According to the Environmental Protection Agency, plastic makes up over 30 percent of the U.S. total waste with over 34.5 TONS of plastic waste going to landfills. If you’re thinking…..”But I recycle!”, get ready to get a little depressed or severely anxious. Only 9% of our plastic makes it to their second life of getting recycled….don’t even get us started on the plastic that makes it into the oceans and its sea life digestive tracks. While we can write and petition to our local and national governments, these products would not exist if consumers weren’t using them. We are creating a demand for plastic.
Plastic packaging has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. While it can seem challenging to change everything all at once, working on areas of your home one room at a time can greatly reduce your plastic footprint. Here are some ways to reduce the plastic in your bathroom.
#1. Ditch the Plastic Bags in the Garbage
Hopefully, you are avoiding plastic bags in the grocery store but that may leave a shortage of those plastic bags in the bathroom. One thing to consider is whether you need a garbage bag at all. When your garbage is full, just dump it into your kitchen bin. If it’s dirty you can always give it a quick rinse. For anyone who just can’t fathom putting sanitary products in the garbage without a liner, use an old bag for those weeks and skip it the other weeks.
#2. Use Concentrate to Scrub
Plastic spray bottles full of cleaning products fill up our landfills with their chemical-laden insides while most of the bottle was filled with water. Purchasing cleaning supplies made from concentrate help decrease the amount of plastic being dumped as a result of your cleaning fix. We love this Complete Cleaning Concentrate Kit from Grove Collaborative which features glass/silicone bottles, microfibers, and a concentrate set to reduce your plastic imprint.
#3. Plastic-Free Toilet Scrub
Before you go throw your current plastic toilet brush away…please don’t. Keep it until it dies or until the plastic-eating microorganisms that scientists are trying to grow, turn into reality. However, if you are in need of an upgrade, this plastic-free wooden toilet brush can help clean your toilet and some of the plastic shame we are all sharing.
#4. Get a Bidet
We are all a little scarred from the shelter-in-place orders and the hoarding of toilet paper. The idea of running out of TP is stressful. While we’re not suggesting to skip toilet paper altogether, a bidet could be a more suitable alternative to freshening up. No, we’re not suggesting a bathroom remodel. There are attachments for your toilet you can get to upgrade your bathroom routine.
#5. Plastic-free toilet paper
Plastic packaging is often unnecessary when there are suitable other means to keep consumers well protected. By purchasing toilet paper that is free of plastic packaging, you’re decreasing the amount that likely never even gets recycled. We like purchasing in bulk and getting it paper wrapped from either Amazon or if you have a little higher budget and want to help support making sure people have access to proper sanitation, try Who Give a Crap?
#6. Shampoo Bars
Shampoo Bars are excellent choices to reduce plastic waste because they don’t require any special storage needs for liquid. We really love the brand Auromere which goes hand in hand with yoga due to its basis in Ayurveda. They smell great and have no plastic packaging.
While we get that some people may not be ready to take the step of rubbing a bar into their hair, you can try the EarthSuds sulfate-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free and vegan shampoo and conditioner tablets.
#7. Hand Soap Bars or Concentrates
Buying new plastic pump bottles every time you run out of hand soap adds to countless waste each year when there are are two easy solutions to easily reduce or eliminate your plastic waste. Using bar soap is the more friendly option. However, if that doesn’t work for you, using concentrates in reusable bottles can be a more friendly alternative that the traditional one time use options.
#8. Bamboo Toothbrushes
While this isn’t 100 percent plastic-free, the main part of these Terra Futura Bamboo toothbrushes are made from environmentally sustainable bamboo and they reduce plastic use with all packaging made from recycled materials and is biodegradable and compostable.
#9. Plastic-free Toothpaste
While toothpaste bottles are one of the surprisingly easier plastics to recycle, they often do not get recycled due to the residue left on the inside of the tube. Bummer. However, there are plastic-free options. We love this toothpaste from Georganics for their different flavors, mineral-rich toothpaste, and packaging or these charcoal toothpaste tabs from Hello.
#10. Plastic-free Mouthwash
Instead of adding to the 300,000 tons of plastic not being properly disposed of each year, ditch the plastic bottles that are mainly filled up with water from your mouthwash. Try mouthwash tablets instead. Packaged in glass bottles, this alternative takes up a lot less space in your medicine cabinet with these mouthwash tablets from Georganics. They have multiple flavors available.
Sure, floss has small packaging but if we can make as many small changes as we can, we can decrease demand for plastic. Activated charcoal and mouth cleanliness go hand in hand. This black activated charcoal floss is stored in a tin container.
Plastic is becoming a problem that we can no longer avoid. By making personal changes, we can help send the message to large companies that our environment and health matters and want better packaging. Are there any plastic-free or reduced plastic methods you’ve started using in your bathroom. Would love to hear about it in the comments section.
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