Bathrooms generate a lot of single use plastic waste. A goal to reduce plastic waste in the bathroom is a great place to start in the overall reduction of single use plastics within the home.
Plastic waste is an overwhelming problem worldwide and is continuing to get worse as new plastic is still being manufactured. Every piece of plastic ever produced remains in the environment as it doesn’t biodegrade. It just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces known as microplastics, many of which are too small to be seen with the naked eye.
Every human being on earth has ingested or inhaled microplastics at a rate that should be deeply worrying for all of us. As virgin plastic is cheaper to make and plastic is such a versatile and intrinsic component in nearly everything these days, it is a problem that is going to be difficult if not impossible to solve.
What difference does one person make?
While it’s challenging to provide an exact figure on how much plastic waste can be prevented, every eco-friendly choice contributes to the reduction of plastic pollution.
As an individual person, you may feel there is no use trying to do anything, as what difference can one person actually make? While it’s true that each person has little to no impact in the grand scheme of things, if everyone took action (at least those of us in the western world who have the means to do so) our actions would be multiplied by millions if not billions of people. This would definitely make a huge difference in how much plastic waste ends up in landfill and the oceans. By taking action and talking to people within your own circle of influence, change can happen!
You really only fail if you don’t try.
Check out some other posts to find out more about plastic waste in the ocean and more information about the growing plastic problem. There are also other posts on plastic and recycling that you may find helpful.
Plastic waste in the bathroom is significant
The amount of plastic waste you can prevent by using eco-friendly bathroom products depends on various factors. Your consumption habits, the specific products you choose, and how many plastic products you replace all matter. Making the switch to eco-friendly options can have a positive impact and significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste from your bathroom.
It’s also essential to consider the life cycle of products, including production, transportation, and disposal, when evaluating their overall environmental impact.
What can you do?
Eco-friendly bathroom products are designed to be durable. They can replace multiple single use plastics for each product, so eliminating or at least reducing the amount of single use plastics. Try reusable products such as using bar soaps, shampoo bars, and toothpaste tablets instead of their liquid counterparts in plastic bottles. This can lead to long-term reductions in plastic waste.
Eco-friendly alternatives to reduce plastic waste
Shampoo and Conditioner Bars: Switch to shampoo and conditioner bars, which eliminate the need for plastic bottles. These bars can last longer than liquid alternatives. Bar soaps usually come in minimal biodegradable packaging.
Refillable Containers: Choosing products with refillable containers can substantially cut down on packaging waste. Refill a bottle instead of purchasing a new one each time to reduce the need for additional plastic packaging. (You could use your empty plastic bottles for this rather than dispose of them into landfill.) Many companies now offer refill stations for products like shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
Bamboo Toothbrushes: Replace plastic toothbrushes with bamboo alternatives. Bamboo is a more sustainable material.
Plant Based Dental Floss: a number of brands are now available in supermarkets and eco-friendly stores. As the floss tends to be thicker than its nylon alternative, if your teeth are very close together, this option may not work for you.
Toothpaste Tablets: Consider using toothpaste tablets or powder instead of traditional toothpaste in plastic tubes. (These also use less water to manufacture than tube toothpaste).
Reusable Razors: Use a safety razor with replaceable blades instead of disposable razors. These can last for a long time and produce less waste.
Reusable Menstrual Products: Consider using reusable menstrual products. Try menstrual cups, cloth pads or reusable menstrual underwear instead of disposable tampons and pads.
Reusable Cotton Pads: Instead of single-use cotton pads, use reusable cotton pads or cloths for makeup removal and facial cleansing.
Choose Plastic-Free Packaging: Look for bathroom products that use minimal or plastic-free packaging. Brands are increasingly adopting eco-friendly packaging options. Support brands that use recycled materials or biodegradable options, as this contributes to reducing the environmental impact of plastic waste.
Bulk Purchases: Buying bathroom products in bulk reduces the overall packaging per unit, minimizing the amount of plastic used. This can be especially effective for items like soap, shampoo, and cleaning products.
DIY Cleaning Products: Make your own cleaning products using simple, natural ingredients. This reduces the need for plastic packaging from store-bought cleaning solutions.
Recycle Properly: Ensure that you recycle plastic items properly. Check your local recycling guidelines.
Remember that small changes can add up over time. Even incorporating a few of these practices can help to reduce plastic waste in your bathroom. To get a head start check out our Basic Bathroom Box
WWF Australia for information about reducing plastic pollution.