The bathroom is often an area of the house that is heaving with plastic. From toothpaste tubes, dental floss, shampoo bottles - the list goes on. Knowing where to even start can be a bit daunting. I have compiled a list of 5 simple easy swaps for your bathroom that will reduce your reliance on plastic significantly.
1. Plastic Free Cotton Buds
Beach surveys by the Marine Conservation Society found that plastic cotton buds were one of the top 10 polluting plastics found washed up on our beaches. Unfortunately, as they are so small plastic cotton buds can make their way through sewage systems and end up in the sea. I’m sure you have seen the picture of the seahorse clinging on to a plastic cotton bud? Like almost all plastics, these cotton bud sticks will not biodegrade and will last for many of years before breaking down into microplastics causing further harm to our marine life.
Luckily there’s a biodegradable alternative. Our plastic free cotton buds by Save Some Green are made from sustainable bamboo and soft cotton, making them 100% biodegradable. After usage you can simply add them to your compost bin and relax in knowledge that you've prevented another piece of pointless plastic pollution ending up in our oceans. They also come in 100% plastic free packaging! Plus, at £2.50 for a pack of 200 they’re pretty good for your wallet too. A very simple swap that makes a huge difference!
There are paper alternatives in some high street shops but these quite often come in plastic packaging, defeating the products intended purpose.
2. Solid Soap
We all wash our hands multiple times a day (hopefully) and many hand washes come in plastic packaging. Take into account daily use over many years and that adds up to a lot of plastic. A Swiss study found that the carbon footprint of liquid soap is 25% larger per-wash than soap bars! Switching to solid soap will result in a huge plastic reduction for your household.
All of the soap on Turtley Eco is 100% vegan, palm oil free and have no artificial colourings, scents or preservatives. Soap bars are long lasting and cost effective when allowed to drain properly, our soaps from Handmade Haven Soaps have lasted for up to 3 months at a time with daily use. Bamboo racks will help your soaps to last as long as possible, for more information on soap bar care see my handy soap bar top tips blog post here.
These factors combined make for a great saving not only for the plant but for your wallet too!
3. Bamboo Toothbrushes
The average person throws away approximately 300 toothbrushes over their life time. Dentist recommend a new brush every 3 months, which equals about 264 million toothbrush a year going to landfill in the UK alone, a huge number! Plastic toothbrushes can take over 500 years to break down and even never fully biodegrade.
Why switch to bamboo? Bamboo is the world's fastest growing grass and can grow up to 91 cm per day which makes it completely sustainable. Bamboo requires much less water than other trees and grasses. It also has the added bonus of being naturally anti -fungal, anti- microbial and anti-bacterial. PLUS it absorbs a huge amount of C02. At the end of life your bamboo toothbrush handles can be composted. The bristles will need to be removed to be recycled. Our Eco Bru toothbrushes come in packs of 4 for £10.99 so they are no more expensive than their plastic counterparts that end up in landfill.
4. Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
It is estimated that around one million plastic bottles are purchased around the world every single minute. This number is projected to jump another 20% by the year 2021. This results in a staggering 20,000 bottles being bought every second of the day – imagine the number of plastic bottles used over a lifetime. Shampoo and conditioner bottles fall into this number. There are a couple of options for reducing your reliance on bottles of hair products.
Use solid shampoo and conditioner bars or refill your bottles if you are lucky enough to have a local zero waste shop. Our range of shampoo and conditioner bars made by The Natural Spa are all vegan, 100% plastic free, SLS free and cruelty free!
Bamboo hair brushes and refillable dry shampoo in an aluminium bottle are also included in our plastic free hair care range. Check out our previous blog post for further information and tips on switching to shampoo and conditioner bars.
Toothpaste tubes are mostly made out of LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene). As they are a combination of plastics and extremely hard to clean out, they aren’t usually collected by recycling. Meaning they are heading for landfill. Making the swap to tooth tabs further reduces the plastic in your bathroom - you can get refills too! They come in an aluminium tin and refills come in paper bags. They are very simple and easy to use, simply pop one in and chew until smooth then brush your teeth as normal. Additionally, our toothtabs contain fluoride which is essential to help prevent tooth decay.
Well there it is - 5 simple swaps to hugely reduce your bathroom plastic. I hope these are helpful!
Let me know if you have further questions or any blog requests.