Ditch the Bathroom Plastic and Go Green
A plastic revolution is upon us: supermarkets are stripping back their plastic-wrapped fruit and veg, zero waste shops are popping up all over the UK, governments and media influencers are using their power to promote the importance of reducing plastic waste in our oceans, and people are recycling in their homes more than ever before.
Yet there is still so much more that needs to be done. According to trade organisation Plastics Europe, the UK uses 3.7 million tonnes of plastic every year. In addition, the Environment Agency says that 2.2 million tonnes of plastic packaging waste was generated in 2014. The figures are still shockingly high, but every small change or difference we make to our lives contributes to bringing these numbers down. Just one recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt lightbulb for three hours.
Cosmetic and bathroom products are a large part of the problem as many of these are still not considered to be eco-friendly. Plastic toothbrushes are thrown in the bin, and microbeads in shower gels end up in the sea. However, there are a few simple changes that can be made to ensure your bathroom is an eco-friendly haven, and here’s a few of our favourites.
It’s time to ditch the plastic and find some alternative products for your bathroom routine.
The thought of my plastic toothbrush sitting in a landfill forever is frankly quite scary. BUT imagine if the 66.85 million people inhabiting the UK did the same thing. That’s a lot of toothbrushes.
Now, seeing as a plastic toothbrush takes up to 1,000 to decompose, there seems to be no disadvantage to trying a toothbrush that’s made of biodegradable bamboo.
There are usually two types – those with nylon bristles and those with charcoal-infused bristles. We recommend doing a search around to see which one would be best for you.
Vegan shaving brush
The plastic free shaving brush is the perfect gift for yourself or one of your fellow eco warriors. Made with an eco-friendly ash wood handle, super soft synthetic bristles (many brushes are made from animal hair) and built to last, this is the ideal accompaniment to any plastic-free razor. What’s more, the brush is so smooth you’ll want to massage your whole body with shaving cream!
When it comes to shaving, disposable razors are a large cause of the plastic waste problem. As a result, many are ditching their plastic products in favour of a metal razor that’s long-lasting and safe to use, like this rose gold beauty from Purely Eco. With many, only the razors need to be disposed of, but standard double-edge safety razor blades are completely recyclable and sustainable. And, they’ll go great with your new vegan shaving brush.
Organic face pads
We don’t want to alarm you, but wet wipes could wipe out the planet if we continue to use ones made from non-biodegradable plastic. Unless they’re made from 100 percent organic cotton, cotton face pads also contribute to the growing concern over the industry’s impact on the environment. Washable, reusable face pads are a great alternative to disposable, single use cotton pads – and a fantastic way to start your sustainable skincare regime. Please note: if you must use non eco-friendly wipes, please don’t flush them down the loo (they cause blockages and are considered plastic waste).
Who gives a crap? We do! And so do whogivesacrap.org who have created a 100 percent bamboo and recycled toilet paper.
There are a few different rolls to choose from - whether you are after some forest friendly tissues, or some nice premium toilet paper (after all, our bums deserve some nice soft tissue).
AND, half of their profits go to WaterAid to help them build toilets and improve sanitation in developing countries.
The rise of zero waste shops and the demise of single use plastics has bought about the clever idea of refillable bathroom products. Wearth London, for example, has eco-friendly options on products such as shampoo and conditioner. The customer is given a reusable metal bottle (either with a pump of screw top) that can be sent back and reused time again. Once you have finished with the product, email the company and they will send a free returns label for you to send back to them with no charge.
Tooth tabs, mouthwash and natural toothpastes are a great way to avoid buying single use plastic tubes. The range of solid toothpastes from Lush are made using essential oils and spices that do the same job as standard toothpastes. Whether you’re after minty fresh breath or glistening white teeth, there is something for everyone looking to go green.
Charcoal face wash
Charcoal has become a bit of a buzzword in the beauty industry – charcoal toothpaste, charcoal face masks, etc – but charcoal face washes are a great way to cleanse and tone the skin, and remove make-up and stains.
Most are made completely from natural ingredients and provide an ethical alternative to your daily skincare routine.
This face soap from Sister and Co. Skin Food is made using coconut oil and non-drying materials making it lather up nicely.
Continuing with the sustainable skincare theme, natural deodorants not only smell great but they are much better for your skin. Now sweating, we all do it – even the royal family – but there is a better way to combat those odours than by using harmful gases produced by sprays and deodorants. The Lush range of solid and powder deodorants are both sustainable and effective. They are made using natural ingredients aimed to work with the body’s natural flora rather than against it. And, there are no harmful chemicals or plastics involved what so ever.
Start your sustainable journey with some of these great products today.
Written by Sian Yates.