Log: Swim Pacific

[DAY 66] Toothbrushes

All I do when I swim is dream and think. I think about general subjects or problems we encounter during our expedition. The other night when I went to our head (bathroom) to brush my teeth, I counted the number of toothbrushes we were using and it didn’t make any sense. On the boat we don’t keep our toothbrushes and toiletries in a cabinet, we keep them in pockets made of waterproof material that is hung on the wall. The top left pockets are for toothbrushes. I counted 8 of them, I don’t keep mine there and I know Ty and Joe don’t either. We are only 9 on board, why would we have 11 toothbrushes? Then I remembered we found a toothbrush floating in the water a few days ago. And I also remembered seeing a video showing toothbrushes found among other plastic items on remote beaches. This toothbrush issue statutes to intrigue me. A toothbrush is like a hand razor, the only part we use is just the tip, the rest is the handle. But I have never seen a toothbrush designed like a hand razor, where you have a  replaceable tip and I also have never seen any toothbrush made out of organic material. Those designs would considerably reduce our impact on the ocean. So my question is, have you ever seen a toothbrush made out of organic material or one that uses less plastic, like a razor with rechargeable blades? If you have please let me know, I would be a great supporter of that product!


10 thoughts on “[DAY 66] Toothbrushes

  1. There are plenty of brands that do bamboo toothbrushes, some with plastic bristles and some entirely compostable ! Plastic toothbrushes with replacable tips also exist.

  2. Hi Ben,
    In Germany we can buy this kind of sustainable toothbrushes

    It’s great to read your logbook! On our holidays in Greece it drives us crazy how much plastic is used here. You have the feeling that it’s getting more and more every year!
    Even in a so called marine park there’s so much plastic all around and under water.
    As scuba divers we collect every piece that we find… under water and on the beach… but it feels like a fight against windmills.
    Back home we have this damn plastic next to our little streams and in the rivers… you can’t collect it all 🙁
    But still:
    Let’s all keep going!!!

  3. I use a bamboo toothbrush! What infuriates me, though, is the bulky plastic packaging it comes in, printed with messages about how the toothbrush itself it saving the planet. It’s in plastic! I’m still trying to find a local place to buy bamboo toothbrushes that aren’t encased in plastic.

  4. Really suprised that you guys actually took plastic toothbrushes onboard!
    As other mentioned above, we use bamboo toothbrushes. Here in Barcelona I found some that are sold in carton boxes, but I’m still not sure what the hair of the brush is made of.. I think it still must be plastic…

  5. There are two such brands i know of, Yaweco and one my mother uses that Oxfam shops sell but i can’t find one or remember the name of, something like click & clean. Been going for ages, actually, but i have terrible teeth and gums – risk losing them – so they’re one thing i exempt from plastic-free and spend a fortune on special brushes & paste. The rot set in when, through poverty, i used salt instead of toothpaste for a few years (this was before the internet, i was told it was salt you should use, which grates the enamel off fast – it’s baking powder, which is also abrasive but hopefully dissolves and at least changes the pH to alkaline and tooth-safe).

  6. A review of different non-plastic toothbrushes – https://myplasticfreelife.com/2015/12/the-truth-about-your-biodegradable-bamboo-toothbrush/

    Bamboo is tricky – if rainforests are cut down (and they are) to grow bamboo (or coconuts) then it is not good.

    Twigs of Sassafras trees (and others, willow I think) can be made into the perfect sustainable toothbrush. Just ask the tree for permission, then break off a twig, chew to get it bristly, then brush!

    Thanks for engaging us in the sustainable conversation and following your dreams.

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