Plastic pollution has become a pressing problem in the last few years. Due to rapidly growing production of single-use plastic products and the lack of world’s ability to deal with them, plastic is everywhere, even in our food and water. According to reports, if we don’t wake up, in 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.
While we’re trying to reduce plastic in our everyday actions by carrying tote bags or using reusable water bottles (check out more everyday plastic free ideas), we might forget about one space in our homes that is awash with plastic: our bathrooms!
The bathroom is a kingdom of plastic. Plastic containers, unrecyclable toothpaste tubes and miles of dental floss, plastic toothbrushes, razors, face pads…the list is endless. Not to mention microbeads in your creams or foundations.
Luckily, there are a few easy steps you can take to transform your bathroom into a plastic free bathroom!
Here are 11 products that you can easily exchange for plastic free options:
1. Bamboo toothbrush
By changing our toothbrushes every 3 months (dentist recommended), we will use around 320 toothbrushes in our life. And this is pure plastic, non-recyclable plastic, which will just sit there for more than 500 years. Using a bamboo one can save a lot of non-recyclable plastic. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet, which makes it a great sustainable, biodegradable material to use instead of plastic. And nowadays bamboo toothbrushes are available literally everywhere, so just make the swap.
2. Dental floss
Conventional dental floss is waxed nylon (plastic) rolled up into a small plastic box, which often comes packaged in even more plastic. Opt for an eco-friendly floss, which is made from sustainable materials, like bamboo fibre or silk, coated with natural waxes.
Did you know that toothpaste tubes are unrecyclable? A mixture of plastic and aluminium – this is what toothpaste tubes are made of, makes them impossible to recycle in most recycle centres. Plus, you can never squeeze all the paste out! Start buying toothpaste in jars or learn how to make your own, It’s not hard at all.
My number one oral care product supplier is Georganics.
4. Makeup remover pads
Cotton pads and balls are designed as single-use items, which come packaged in plastic packaging. They’re harmful for the environment and for your skin. Get reusable pads made from cotton or bamboo instead. I actually stopped using them at all.
5. Cotton buds
Plastic cotton buds are the most common litter flushed down toilets. And they’re so easily replaceable. Many supermarkets and drugstores sell buds made of 100% cotton. Just make sure that you choose organic certified cotton to avoid putting any pesticides or other toxic chemicals inside your ear. Or… stop using them all together.
6. Bar soaps
They’re not only natural and plastic free, but also super efficient. And nowadays come in all shapes and fragrances. You can buy a body bar, a shampoo bar, or even a conditioner bar. You can mix and match, choose the one that suits you best and looks the nicest in your plastic free bathroom. It might take some time to adjust, but think of all this plastic you’ll save!
If you insist on washing with cosmetics in liquid form, find a place that offers refills. If you don’t have access to such a shop, you could find a wholesaler near you or online to buy shampoos and shower gels from in bulk. They will last for months and you will surely decrease your plastic footprint.
Plenty of experts recommend against using sponges in the first place. Unless taken care of properly, they can cultivate bacteria. However, if you can’t imagine a shower without using a sponge, buy a loofah – available almost everywhere – and enjoy your plastic free baths.
9. Toilet paper
I know what you’re thinking: “isn’t toilet paper… paper?” Yes, it is, but the packaging is not. You’d be surprised though how deep the “toilet paper topic” really is: from what the paper is made of, where it’s made, how it’s packaged, and how it gets to your bathroom. If you don’t have time for all this… **** – finish this sentence accordingly, just get one that isn’t packed in plastic or isn’t packed at all, like: Greencane.
10. Period products
Did you know that tampons are one of the most found products on beaches. Apart from the “yuck” part, they also contain plastic. Whether it’s a menstrual cup or reusable period pants, there are plenty of eco-friendly options to choose from. Or, if you’re not quite ready for reusables, look for biodegradable and compostable period products.
Disposable razors may be all pretty, colourful and convenient, but they come at a cost to our planet. Opt for a reusable, metal razor which can last for years (only the razor blades need to be recycled). While the initial cost may be a little too much, it will be cheaper in the long run than its throwaway relative. For the full plastic-free shaving experience, get a shaving soap.
Nowadays, most of the products mentioned above can be found in drugstores or supermarkets, so creating your plastic free bathroom is easier than you think. Just make sure the products are truly plastic free – I saw a few bamboo toothbrushes wrapped in plastic packaging! How does it make any sense?
There’s another thing, that you should pay attention to if it’s about cosmetics and toiletries: microbeads! Discovered recently, microebeads are super small particles of plastic added to our cosmetics for different reasons. You can find them in plenty of everyday products including toothpaste, sun cream, make-up, face and hand wash and more. Many countries banned them already, but if you want to be sure that you’re not rubbing plastic into your skin, look for those beautifully sounding names on a label:
- Polyethylene (PE),
- Polypropylene (PP),
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PET),
- Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA),
- Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE),
And don’t buy anything that contains even one of them!
Those are just a few ideas that you can implement in order to have a plastic free bathroom. Even if it sounds a bit too much for now, you can take it step by step and start with the small things, like buying a bamboo toothbrush or getting a bar soap. Small things also count!
If you need more ideas on how to make your everyday life more plastic free, check out my previous blog post.
Together we can change the world!
If you implemented any other plastic reducing solutions in your life, please share! Hit me up on Instagram.
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