Ah, the bathroom. The more you become aware of plastic pollution the more you get a bit freaked out every time you walk in there and look at the ocean obliterating nonsense in your bathroom cabinet. Retailers in recent years have discovered more and more semi unnecessary items to palm off on you as you walk through the supermarket. Not only that, but the packaging has become increasingly pointlessly laden with single use, throw away plastic. But fear not, Bristle is coming to the rescue with the second in our current blog series: How to reduce your plastic waste room by room: The Bathroom Edition.
Ever walked into your shower and not been able to see your ankles for the number of shower gel, shampoo and conditioner bottles lining the floor? These things are a bit of an environmental catastrophe when you stop and think about it – a load of liquid transported in thick plastic bottles (few of which ever make it to the recycling) with a tonne of questionable chemicals and additives in them, all of which get flushed into the ground, sewers, and out into nature…. yum.
Thankfully, there is a solution to this. It may seem pretty basic, but with so many environmentally-friendly alternatives out there, it is simply a case of going back to basics: A good ol’ fashioned, trusty bar of soap.
There are a gazillion options out there for this, all varying in price. But, compared to the dizzying varieties of wasteful plastic shower gel bottles, it is really easy to find bar soap which isn’t packaged in plastic. If you like your soap to come with a nice dash of morals and environmental goodness, there are some great brands such as All Natural Soap Company who will keep you stocked up with all the skin-loving & ethical ingredients you could ask for.
However, if you’re on a budget – as many of us are – why not have a look for a nice old school, simple bar of soap for about 80p from your local… Trust us, you don’t need to wash your body with some foamy gunk which contains 1843 mint leaves and essence of unicorn milk to stay nice and fresh!
Bristle’s Favourite Alternative: All Natural Soap Company
“But what about shampoo?!” we here you cry, “surely I have to buy that in a plastic bottle?”. Well, actually some might argue that you could just wash your hair with water and after several months the natural oils present in your locks will keep your hair naturally clean… some would argue that this is actually a healthier way to look after your flo and fro. Some would also argue that this is rubbish.
So, for all those of you who don’t have the time or lifestyle to allow your hair to begin its self-cleaning process, option 2 is to make your own shampoo. There are some great (quite fun) recipes out there. However, this also requires effort and experimentation, which some folks aren’t too keen on, or simply don’t have time for.
If you don’t want to be as hippy as us, or you’re not willing to go through the three months of greasiness, look no further. The Wild Sage Co will sort you out with a plain and simple (and all natural) Shampoo Soap bar! Hadn’t heard that was a thing? No, neither had we. But now we know, and so do you. Check it out and stay away from those pesky plastic shampoo bottles from this day out.
Bristle’s Favourite Alternative: The Wild Sage Co
Here’s the one you knew we’d plug. It’s was inevitable, we’re the UK’s biodegradable toothbrush subscription company. But regardless of that, I’m on a roll, so a plug it must be, and plug it I shall: Your dentist recommends that you change your toothbrush every 2 – 3 months to maintain a happy soul and healthy gums, but most people brush with plastic brushes. Thats 4-5 brushes a year… potentially 400 brushes in a life time!
When you think of the 65.5 million people on our little island, all of a sudden you realise: That’s a lot of toothbrushes thrown away each year. And a s*** tonne of plastic. Every toothbrush you’ve ever used is still somewhere on the planet. They’re really hard to recycle, and pretty much useless in terms of reusability. Once its cleaned your teeth, your toilet and the cogs on your bike – that things going in the bin… and probably a landfill. Maybe the sea. Boo.
Toothbrushes being our thing, we have come up with a super easy way to make the switch to brushing with bamboo. These bad boys are 99% biodegradable so no more sticks of plastic floating about. Keep your dentist and the planet happy – sign up today and never forget to change your toothbrush again.
Bristle’s Favourite Alternative: Bristle! (duh)
This is the devil in disguise. Reckon those tubes ever really get recycled? Nope. And some companies, not all but some, (ahem-oralb-ahem-colgate-ahem) think it’s a good idea to put MICRO PLASTICS in toothpaste. This is the most ridiculous thing we’ve come across to date. Micro bead plastics do literally nothing for your dental health. If anything, they have been shown to remain under the gum line causing harm, and yet, they are present in many toothpaste brands. And do you know why they’re there? To make the toothpaste appear shiny. Yes, you heard me right: Shiny toothpaste. WTF?! All those micro plastics end up going down the sink and then BING: Food chain.
This is a tricky situation and something which we are looking to tackle ourselves (obviously). But you shouldn’t wait for us to pull our fingers out to make a better choice. Go check out some of the awesome stuff over at Lush. These guys produce alternatives to traditional toothpaste, providing mouthwash toothy tabs. Essentially, toothpaste tablets. Simply chew before brushing to lather up your gnashers. These are responsibly packaged, ethically sourced, and made from natural products – total winners. If you don’t want to make that switch just yet however, check your toothpaste ingredients, and avoid anything which looks like the word “Polythene” – also if it looks glittery, chances are it contains micro beads.
Bristle’s Favourite Alternative: Lush Toothpaste Tabs
Disposable plastic razors are a huge waste of plastic and totally naff. And they don’t even work out to be that cheap. In fact, they’re ultimately more expensive when you consider they last about 1 shave before going rusty and blunt and cut half your face/legs/armpits off. There are some super slick alternatives out there which are of top notch quality and scream “I’m class and I know what I’m doing with my life,” to anyone who walks into your bathroom. Check out The Washing and Shaving Company for an extensive range of such aforementioned products.
You have to invest initially in a nice metal handle for your blades, but that thing will probably out live you and become a family heirloom for you to pass on to your grandkids when they start chafing their whiskers. All you need to do is stock up on replacement blades. Some companies also offer a return service where you send back your blades to be recycled.
Not only can you get classy looking safety razors, but you can also go totally old school by ditching the minty shaving foam in exchange for an old school tub of shaving soap and brush. Totally classic, totally mint. And it works for the guys and the gals too. Get on board!
Bristle’s Favourite Alternative: The Washing and Shaving Company
So there you have it – just a few suggestions of how you can reduce the throwaway plastic in your bathroom. Got any other ideas? Share them with us by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a line on Facebook.