Banishing Bathroom Bottles
Bathrooms are literally teeming with plastic bottles. Shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste, deodorant, hair products, handwash... There’s even plastic in razors, toothbrushes, makeup, wrapped around the toilet roll... Taking steps to reduce the presence of bathroom plastic can seem daunting, particularly with personal hygiene being such an important part of everyday life. It can feel like these plastics are unavoidable.
However, it’s not actually as hard as you think, and you don't necessarily need to kiss goodbye to your favourite hair products just yet either to make a meaningful impact. Let’s take a look at some of the easy ways you can reduce your plastic footprint in the bathroom, that could also save you some money in the process.
Say Goodbye to His & Hers
Gender specific products are one of the main culprits for cluttering up bathroom shelves. When considering a family, particularly with teenagers, you could quite quickly be buying several of the same product, albeit in slightly different packaging. A first step to reducing plastic in the bathroom could be to share the same shampoo and shower gels as your partner, for example. Go one step further and buy larger bottles. Even better, choose brands that offer refills. Faith In Nature sell whopping 5 litre refill jugs and there are a number of shops throughout the UK that offer refills of their products too.
Share toothpaste, hair products, even deodorant. We share a natural block of deodorant sold in paper from Lush.
The good old fashioned bar of soap is making a huge comeback. Replace hand wash, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, shaving foam, travel bottles and even deodorant, with a bar of soap or two. What an incredible reduction of unnecessary plastic packaging and hard-to-recycle pump bottles!
Natural ingredients can be antibacterial and antiseptic, so no excuses there. Research your soap ingredients to choose eco-friendly companies such as Living Naturally and Friendly Soap, using only natural ingredients. Friendly have certified credentials: free from palm oil, parabens, sulphates, triclosan, phthalates and cruelty to animals. As well as being boxed in plastic free, recycled (and recyclable) packaging, they are also registered with The Vegan Society, Cruelty Free International and have a 'Best' rating with Ethical Consumer.
Toothpaste & Mouthwash
Pump action vertical toothpaste tubes can actually be recycled, where the correct facilities exist, whereas a squeezy tube cannot. You’ll find alternative toothpastes in many zero waste and health shops which often come in small glass jars. For example Georganics have natural toothpastes, tooth powder and mouthwashes in glass containers. There are many recipes online if you fancy having a go at making your own toothpaste, or even choosing to use plain baking soda with a little water.
Pass on other Bathroom Plastics
Sanitary Products: Did you know the average disposable sanitary pad contains the equivalent amount of plastic as 4 carrier bags!! Every day the UK ‘disposes' of 1.4 million pads and 2.5 million tampons! This handy guide helps you navigate through the reusable menstrual product options.
Safety Razors: Disposable plastic razors are found along many beaches and are a prime example of unnecessary single-use plastic. The old fashioned safety razor actually gives you a closer, cleaner shave and replacement blades are almost always cheaper than the disposables you find on the high street. There are a lot of retro looking single blade options that have become popular recently, perhaps due to the growing trend in men’s grooming, but there are also great options available that serve a unisex purpose.
Dental Floss: Dental floss is often made of plastic (nylon) and comes in plastic casing. While there is some controversy over silk production, you could choose a more eco-friendly packaging like Eco-Dent’s cardboard box. Dental Lace comes in a refillable glass tube.
Make-up Pads and Wipes: Reusable fabric ones are now plentiful on the market, such as Honour Your Flow (also does sanitary products) and Cheeky Wipes. Just use them and throw them in the washing machine with your eco-friendly detergent 😀
Hairbrushes, Combs and Nail Brushes: Opt for wood, bamboo and natural bristles over hair-snagging static-making plastic.
Cotton Buds: Those pesky little plastic sticks get washed up on beaches by the thousands. Switch to paper and bamboo - so simple, so much choice in supermarkets and online now.