Hey! Next time you go for a walk, are in a parking lot, or entering a building, look down at the ground. Can you find a plastic dental floss pick? Odds are, YES! Now that I’ve asked you to be on the lookout, I am sure you will notice the single-use plastic dental floss picks littered in many places. I see these flossers as much as I used to see the Dunkin’ Donuts brown single-use plastic plugs that they were using in their coffee cups. I heard Dunkin’ Donuts stopped using those! Hooray! 🥳 But the amount of those littered plastic coffee plugs is now taking a back seat to the number of single-use plastic disposable dental floss picks that are being flicked onto the ground.
I started noticing the flossers a while back. I would think to myself, “Gee, this person cares enough to floss their teeth, but then they flick it onto the ground!” That does seem absurd, doesn’t it? I then coined the phrase, “The Floss and Flick”. I see them all over. They are totally bad for our environment! Most flossers are made from non- biodegradable, non-recyclable, mixed plastics. They are also unsanitary because they are full of germs. These floss picks are filling up our streets, landfills, and waterways. I hope people who use them, start to realize that these little disposal flossers are producing gigantic numbers when it comes to single-use plastic waste. Most of us know the adverse effects single-use plastic is having on us, our animals, and our environment. To learn more about the dangers of plastics click the links to visit the FACTS page and YouTube videos.
So why are there so many single use dental floss picks showing up on the ground? Besides people carelessly and irresponsibly flicking them, Free Radikal provides an interesting infographic that easily shows how quickly these small flossers add up to a BIG amount of waste (see below). In North America, 4.7 BILLION disposable single-use plastic flossers are tossed out every year! That is enough to fill 635,127 trash cans! No wonder why we are seeing them in the streets!
Do we really need these single-use flossers? They may be easy and convenient, but they create a lot of waste. In addition, they can pass along bacteria within your mouth. According to Wilkinson Dental, the bacteria and food particles are passed along between your teeth because you are using the same small piece of floss over and over. So not only are the flossers contributing to the single-use plastic problem, but they can also be contributing to passing bacteria. Don’t you think that these are two great reasons to be interested in replacing single-use flossers?
Flossing is important to our health but there are many alternatives to using a “Floss and Flick” pick. Please click the links below to see what can replace single-use plastic dental flossers and we can begin to pick away at the enormous amount of single-use plastic waste they create!
Besides these 5 options, there are many more companies producing friendlier flossers that are not contributing to our single-use plastic crisis. I feel that the companies who produce the single-use plastic flossers should be more responsible and accountable. It appears that these companies look for the cheapest way to produce and sell their products, and that is a shame because they have huge impacts on the drastic amounts of plastic entering our environment.
It is my hope that someone who reads this blog, and is currently using single-use dental flossers, will begin a new habit today by choosing a new flossing option that will not contribute to the single-use plastic problem.
Our environment is getting buried in plastic.
Please don’t flick your pick!
Stay tuned for more articles on single-use plastics and how we can cut back!