Are Floss Picks Recyclable (And What are the Alternatives?)

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Floss picks are a great way to keep your teeth clean, and the American Dental Association recommends that you floss at least once daily.

But what do you do with your floss pick when you're finished using it?

Traditional floss picks cannot be recycled, and reusing dental picks is not advised due to hygiene concerns. So plastic and waxed nylon flossers end up in the trash, adding to our huge plastic pollution problem.

However, there are some eco-friendly dental floss products available that solve this issue.

Why Can't You Recycle Dental Floss Picks?

Traditional disposable floss picks are made of two parts - the handle, which is made of plastic, and the head, which is usually made of nylon coated in wax.

It's true that some types of plastic can be recycled, but others cannot. However, most floss picks are made from mixed materials, including a hard plastic handle and wax-coated nylon floss. This means they cannot be recycled.

As a result, many people have no choice other than to dispose of regular dental floss picks in the garbage.

Because plastic doesn't biodegrade, your used picks will either sit in landfills for centuries, leaching harmful chemicals into the ground. Or they might get into the water cycle and pollute our rivers and oceans, killing animals and marine life.

Also, it's worth remembering that most traditional floss comes in a small plastic box, which usually goes the same way as its contents.

So while disposable picks might be good for your teeth, they are terrible for the planet.

Is Dental Floss Biodegradable?

Dental floss is an important part of any oral hygiene routine, but many people wonder if it is biodegradable. The answer depends on the type of floss you buy.

Traditional waxed floss is made of nylon bristles coated in wax, which makes it difficult to break down. However, newer brands of biodegradable floss are made from materials like bamboo or natural silk, which are more biodegradable.

In addition, some companies now offer compostable floss picks made from cornstarch.

If you are looking for a more sustainable option, be sure to check the label before you buy. With a little research, it is possible to find dental floss that is gentle on your teeth and good for the environment.

How Should You Dispose of Floss Picks?

Unfortunately, the best way to dispose of plastic flossers is to put them in the trash.

You can only recycle a floss pick if it's made of recyclable materials, and if the label or packaging specifically says so. It's not enough for the label to just claim that the product is eco-friendly, as this doesn't mean the same thing.

If you're not sure whether your floss picks can be recycled, check the packaging for instructions.

Alternatively, you may contact the local recycling center to ask for their advice on how to recycle floss picks and whether they can accept flossers.

But prepare to be disappointed - they're not designed to be environmentally friendly, and most recycling facilities will say no.

You should also avoid flushing floss picks down the toilet, as this can clog pipes and cause other problems.

Can You Get Compostable Dental Picks?

Yes - if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly option, there are now compostable dental picks made from bamboo, or Mulberry silk which comes from silk worms.

Instead of being covered in traditional wax, these compostable products are coated in beeswax or natural candelilla wax, which is a plant-based vegan-friendly alternative.

These picks are designed to break down within 60 days, making them a much better option for the environment. And because they’re made from bamboo, they’re also biodegradable.

So if you’re looking for a way to reduce your impact on the environment, switching to

Are Plackers Dental Flossers Recyclable?

Regular Plackers are not recyclable, as they are made of a mix of different materials. The only way to dispose of them is to put them in the bin.

However, Plackers does make a line of EcoChoice flossers which are made from food-grade, recycled plastic rather than virgin plastic.

Be warned though - although the packaging of the EcoChoice range is recyclable, the flossers themselves are still not. So you may be saving on using new plastic, but they still end up in landfills after you use them.

It's not exactly greenwashing, but don't be fooled into thinking that EcoChoice Plackers flossers are as environmentally sound as biodegradable floss - they're not!

Is Zero Waste Floss Achievable?

Yes, you can get zero-waste silk floss or other zero-waste alternatives made from plant-based materials such as bamboo or corn - find them here.

These products are 100% biodegradable and come in a reusable glass jar, so nothing is wasted.

Both dental floss and picks can be zero-waste if you buy them from the right place, and dispose of them in the right way.

The Final Word

Regular flossing is still an important part of your oral health routine. It helps remove plaque, prevent gum disease, and makes your entire mouth feel fresher and cleaner.

If you’re looking for a more environmentally friendly option when it comes to flossing, biodegradable floss picks might be the right choice for you.

These picks are cruelty-free and made of biodegradable materials that (unlike plastic) will break down naturally in landfills, making them a more sustainable option than regular floss.

Have you tried using biodegradable floss yet? Let us know how they worked for you.

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Arabella Ruiz is a senior researcher at The Roundup. She lives in San Antonio, Texas and has been interested in the environment from an early age. Arabella loves to campaign for environmental causes and fundraise for charities that aim to preserve wildlife habitat, protect endangered species or help people with climate change problems.
Arabella Ruiz
Arabella Ruiz is a senior researcher at The Roundup. She lives in San Antonio, Texas and has been interested in the environment from an early age. Arabella loves to campaign for environmental causes and fundraise for charities that aim to preserve wildlife habitat, protect endangered species or help people with climate change problems.

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