I’ve ditched the toothy tabs and the bamboo toothbrush. The toothy tabs went first – no amount of trying to persuade myself that they weren’t too bad or that I’d acquire a taste for them worked. The bottom line is that, for me, they were so disgusting they actually made me feel like I was going to throw up. Literally. Plastic Free July or not, I’m not that committed!
The toothbrush lasted longer. I’ve had a bad experience with bamboo toothbrushes before – see this post – but I thought I’d found a better brand this time. Indeed, I was quite happy with it until Day 10 when the first clump of bristles came away while I was brushing. Not pleasant, but I hung on to it until the second clump came away one morning when I was brushing my teeth alongside my children. One bristle got caught at the back of my throat and – you guessed it – I thought I was going to throw up. I was trying to supress my reaction from the kids, which made the situation all the worse… I’ve therefore gone back to using my brush with the disposable heads which I really like. I got mine here. There’s obviously plastic involved, but less of it. It’s worth it for a trauma-free experience!
The next thing I could try if I find myself with a spare moment would be a recipe for homemade toothpaste. If you want to try some out then @polytheenpam uses this one and Lindsay at @treadmyowpath uses this one. I also picked up a handy tip from Lindsay’s blog. She managed to separate the bristles from her bamboo toothbrush by soaking it in water, so that she could then compost the bamboo. As I write, mine is sitting in a mug of water (having already been used for scrubbing the bathroom clean earlier!)
In other news – look what I saw in Tesco yesterday.
Your eyes do not deceive you – these balls are actually each wrapped in plastic film. I don’t think I need to say anything more about this…!
Finally, thanks to those of you who’ve got in touch to let me know about the companies you’ve contacted about the potential plastic in their products. I was especially touched by this comment left on the blog yesterday, by twothirdswild:
I know you are in the UK, and I am in Australia, but I have been following your Plastic Free July journey via your blog. I am also participating in Plastic Free July here, and am learning so much along the way. I read with interest your blog about plastic in tea bags, and thought “there’s no way there is plastic in my tea-bags over here”. BUT, I thought I should follow it up, just for my peace of mind. I buy an Australian grown and owned brand of tea called Nerada which is packaged in a 95% recycled cardboard box, with no inner or outer plastic film unlike so many other brands on the supermarket shelves! Anyway, I decided to email the company and ask them, as there was nothing on their website that mentioned plastic in the bags. To my amazement, and to their credit, I received a response within half an hour. The low-down……. Yes, there are cellulose and thermo-plastic fibres in the bags which are necessary to seal the product! Gobsmacked, I was. Their bags are however, made from manila hemp, which has been oxygen whitened, not treated with chlorine or chlorine based compounds, so that is a big bonus. Anyway, we live and learn, and do our best to individually and collectively raise our awareness of these sorts of hidden issues. Keep up the good work!
I can relate to the disappointment! As I’ve said in a past post, I felt a little as if my heart had been broken by the trusty tea bag… It’s comforting though to know that, as consumers, we have the power to ask questions and vote with our feet. Thanks once again to @polytheenpam to her post on Plastic Is Rubbish for raising the issue of the plastic tea bag.