University of South Carolina Housing will no longer be providing students with free bamboo toothbrushes upon move-in. The university reportedly received many complaints, with the majority of students noting that the toothbrush was a “poorly constructed” product that broke after a few uses.
Tina Graye, a sophomore majoring in Accounting, is one of the vocal opponents of these brushes, as her toothbrush snapped while in use. “It felt like the time I got my wisdom teeth out. My mouth was in pain, and there was so much blood. It was just blood everywhere,” Graye explained. “All the while, I was choking on the splinters of my broken toothbrush.”
Graye is now warning other students of the dangers of using bamboo toothbrushes. “When a toothbrush snaps after vigorous oral scrubbing, and a splinter goes down the wrong way, you’re done. That could never happen with plastic. We should make more things out of plastic. It’s much more durable and less likely to break like the bamboo ones do,” she explained.
Standing atop a plastic stool on Greene Street, Graye began campaigning in favor of plastic last week. Other students and organizations quickly came to her side, most notably the president of the university’s chapter of Eco-Reps, Melissa Rodriguez.
“Deforestation is one of the biggest problems plaguing our planet. Why the heck would we would want more trees to get cut down? If we are ever going to save our planet, we need to make sure we aren’t harming our natural resources by chopping down trees for products that won’t even last,” Rodriguez explained.
Environmental Studies faculty have echoed Rodriguez’s sentiment. “As a consumer, it is much more eco-friendly to purchase a long-lasting, high quality, plastic product with one of my nine different plastic credit cards, which I store in my plastic wallet.”
“Guess how they make bamboo toothbrushes? They have to cut down bamboo trees! That doesn’t sound eco-friendly to me,” Professor Hailey White, an associate professor of Environmental Studies said. “I have personally removed all wooden objects from my residence. Plastic is a far more reliable material.”
A peek into White’s office revealed a plastic folding table, a lawn chair, and a bowl of plastic toothbrushes. “I’m not worried about a plastic toothbrush breaking in my mouth. I’m worried about a wooden toothbrush breaking the bank.”
At press time, White was seen chopping down trees near the Russell House Student Union, promising to replace them with longer-lasting plastic ones.