February Sustainable Swap: Cocofloss Refillable Floss
Welcome back to my Sustainable Swap Series, which is a monthly series where I talk about one small change I’ve made in my daily routine to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Last month I switched out single-use cotton rounds for reusable cotton rounds. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, check it out here!
Last month I realized I was running low on dental floss and realized that ever since my dentist told me I should probably be flossing more than I should, I’ve been going through floss like there’s no tomorrow. I would say I usually go through one roll every one to two months, meaning I also throw out those small plastic containers every one to two months ugh. That’s when I realized I wanted to try to find a more sustainable option!
The U. S. alone goes through about 3 million miles of floss per year
If everyone in the U. S. flossed their teeth as recommended by the American Dental Association the discarded plastic containers could fill a football field six stories high each year
Single-use plastics make up 50 percent of the 300 million tons of plastics produced every year (which is nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population)
Plastic waste can persist in the environment for centuries and most never fully disappear
Recycling is getting more complicated and often times your recyclables are ending up in landfills, incinerators, and storage facilities to maybe eventually be recycled
Traditional floss is coated in a highly toxic substances called PFASs, a subset of perfluorocarbons (PFCs), which are also responsible for some of the most potent greenhouse gas emissions according to the EPA
I had seen an ad for Cocofloss on instagram where it advertised refillable cartridges, which sounded really intriguing. I had never really thought about this idea although it made sense to achieve my sustainability goal of reducing waste. By using only one cartridge and just buying the spools I would be able to prevent throwing out all those plastic containers. I was skeptical about paying so much for dental floss ($16 for a cartridge and two spools of floss), but realizing that it’s marketed as a luxury floss made sense.
There were so many options on their website, that at first I wasn’t sure where to start. I found the Sustainably Clean Set to be just enough to try it out and loved that it came with a little sheet to track 21 days of flossing to create a habit and a cutie sticker! I bought the set on sale for about $14, but it retails for $16 on their website. I always find it weird having any other flavor than mint for dental hygiene products. Is that just me or do you all agree? So I chose the Delicious Mint flavor for each spool and it’s a nice, mild mint flavor just like my old floss. They say each spool lasts about two months and even has this tracker on the back of the container, which is kind of fun. I found that it did end up last just under two months.
Cocofloss markets themselves as luxury dental floss that is made from 500+ textured filaments for a durable and flexible floss that will scrub teeth clean.The floss is made with safe ingredients like soothing coconut oil, naturally aromatic fruits, and vegan wax. Made in Italy, the ingredients are thoughtfully sourced to ensure high quality without toxins like parabens, SLS, and PFAS.
How It’s Going
I have really enjoyed using this dental floss.The first week I used this floss I had an allergic reaction, but later realized it was due to something else. Not the floss! The way the floss is weaved to create the unique texture makes it feel like my teeth are getting a really great clean. I’m not sure if that’s actually the case, but I’ll let you know the next time I visit the dentist haha. As far as the sustainability of the product, I’m still not sold. The containers are still made of polypropylene (aka plastic), which can be recycled but as we found out recycling is complicated and it’s best to say no to waste before it’s created. I would love to see this company create a reusable container of a more sustainable material.
Also, after poking around the FAQs I found the floss itself cannot be recycled and is not biodegradable. Hey Cocofloss, could you look to use materials that are biodegradable to make your floss? Please and thank you!
My Final Thoughts
I have enjoyed using this dental floss and I love the idea behind the Cocofloss brand! It’s also pretty cool to support a woman-owned business. I think I will continue to do some research and comparisons with other brands to determine if there is anything more sustainable. Until then, I will likely order more spools to refill my container. Also crossing my fingers Cocofloss might add more of a sustainable spin on their brand by adjusting their container materials and finding biodegradable materials for their floss!
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my February sustainable swap. Two months down ten to go - stick around to see what other sustainable swaps I make this year!
Will you be trying out Cocofloss? Have you made any other sustainable swaps lately? Let me know in the comments :)