The bathroom is one of the biggest contributors to single-use plastic in the home. It feels like every step of our hygiene and beauty regimen is littered with plastic bottles, tubes and wrapping.
Here are some of our team's favourite plastic swaps to make the bathroom a less polluting place.
Refillable glass bottles, soap bars, bamboo toothbrushes and wooden nail brushes all make a difference
(and look good too!)
It is estimated that across the globe over 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes are used each year, with 80% of them ending up in our oceans!
A small switch from plastic toothbrushes to bamboo versions could mount up to make a big difference.
There are a lot of options available and The Independent has done a round-up of their favourites and some of the facts.
From our trials we found that bamboo toothbrushes with the painted bottoms were best as it prevented the ends absorbing water and going a bit 'icky'. Some of the team's current favourites include Truthbrush and BROU
Plastic toothpaste tubes are also adding to the mass of non-recyclable plastic waste in landfill and there are lots of great alternatives steadily becoming available. We love the great range of Toothy Tabs & Mouthwash from Lush.
BROU bamboo toothbrushes
We have waxed lyrical about soap bars, and we are not about to stop any time soon!
Solid bars of soap use less energy to produce and transport, use less or no plastic packaging and they last longer too.
Plus, you can get a whole range of options to suit your skin and fragrance preferences with lots that use completely natural ingredients. There are so many to choose from that we don't have a favourite.
Soap bar in homemade ceramic soap dish
In the shower...
In addition to replacing liquid soap and shower gel with bars you could also replace your haircare with solid shampoo and conditioner too. There are lots on the market from local producers through to sustainability-minded big companies like LUSH.
However, solid shampoo and conditioner are not for every barnet but there is a way to cut down on plastic if you need to stick with liquid forms too: buy in bulk!
This reduces the overall amount of plastic used and the impact of transportation.
Neal's Yard are one of our favourites - they use recycled plastic and do most of their products in large sizes, which you can then decant into reusable containers.
Don't forget to also switch from a plastic shower puff to a natural loofah or body brush!
Reduce plastic in the shower
Make your own!
Here are two great recipes for products that you can make yourself and really make an impact on your carbon footprint and plastic waste!
Coffee body scrub
We know coffee grounds can be recycled by adding them into your garden or compost but you can also turn them into a wonderfully scented body scrub, with no plastic micro beads in sight!
Simply mix together 1 cup of discarded coffee grounds with 1/2 cup of coconut oil and a pinch of cinnamon.
Store in a jar and rub all over your body when you are showering for super soft skin and to awaken the senses.
Recycled coffee grounds body scrub
Almond oil face wash & scrub
This amazing concoction can be used as a mask or a daily face wash, it is all natural and leaves your skin rejuvenated and soft.
Slowly mix bicarb of soda into sweet almond oil.
Add in lots to create a thick consistency for a mask or scrub (can be left on for 10 minutes).
Or keep it runny for a nice daily face wash.
Natural beauty & cosmetics
You can also learn how to make a wide range of other eco-friendly and natural products with an expert tutor - here are some workshops to browse >
If you use a plastic razor then a switch to a re-useable safety razor is kinder to the planet, your skin and your pocket.
Billions of plastic razors end up in landfill as they cannot be recycled but with a metal razor you can just replace the stainless steel blade.
Plastic-free safety razor with replaceable blades
Let's get to the bottom of it...
Sorry about the awful pun, but in all seriousness: every household gets through a lot of toilet roll and most of it uses trees and/or plastic packaging! That said, you can now find recycled and more eco-friendly toilet roll in most supermarkets, BUT it comes wrapped in single-use plastic (arghhhhhh!).
However, we have made the switch to Who Gives A Crap - this company not only makes all of their products from 100% recycled or sustainably grown bamboo but it uses no plastic in their packaging too. And, even better, they give 50% of their profits to help build toilets for those in need.
You can sign up for a free trial to check if their product is as peachy as your peach desires and then you can subscribe to buy in bulk.
Plus, check out their instagram account for great ideas on how to re-use their packaging (though of course it is completely recyclable too).
And let's not forget to replace those nasty plastic toilet brushes with something a little more pleasing to the environment and the eye, such as this from Ethical Superstore.
Who Gives a Crap environmentally friendly toilet roll
There are lots of great plastic-free swaps and environmentally-friendly changes that you can make, with more options becoming available and more accessible all the time.
One thing we have to mention: please please please stay away from wet wipes that contain plastic, they are really bad for the environment on a number of levels and there are lots of alternatives - read more about this here >
Here are a couple of instagram accounts that we would recommend following:
- Stacy Sullivan - Her Simple Living
- Simion Hawtin-Smith - he regularly shares great plastic-free ideas and innovations, plus he is also one of our tutors at Reloved Works
Plus, Friends of the Earth have lots of great resources and advice.
Simion Hawtin-Smith with nuud deoderant
If you enjoyed reading this why not take a peak at our other articles about switching from single use plastics here >