Small changes lead to big progress—and more often than not, to profound and lasting results. When it comes to preserving our Earth, the same principle applies.
For example, you don't necessarily need to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle to make a measurable impact. Instead, small lifestyle swaps can make the biggest difference in protecting our planet. Bringing your own cloth bags to the grocery store, using a reusable straw on your next coffee run, or even upgrading your oral care routine (yep, oral care as in floss and mouthwash) can make a difference.
How much plastic waste is in the average bathroom?
Have you ever wondered what happens to your toothbrush when you throw it out?
Since toothbrushes can't be mixed with normal household recycling, most find their way to the landfill. On average, a billion toothbrushes are thrown away in the U.S. each year. (For context, that's enough toothbrushes to wrap around the Earth four times.)
If you've been good about your oral hygiene, there's probably more than just a plastic toothbrush sitting on your countertop. Bring mouthwash bottles and disposable floss picks into the picture, and that's a lot of plastic waste sitting in the average household's bathroom.
Progress > perfection = big results*
These plastic waste statistics are staggering, but we're not sharing these numbers to shock, guilt, or shame anyone. What we are here to do is find ways to steer the oral care industry in a better, more sustainable direction.
For example, last year our Refillable Floss Picks replaced 110 million single-use floss picks, resulting in a reduction of 231,000 pounds of plastic waste. That's the (delicious) equivalent of 5,250 bags of topsoil !
Our Refillable Mouthwash Dispenser was also designed with sustainability in mind. With a concentrated formula that's four times as powerful than most brands, we were able to design a small-yet-mighty Refillable Dispenser that uses less plastic and is 100% recyclable. The compact design meant we were able to reduce 25,000 pounds of plastic waste over the past year—equal to the weight of 101 million honey bees! Now that's something to buzz about.
Over the past year, we've rolled out new sustainable packaging initiatives to reduce plastic pollution. We swapped out all brush head plastic refill tubes with paper refill tubes, which has already reduced 150,000 pounds of plastic waste. To put that into perspective, that's the same weight as 2,376 wheelbarrows.
We've also moved away from plastic refill bags to 100% paper packaging, which has reduced another 178,000 pounds of plastic waste. Curious what that looks like? It's the same amount as 7,000 bushels of sunflowers!
At a glance, thumb-sized refill tubes and floss picks don't seem like much—but these simple swaps add up.
Tackling plastic waste one room at a time
Switching to more sustainable oral care products won't save the world's plastic pollution crisis—but collectively, it can help us take a big step in the right direction.
This Earth Day, you can celebrate our home by making simple plastic swaps room by room—starting with your bathroom.
Reduce plastic waste with an electric toothbrush. The American Dental Association recommends that toothbrushes be replaced every three to four months—or even sooner if bristles become frayed or matted. Using an electric toothbrush means you only throw out the brush head when it needs to be replaced, rather than the entire toothbrush. With an electric toothbrush, you can reuse the handle for years. Shop quip Electric Toothbrushes here.
Find creative ways to reuse your old toothbrush heads. Toothbrush bristles become less effective at getting rid of bacteria and plaque after three to four months of use—but those bristles can still be put to good work in other ways. Hang on to old toothbrush heads to make cleaning tough areas—like tile grout and computer keyboards—easy. Also, spritz a little hairspray on a sanitized toothbrush head and you have yourself a cheap-yet-effective eyebrow brush or tamer for frizzy baby hairs.
Switch to Refillable Floss Picks. Floss picks are great for hitting those hard-to-reach spots—but single-use picks aren't so great for our environment. With quip Refillable Floss Picks, you can enjoy all the benefits of easy-grip pickles while significantly reducing the plastic waste that leaves your bathroom. Each floss refill replaces 180 disposable picks!
Cut down on plastic packaging with a Refillable Floss Dispenser. Our Refillable Dispensers cut the perfect 18" length of floss for daily use, so you don't over cut the amount you need. By using the Refillable Dispenser, you also help cut down on plastic packaging that most floss is housed in.
Stay fresh with Mouthwash Refills. Bulky plastic bottles of mouthwash add up to a lot of plastic waste over a person's lifetime. When you switch to our Mouthwash Refills, we send you small, 100% recyclable refill bottles of concentrated ingredients. Place the bottle in your Refillable Mouthwash Dispenser, and your mouthwash solution can be diluted in water when you're ready to use it. Easy, efficient, and eco-friendly.
Our final tip for reducing plastic pollution? Spread the word! That toothbrush or package of floss sitting on your countertop matters—and upgrading to refillable products can make a big impact. Share this information with your friends and family, so we can all do our part in reducing plastic waste.