Some of the effective ways to reduce the plastic in your bathroom are removing clutter, reducing bathroom purchases, and using bar shampoo and conditioners. You can also use a biodegradable toothbrush, tooth powders, and tablets. Consider changing your disposable razor, exploring eco-friendly face wipes and plastic-free deodorant. You also try eco-friendly sanitary products and bamboo cotton buds.
Plastic is not biodegradable and is created to last for ages. Plus, some plastics can only be used once before they're thrown away or recycled.
One of the ways you can be more eco-positive and live a sustainable lifestyle is by reducing your plastic usage. There are several areas in your bathroom. But before we begin, let’s see why you should be conscious of your plastic use.
Are you aware that 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year, and only about 9% is recyclable? The remaining plastic is regarded as waste, leading to a global problem of plastic pollution.
As a result, plastic waste has accumulated for years and is now causing serious environmental issues. Research finds that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, amongst other climate change issues.
Although some governments have completely banned single-use plastic in their countries, you can make personal efforts to reduce plastic in your bathroom and help to save the environment.
Here are practical ways to reduce plastic in your bathroom.
1. Consider reducing clutter and your bathroom purchases
One of the best ways to reduce your plastic waste is through the minimalist approach. Look around your bathroom to notice things that you don’t use. For instance, you don’t need to save plastic bottles if you don't intend to reuse them.
While it’s easy to save plastic items, it’s best to be mindful and actually reuse them, instead of adding them to the pile. Also, instead of throwing away all the plastic items you have in your bathroom, you can continue using them. Then, when you’re done, you can swap them with sustainable alternatives.
For example, instead of throwing away your shampoo bottles and shower gels, first finish using your products, then you can replace them with sustainable options. It will also help you save costs and reduce expenses with your sustainable lifestyle.
2. Try bar shampoo & conditioner
You can make simple adjustments like swapping bottled shampoo and conditioners with bar alternatives to reduce the plastic in your bathroom. While your shampoo or conditioner is essential toiletry, plastic containers are a source of plastic pollution.
Many bottled hair care products contain sulfate and other chemicals which are harsh on the skin. Besides, most of their containers are typically made for single use and can’t be recycled. By implication, you develop more plastic waste when you keep replacing and throwing away the bottles.
Meanwhile, with solid shampoo bars, you can do your hair care routine without plastic waste. In any case, they tend to last longer than regular liquid products. They are also sulfate-free, which is less harsh.
3. How about a toothbrush with a bamboo or metal handle?
You can swap your plastic toothbrush for a compostable, bamboo handle toothbrush or metal handle. Although the bristles will still be plastic, you can detach the head and replace that instead. You can use the handle for years! Though there’s still some plastic left, overall, you will reduce the amount of plastic you trash yearly.
While your daily dental cleaning is important, it also adds to the massive landfills. Most regular toothbrushes are plastic and not recyclable.
If every person in the US changed their toothbrushes every 3 months, we would trash over 1 billion plastic toothbrushes annually. So, a simple item like your plastic toothbrush can add more pressure to the environment in the long run.
A bamboo or metal handle toothbrush is a sustainable way to clean your teeth, and you’ll find one in a convenience store or online shop.
4. Consider plastic-free razors
If you shave regularly, you can switch your regular shaving kit to a non-plastic alternative. Use a stainless steel razor that you can cheaply purchase from a nearby store instead. It will last longer, and it’s also recyclable.
You can also use a palm oil shaving soap that will last longer than a regular shaving soap.
Regular disposable razors typically come in plastic heavy kits, and the razor itself might contain some amounts of plastic. But this plastic is almost impossible to recycle, and it will require large amounts of money.
So you have to throw away your disposable razor after every use. Keep in mind that factories generate many carbon emissions that deplete the ozone layer when making these products.
5. Try tooth powders and tablets
You can use toothpaste pellets which you store in a small glass jar. Some brands also package their toothpaste tablets in refillable aluminum bottles. There are also vegan tooth pellets if you prefer that.
