photo of Paul Sharp
Team

Great idea!

Now if you can deliver this in a plastic free or reusable packaging this would be a winner!

Perhaps point of sale refilling stations could work? I imagine a modern take of a gum machine with a video screen showing the benefits of the product. Branded, scannable reusable containers can help you track consumptin patterns and link consumers with rewards.
 
This would provide a big marketing presence in store and allow consumers to refill your containers for rewards or use their own container. POS refilling would also minimise your freight costs as you would ship in bulk to retailers.

See my idea for a global standard on refillable packaging, https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/circular-design/ideas/reuse-revolution-refillable-packaging-systems-zero-plastic-pollution-low-carbon

Photo of Alan
Team

Hi Paul,
Thank you for your suggestion. We are exploring packaging options including cardboard and aluminum tins. I agree with you; our goal is to eliminate or greatly reduce plastic packaging in the toothpaste category. Thanks for your input and we wish you the best with your idea. - Alan.

Photo of Gesina
Team

Hi Alan! Great idea, would be interesting to test if that can also work for small shampoo, conditioning etc. sachets. What is the packaging material? Will it end up producing microplastics in the mouth or water?

Photo of Elisa Stephens
Team

Looks like a great idea. Big winner!

Photo of Jonm
Team

Fantastic !! ;-)

Photo of Helena
Team

Love the idea. Some elements I would advise you to consider to make it a better, more successful product.
1- how are the pods delivered? Is that the best way? So, if the pods melt in the mouth, then I can see if melting in wet fingers. So when one goes to pick up the tooth brush, place the pod on it. You might have just washed you face before, you might have had a shower, the bathroom is steamed up... How can you ensure the pods in the box, don't get all sticky?
2 - user product - are the pods to be placed on the toothbrush or directly on the mouth? If on the toothbrush how to stop them from falling when you first place them there? Sticky toothpaste sometimes falls so I can imagine a not sticky part to slide very easily.

Quickest way to test is to get someone to take your product home and use it. Ask them to take photos of things they like and things that don't work so well.

After this, for your presentation would be great to see a storyboard showing the product being used.
Looking forward to seeing the product develop.

Photo of Alan
Team

Hi Helena, thanks so much for your interest and suggestions. I added more content to our profile to provide answers to those questions, which are all good points! You pop the pod straight into your mouth (not on the toothbrush) and brush and rinse as normal. The outer film dissolves in saliva releasing a fresh burst of gel toothpaste.
The pods hold up fine in normal bathroom humidity and we do recommend picking one up with a dry hand. We are currently developing our packaging design to provide the best stability for the product.
Thanks for your support! - Alan

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Alan,

Great to see all your responses! I noticed that you are working on your packaging design. Are you keen to get feedback/insights from packaging designers? Are there certain types of people in the OpenIDEO community that you really would like to receive feedback from?

Photo of Rebecca Jackson
Team

Genius!!

Photo of Alan
Team

Thanks so much Rebecca!