One of the biggest threats to Planet Earth is plastic waste. Single use plastics are being produced and discarded in record quantities, leaving multiple consequences for humans, wildlife and the environment. Not only do they remain in landfill indefinitely but they also end up in the sea, cluttering up natural beauty spots and endangering lives.
This, of course, will not be news to many as the media continues to focus on the detrimental impact of our need for quick, on the go, solutions easily provided by single use plastics. There have been huge drives to reduce the use of plastic straws, single use drinks cups and, most successfully, the tax on plastic shopping bags. However, there are so many small and significant changes you can make in your own home to combat plastic pollution, particularly in the bathroom.
Here are just a few items you use almost daily and the simple alternatives you could employ to reduce your plastic consumption.
Perhaps most obvious when looking around your bathroom is the number of plastic bottles; the definition of single use plastic, once they are empty (and maybe even before), they will be put straight in the bin. Maybe you are extra conscientious in buying recyclable bottles and taking the time to rinse and sort your discarded containers even so, there are easy and innovative ways to ensure you use less plastic in the first place.
Alternative 1 - refill stations
Some shops and brands are now offering 'zero-packaging' alternatives or for liquid products a refill option, where you simply take your empty bottles back to the store and stock up on your toiletries without any need for waste. While this is still a fairly new concept, there are a growing number of companies offering this service, check out the options in your area. Even if there's nothing in your town or city, Splosh.com offer a similar postal subscription service in which you only buy the bottles once and the refills are posted out to you periodically, in minimal packaging which they then recycle when you return them - so you can save the planet without even leaving your sofa!
Alternative 2 - bar products
All grandmas would argue that nothing beats a good old-fashioned bar of soap to keep you clean and fresh. Bars of soap have been sold for hundreds of years but have been far overtaken by shower gels and liquid products, in heavy and increasingly elaborate plastic packaging. Using bars in minimal (and often paper) packaging is far friendlier for the planet. You'd be forgiven for thinking that means giving up the varied sweet scents and colourful options found in the gel products, but you'd be wrong. Soap bars come in all sorts of colours and scents, as well as offering different benefits such as exfoliation, moisturisation and detoxification. It's not just soap! You can also buy shampoo and conditioner, massage oils, face wash, deodorant and make up, all in bar or stick form. Lush in particular, have a wide range of amazing cosmetics without the guilt of unnecessary plastic packaging. So giving up the plastic, doesn't mean having to give up on quality toiletries.
Baby wipes and face wipes, particularly when naively being flushed down the toilet, cause damage through blockages, either in your home or in the sewage works, and often end up on beaches or in the sea whether they can hurt wildlife. While they may be a quick and easy option, they are not sustainable for planet Earth.
Alternative - reusable pads and cloths
As an alternative, you can use (and reuse again and again) fabric pads and cloths. Used with make up remover or micellar water, they are just as quick and effective as face wipes.
Many parents say that baby wipes are something they couldn't live without; however, there are easy ways to make reusable alternatives just as useful and much more eco-friendly.
Cheeky wipes stock a range of reusable cloth items and kits to make them easy and quick to use.