You can also purchase tooth powder with different flavor varieties like peppermint, strawberry, etc. They contain fluoride and are medically approved.
While it does seem like a drastic action, it will help you take more strides in making your bathroom plastic-free and more sustainable. Regular toothpaste tubes are extremely difficult to recycle, but they're one of the most used household products. They also contaminate other household items in recycling collections.
6. Explore sustainable face wipe options
You can consider reusable face towels as a plastic-free option. All you need to do is use face soap and wipe with your face towel. They are eco-friendly, and some brands provide extra soft towels that are gentle on your skin.
Most traditional single-use face wipes strain the environment. They can block water systems and pollute clean water. They can also enter the ocean body and cause fetal harm to aquatic animals.
While you can switch your regular face wipe for biodegradable options, not all are sustainable.
The biodegradable face wipes usually come in plastic packages, and this will add to the problem. And some others aren't completely biodegradable and have microplastics that block sewage systems. So you see that while it's a good start, it's not the best solution.
7. Have you tried eco-friendly sanitary products?
Menstrual cups are a commonly used sanitary product, and they are also very affordable. They can be used more than once with different size options for heavy or low flows. You can also try period-proof underwear or reusable tampon applicators. These products may take a while to get used to, but they’re still effective and will help you save some money.
Although regular tampons and sanitary pads are super effective, they are not sustainable. You can use a tampon or pad once, and you’ll need to replace them every month.
Also, these products are mostly plastic and can take hundreds of years to break down. While there are some biodegradable options, they also have some challenges.
Biodegradable sanitary items generally cost a lot, and some still have plastic packaging. Others are not as efficient as the regular products and can start to fall apart. However, you can consider better, plastic-free alternatives such as menstrual cups.
8. Try bamboo cotton buds
If you need to use cotton buds, you can buy an eco-friendly one made with bamboo and cardboard. Sustainable cotton buds work effectively and equally offer environmental protection. By going for this option, you get to reduce plastic use and increase recyclability.
When most people try to lessen their plastic waste, they tend to think of the bigger products alone. But since cotton buds are so small, they can pass through filters and enter the sea, where they can harm marine creatures’ internal organs.
9. Consider plastic-free toilet paper
You can purchase plastic-free toilet paper that is biodegradable, and you can compost yourself. You can also explore options like toilet paper made from recycled materials. You can also use more handkerchiefs or soft wash clothes that you can reuse to reduce your toilet paper consumption.
Tissue papers aren’t sustainable because you can’t use them more than once. The average four-person American household uses around 100 pounds of toilet paper yearly. And most of this toilet paper use is due to waste. Rather than use toilet paper, you can use alternatives to save money and also the environment.
10. Rethink your regular mouthwash product
You can replace your regular mouthwash product with brands that offer refillable mouthwash containers. You can also purchase a mouthwash with a metal container. Or, take it a step further with organic mouthwash products. They are more sustainable, and you can also make your organic mouthwash with regular household materials.
Eco-friendly mouthwash offers a viable alternative to reduce plastic in your bathroom. Using refillable mouthwash containers will cut down the amount of plastic pollution, and you won't have to worry about repetitive replacement.
You can also consider a homemade organic mouthwash option. All you’ll need is some baking soda, tea tree oil, and some pure peppermint oil.
Mix 2 ounces of water with 1⁄4 teaspoon of baking soda with a drop of peppermint oil and another drop of tea tree oil in a container.
You can use a glass bottle or a stainless bottle that you can reuse whenever you need. You’ll get the same results as your regular mouthwash with this simple recipe.
11. Explore plastic-free deodorants
You can use deodorant bars or natural deodorants made in glass pots or cardboard tubes. They’re just as effective as your regular deodorant, and they’re quite affordable.
In some countries, you can easily recycle used roll-on and deodorant containers, but this is only for some products. You will need to find out from your local authorities if you can recycle deodorant containers.