The bathroom can be one of the most significant sources of plastic waste in the home, containing a host of single-use disposables, unnecessary plastic bottles, and impulse buys, so much waste can be stocked in a tiny bathroom cabinet.
Many of us leave a toxic plastic footprint every time we jump into the shower, with only 50% of packaging being recycled in the bathroom. With toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, shampoo and shower gel bottles, wet wipes, and cotton pads taking up to 500 years to decompose, we create mounds of needless plastic waste.
Instead of continuing to add to this plastic waste, discover some of the most impactful zero waste bathroom swaps and start to switch over to the sustainable option!
The toothbrush as we know it was invented in the 1930s alongside the boom of plastic innovation! Each brush takes around 400 to 1,000 years to decompose; this means every single plastic toothbrush produced is still on this planet today!
It’s suggested that you replace your toothbrush every 3 months, which means the average family is throwing away 16 plastic toothbrushes per year straight into landfill. The answer? Bamboo toothbrushes.
Bamboo toothbrushes are biodegradable and compostable, available in adult, children, and baby sizes; these only take 4-6 months to decompose, a much better alternative.
Bamboo is also an incredibly sustainable crop; it is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Our toothbrushes are made from sustainably harvested FSC Certified MOSO Bamboo, which is not eaten by Pandas, meaning the harvest does not endanger the animal.
Toothpaste tubes are a big pain when it comes to plastic waste; they are often made from sheets of plastic laminate, sealed around a layer of aluminium to protect the toothpaste’s flavour; this makes them incredibly difficult to recycle correctly. You’ll probably go through a toothpaste tube in one or two months, meaning you’re sending up to 12 tubes straight to landfill each year.
You can swap out your toothpaste tube for a more environmentally friendly alternative such as natural toothpaste or tooth powder in a glass jar or tooth tabs from an easy to recycle cardboard box.
Whilst you’re replacing your toothpaste, it’s a good idea to swap out your floss. Not only is the container made of the type of plastic that will end up in landfill, taking years to biodegrade, but the actual strings of floss themselves are made of nylon.
As the floss is so small and light, it often avoids landfill and ends up being washed into the oceans. Unfortunately, floss is designed not to break, creating a nightmare situation when it wraps itself around marine life.
Shampoo & Conditioner
Conventional shampoos and conditioners are packaged in plastic bottles or soft tubes that are difficult to recycle. Not to mention that these bottles can only be used once, creating an endless cycle of plastic waste.
No matter your hair type, an incredible sustainable option exists for you; whether you choose a shampoo bar or a refillable bottled conditioner, the environment will thank you for making the swap. If you’re a fan of travelling, a 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner, soap bar will be a super space saver.
Dry shampoo can be incredibly easy to make at home too! Plus many people have found that by swapping to a natural hair care routine, their hair needs much less washing.
Hand Soap & Body Wash
Liquid soap and shower gels have become the norm in recent years, with every fragrance and colour you could imagine available on the market. And although these bottles can be recycled, their pump is often made of mixed materials and is, again, sent straight to landfill.
A bar of unpackaged bar soap is the best option for zero waste, alongside a ‘soap saver’ bag to use those little bits of soap leftover at the end of each bar. If you want your bar soap to last as long as possible, cut it in half and remember to store it in a cool, dry place.
If you’re choosing a liquid hand soap or body wash, choose one that is reusable and housed in an aluminium or glass container.
Makeup Remover Pads
Makeup remover wipes come wrapped in plastic packaging, are used once, and are then tossed into the bin, or worse, sometimes flushed down the toilet, and go, yup, you guessed it, straight to landfill. In the UK, we’re flushing away or binning an astonishing 11 billion wet wipes every year; these take up to 100 years to biodegrade.
Kind to your skin and great for the environment, reusable cotton pads are the perfect addition to your everyday beauty regime. They're soft but durable and can be used with your choice of cleanser/toner or simply wet with warm water.
Figures vary, but billions of disposable plastic razors and cartridges are thrown away each year. Unfortunately, they are not recyclable due to their mixed materials, so they sit in a landfill, pollute our earth, or disrupt our waterways, taking around 1,000 years to decompose.
The answer? Going back to the old ways and picking up a traditional safety razor! Unlike their plastic counterparts, stainless steel safety razors are incredibly easy to recycle. Just remove the razor, wipe off the residue, and place it into the metal recycling alongside your food cans.
Safety razors are much more affordable long-term, when compared to a single-use razor, as you only have to replace the blade, which costs pennies.
Creating a zero waste bathroom is a straightforward progress, with so many of these eco swaps readily available on the market. But do remember, don’t go and chuck out all your plastic products for a zero-waste bathroom; being environmentally conscious is about using up what you already have and introducing these swaps one step at a time.
Wild & Stone’s mission is to create stylish, easy to adopt and usable alternatives to common plastic products around the home. We source all our products sustainably, from raw material to final delivery. Shop our wide range today.