I’m gonna come right out and say it….
I’m on a mission to get plastic toothbrushes banned.
There’s no reason to make them out of plastic, they are designed and recommended to be thrown away after 3 months, and those plastic handles are going to be around for hundreds if not thousands of years. Governments are already banning single use plastics (great!), but plastic toothbrushes, which have a short life before being thrown away, are no different. They should be banned. The ocean can’t afford any more plastic waste, so if something we have to throw away doesn’t HAVE to be made out of plastic, it shouldn’t be. Even an 11 year old can see that.
To achieve this, four things need to happen:
- Bamboo toothbrushes need to be widely used by consumers, AND THEN
- Large retailers will sell them, AND THEN
- Large manufacturers will make them, AND THEN
- Governments can ban the plastic ones
When I founded The Turtle Tribe in 2018, none of these things were really happening. BUT SINCE THEN, there’s been an explosion in bamboo toothbrush brands, the large retailers have started stocking one or two bamboo toothbrushes (although often in plastic packaging – duh!), COLGATE have launched worldwide a bamboo toothbrush, and state governments in Australia are implementing or considering single-use plastic bans.
We’re on our way! I invite you to join The Turtle Tribe and share the journey with me, because we’re going to get this done. There are lots of problems in the world, and I can’t fix them all, but maybe, and with your help, I can fix this one thing. Join me. Let’s do it together…
In March 2019 at the age of 11, six months after starting my mission and business, I was invited onto national television after being short-listed in the global Be the Change Awards (that story’s over on the ‘Ned’s Story’ page – check it out later)
I could see the four steps to my goal, even then…
Ocean plastics are a huge problem. There’s estimated to be between 5 and 50 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean (it’s hard to count because lots of it ends up on the sea floor, under the sand on beaches, and it’s constantly breaking into smaller and smaller pieces). Every year, another 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean, lots of it floating on the surface in these huge gyres in the middle of the ocean where the currents go round and round.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is bigger than Queensland. Or Texas. Or France. Yep, it’s big.
And there are plastic toothbrushes floating around in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch…
…or washing up on the beaches of the Galapagos Islands, 1000km’s away from the nearest land…
(all islands and all beaches really, including MINE! (grrr), it just feels really bad to be trashing the Galapagos islands)
And the impact of all this plastic in the ocean is devastating on marine life…
(viewer discretion advised)
Is this the ocean of the future?
How do toothbrushes end up in the ocean?
Short answer…they wash and float out of landfill during inclement weather. Long answer…over 3 billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown out globally every year. When we throw something ‘away’, there is no ‘away’. It’s still on our finite planet. Somewhere. And eventually, that somewhere, for lots of our trash, is the ocean.
So The Turtle Tribe is going to fix this one thing. It SHOULD be simple.
The world’s oceans are choking on plastic. Literally.
Plastic toothbrushes are throw-away items that are very long lived in the environment.
They don’t need to be made out of plastic.
So why are they?
Some people ask, ‘Are you worried about Colgate making a bamboo toothbrush and killing your business?’.
And I say, NO WAY! I think it’s FANTASTIC that Colgate make a bamboo toothbrush. It shows that there’s no reason to keep making toothbrushes out of plastic. And I’ll be telling the Minister for the Environment all about it next time I see them…
The Turtle Tribe bamboo toothbrush is the best bamboo toothbrush in the world – with awesome features even Colgate’s doesn’t have.
Try one today. I’ll even give you one for free!
And here’s the best bit…
Toothbrushes are what’s known as a ‘catalyst consumable’. Using a bamboo toothbrush twice a day, every day, is a twice daily reminder to use less plastic throughout our day.