I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for a year. I keep putting it off because I don’t have a solution to share. I’m blogging about it now with the hope that maybe someone else will be inspired to come up with a solution, or maybe we can come up with a solution together. It all started when I saw the video below.
We’ve all heard about the problem of plastics in the oceans but this video really shows the scale of the problem. It’s hard to watch. As an individual, the problem feels overwhelming. How could I do anything to help?
I am as guilty as anyone for using plastics on a daily basis. I try to do my part to limit my use. I started to notice how often I was throwing away dental floss containers. I thought — this could be a plastic habit I could break! I could just buy bulk dental floss. I did some research online but didn’t find much. I did find a bulk dental floss supplier out of Canada called Oralgem. It’s great that Oralgem offers this product but as you can see from the image below it is geared towards businesses and dental professionals. I want a solution I can use in my home.
While I was thinking about bulk dental floss dispensers, I was noticing the trend of using mason jars for just about everything. I already owned a couple of Cuppow lids. I thought — Why not combine the two? — Make a dental floss dispenser using a mason jar! All that is needed is a lid with one hole to allow the floss to come out and that little curved lip on which to cut the floss. Sounds easy right?
After many attempts to create something I finally gave up. What I imagined in my head was a super cool, minimalist, hipster, dental floss dispenser. I imagined a white ball of floss in a classic mason jar. I though it would look sculptural. Instead, what I have is a pair of scissors sticking out of a mason jar in my bathroom.
I reached out to both Cuppow and Oralgem. They were hugely supportive of the idea. Each of them even gave me free stuff to play with to see if I could engineer something myself.
This idea needs a champion, or two. Do you have an idea how to create a lid in such a way that others could duplicate it using household tools? Would you pay for bulk floss? It costs $49.00 for 437 yards of dental floss from Oralgem. I was told that we use 18 inches of floss at a time. That calculates to 1,212 pieces of floss per roll. There are four people in my house. That’s a lot of dental floss dispensers to throw out every year.
If someone made this product I would buy it. Would you?
I know that this is a tiny solution to a huge problem, but I think it can’t hurt to make people aware, and to encourage each other to change our habits.
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE – Oralgem graciously shared this post to get the word out. Also, they let me know they do offer a smaller home dispenser called Pearl. You can learn more about it here.