The number of plastic products in the bathroom often outweighs the amount of plastic found in other rooms around our house. For this reason, it also creates the most waste. As reported in WalesOnline, recyclable bathroom waste accounts for up to 40% of total landfill waste in the UK, with toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, wet wipes and disposable razors being the biggest culprits.
There is no simple method to eliminate all of this bathroom waste, but there are steps you can take to cut down. We've compiled our top tips and favourite sustainable swaps to help you move towards a more plastic-free bathroom and overall eco-friendly home.
To go plastic-free in the bathroom,
- Make sure you recycle.
- Use bar soap instead of plastic.
- Switch to shampoo and conditioner bars.
- Change to plastic-free dental care.
- Invest in plastic-free sanitary products.
- Ditch disposable razors.
- Clean with plastic-free alternatives.
This one might seem obvious but it bears repeating: recycle — and recycle well! You'll be surprised by how many items can be recycled in the bathroom that often aren't. Just make sure to empty, rinse and squash your recycling to ensure it remains recyclable once its in your bin.
Before you recycle new items, you should check with your local recycling point what they accept. Consider taking products that can't be recycled at home to a place where they can; some recycling points will recycle plastic film and other "non-recyclables" for you.
2. Use Bar Soap
Soap is the ultimate zero-waste product as it vanishes when you're done! Invest in soap bars instead of plastic soap or shower gels to cut down on plastic waste. Not only will soap bars last longer, but our range contains cleansing clays, charcoal and essential oils, which are better for your skin.
Always have soap bars to hand with our soap subscription box. Each box contains 4 soaps that are vegan, palm free and handmade in the UK.
3. Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
For the same reason as above, make the switch to shampoo and conditioner bars! These plastic-free bars will leave your hair as clean and soft as regular shampoo, but won't strip it of its natural properties with harmful ingredients.
Just like our regular soap bars, your shampoo or conditioner bar will disappear when its done, with no plastic waste to be seen.
4. Change to Plastic-Free Dental Care
Reducing plastic doesn’t mean compromising on your dental health. Switch to low or no waste dental products — like bamboo toothbrushes, plastic-free floss, toothpaste and mouthwash tablets — to immediately reduce plastic waste in your bathroom.
5. Invest in Plastic-Free Sanitary Products
Tampons and sanitary pads come in and contain a lot of plastic. The products themselves also take an estimated 500 years to break down in landfill.
Consider making the switch to period-proof underwear, menstrual cups and reusable tampon applicators and pads to cut down on this waste. These are more eco-friendly, affordable and safer than their plastic counterparts.
6. Ditch Disposable Razors
Billions of plastic razors end up in landfills each year. Ditching disposable razors for sustainable alternatives, like a bamboo razor with plastic-free refillable blades, is a great way to cut down on plastic.
You can also switch out your foam to a plastic-free shave bar. This helps the razor glide over your skin and minimises your chances of cutting yourself.
7. Clean with Plastic-Free Alternatives
Lots of the cleaning products that we use to clean our bathrooms contain plastic, as well as toxic and harmful chemicals. Switch to more eco-friendly cleaning methods to keep your bathroom sparkling clean, without the negative impact on the environment.
For more advice on going no or low plastic, check out our 'How to Reduce Plastic Waste in the Office' and 'Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips' posts. To learn more about the plastic problem, 'Plastic Pollution Statistics & Facts' is a helpful resource.
We are Authentic House, an online plastic free shop based in Wales, helping you to create a more eco-friendly home. We support small, ethical businesses like us wherever we can, and we work closely with makers to create our own products. All the products you'll find in our shop or boxes are plastic free or minimal waste. We source recycled and easily recyclable packaging for our products, and plant a tree for every order. Find out more here.