A plastic free bathroom is relatively easy to achieve & makes for a more beautiful, clutter free space. Many plastic free products also tend to be chemical free, so are better for you. Going plastic free in our bathroom has actually saved us money. There’s a lot of ‘faux science’ and gimmicks surrounding bathroom products & often the simple products work just as well. It’s worth remembering that much of your bathroom rubbish can also be recycled. Many of us tend to just focus on our kitchens, but if everyone in the UK recycled just one bathroom cleaner bottle, enough energy could be saved to vacuum over 80,000 homes! Here’s my quick guide to a plastic de-clutter of your bathroom. (I’ve included links to places I shop at, these are not endorsements & I receive no benefit financial or otherwise from these companies).
The bad news is, your plastic toothbrush cannot be recycled and will outlive you! In fact all 260 toothbrushes you will use in your lifetime, will outlive you, by around 400 years. The good news is, there are alternatives. Bamboo toothbrushes are 100% biodegradable, sustainable & antimicrobial, which means it won’t be at risk of growing all kinds of nasty bacteria. My family switched to bamboo toothbrushes about two years ago. They can vary a lot in price. I buy ours in bulk from www.hawthornhealth.com
Most toothpaste tubes cannot be recycled. Making your own toothpaste is relatively easy to do and can save you a fortune. Find some home-made recipes here
Shampoo, conditioner, soap
This is where the majority of plastic waste is generated. There are several options available, depending on where you and your family are at.
Easy switch. Stop buying all those smaller bottles and buy one big container instead. Although not plastic free, buying shampoo or conditioner in a large 5 litre container, will significantly reduce your plastic. I buy 5 litre shampoo & conditioner and decant them into smaller bottles. I chose Suma as it contains only natural ingredients & the shampoo also serves as shower gel, liquid soap and bubble bath, meaning there are only ever two bottles in our bathroom!
Medium switch. Switch to shampoo & conditioner bars and even bars of soap! (remember those). My top tip is to get a soap dish with a drainer. Places such as www.uk.lushcom sell many bathroom products without packaging.
Ultimate zero waste switch. Make your own products or go ‘No Poo’ as it’s called. The ‘No Poo’ method is to wash your hair using a gentle alternative to shampoo such as baking soda and apple cider vinegar or even water. Commercial shampoos often strip hair of its natural oils which cause more oil to be produced, which means you wash it more often and a vicious cycle begins. There are many tips on the internet about how to do this and many people swear this is by far the best thing for your hair.
The most basic deodorant, is simply to just apply plain baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) with a few drops of added tea tree oil, under your arms. If this isn’t for you, there are many deodorants that don’t come in plastic as well as easy homemade recipes. As with any plastic wrapped shop bought deodorant, you may need to try a few different ones before finding something that suits you. For shop bought plastic free deodorants try www.earthconscious.co.uk
My husband decided to ditch the aerosol shaving foam in favour of the old fashioned brush and shaving soap option. His verdict? Can’t believe he bought all those aerosols. He shaves every day and his first pot of shaving soap is still going strong over one year later.
Female Hygiene Products
Over the last few years, tampons and sanitary pads/liners have come wrapped in more and more plastic. Most supermarkets only stock a few brands so it’s worth knowing there are lots more options available online. www.TOTM.com stock organic products that come entirely plastic free. There are also many health benefits associated with using organic sanitary products. You could also try cloth sanitary pads which are very easy & comfortable to use. Try www.cheekywipes.com for more details. Finally for an altogether waste free option, why not try a menstrual cup. Visit www.TOTM.com for more info.
Reducing plastic in the bathroom & going plastic free where possible has definitely been a great decision. I also feel much better I’m no longer wasting money on unnecessary purchases and that I’m reducing my family’s exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.