5 Easy Zero Waste Bathroom Swaps
Here are five easy eco swaps for common bathroom products in Australia which are effective and convenient, and work as well if not better than their plastic predecessors.
The easiest product swaps tend to be those that work in a similar way to what you’re used to using. For example if you like the convenience and viscosity of liquid pump hand wash, finding a refillable version will be easier to adapt to than trying to switch to bar soap. Equally, if you’re used to using plastic tooth floss, switching to a water jet flosser may take some getting used to, vs finding a plastic-free floss that works just the same as what you’re used to.
So, if you’re looking for a few easy low-friction swaps to cut down your plastic waste in the bathroom, look no further!
1. Dental Floss
Most regular string dental floss is made from synthetic wax-coated nylon, housed in a plastic shell with metal cutter. As nylon is a plastic, it won’t biodegrade in landfill. Even if it makes it from the bathroom into the recycling bin, regular dental floss can’t be processed with household recycling given how small the string is, and the complex components of the container.
This means both dental floss and its packaging tends to end up in landfill, the ocean or waterways. Worse still, the synthetic wax on floss string is commonly made with Teflon, which contains PFAs – chemicals to make it slippery. PFAs are hormone disruptors, which can cause serious health concerns like birth defects, cancers, compromised immune health, and more. Not the best thing to be rubbing through your teeth, then!
So what’s the healthy, sustainable alternative?
I’ve been using this floss for a while now and my teeth feel cleaner than when I used a plastic floss. While it doesn’t glide through teeth as much as the plastic type, this seems to be the reason it does a more thorough job. It’s cheap and available at Kmart.
2. Toilet paper
Packs of toilet paper from the supermarket come wrapped in plastic. This thin type of plastic is not recyclable. so collects in landfill or can end up in the ocean.
Who Gives a Crap is a plastic free TP that’s been around a few years. It’s great quality, comes in pretty paper wrapping, and is not packaged in plastic. It comes delivered to your door in a cardboard box. There are several similar companies offering plastic-free loo roll these days too.
3. Body Wash
If you’re set on using a foaming gel-based body wash in a pump bottle and not ready or willing to switch to bar soap, there are refillable body wash options available in Australia bottled in glass or aluminium.
Azur Pure Skincare New Wave Body Wash comes in a refillable aluminium bottle. Choose from a reusable pump lid and or aluminium screw lid. If you choose the pump, the idea is to keep it for life and buy the ‘refill’ version with aluminium lid thereon after. This body wash smells amazing, is completely natural and plant-based, and made in Australia.
4. Cotton buds
Regular cotton buds are from sticks of plastic with cotton wool stuck on the ends. These cause havoc for marine life when they end up in the ocean. They are too small to be recycled properly and don’t biodegrade.
State governments have stated to impose bans on plastic cotton buds.
Eco friendly cotton buds are thankfully now fairly widely available that are made from either paper or bamboo instead of plastic. These will break down and won’t cause a threat to marine life.
5. Face Wash and Moisturiser
If you usually use a face wash and moisturiser in a single use plastic bottle or jar, simply switch to refillable aluminium or glass! Many conventional face products, even those claiming to be natural, contain harmful chemicals like artificial fragrances.
Azur Pure Skincare’s refillable face wash and moisturiser each come with a pump version and refill version, and you can send back empty bottles freepost for re-use as part of a closed loop system.
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