In our journey to a more sustainable lifestyle, the bathroom presents a promising opportunity to reduce waste and embrace eco-friendly alternatives.
By focusing on specific personal care products and their environmental impact, we can make a significant impact towards reducing our plastic footprint.
Join us on this guide as we explore plastic pollution statistics associated with the 10 most common bathroom items and introduce sustainable swaps (or SWOPS) that can kickstart your journey to a plastic-free life.
- Plastic Toothbrushes
- Disposable Razors
- Single-Use Cotton Rounds
- Plastic Bottles
- Plastic Toothpaste Tubes
- Toilet Paper
- Mentrual Products
- Plastic Shower Accessories
- Dental Floss
Remember: Zero waste should not be about perfection. Every replaced plastic item makes an impact.
One SWOP at a time.
SWOP 1: Plastic Toothbrushes
Did you know that the average person uses approximately 300 plastic toothbrushes in their lifetime?
In North America alone, this amounts to over 1 billion plastic toothbrushes discarded every year.
To reduce this waste, consider switching to a sustainable alternative like a bamboo toothbrush.
Bamboo is a renewable resource and it is biodegradable, making it an eco-friendly choice.
If you're interested in bamboo as sustainable material, read more about 5 reasons why we love bamboo.
SWOP 2: Disposable Razors
Disposable razors contribute to plastic waste and pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over 2 billion disposable razors are thrown away each year.
Around 30% of those are at risk of polluting our oceans as mismanaged plastic waste.
Instead of the throwaway option, opt for a high-quality safety razor with replaceable blades.
Safety razors are durable, long-lasting, and waste significantly less plastic (and money) compared to disposable options.
SWOP 3: Single-Use Cotton Rounds
Single-use cotton rounds are often used for makeup removal and skincare routines.
In the United States, it is estimated that over 20 million pounds of disposable wipes and cotton rounds are thrown away every single day.
Replace them with reusable facial rounds made from organic cotton or bamboo.
These are softer, clean better, and they'll save you money in the long run.
As a bonus this alternative can be easily washed and reused, reducing your environmental footprint.
SWOP 4: Plastic Bottles
Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash often come in plastic bottles that end up in landfills or oceans.
In the United States, over 552 million shampoo bottles are thrown away annually. That is enough to fill more than 1000 football fields.
Instead of opting for plastic bottles, look for shampoo and conditioner bars packaged in compostable or recyclable materials.
These bars are concentrated, long-lasting, and eliminate the need for plastic bottles (and they smell so good).
The same of course applies to body wash. There are many alternatives around either going for soap bars or liquid body wash in sustainable packaging.
SWOP 5: Plastic Toothpaste Tubes
In the United States, it is estimated that around 1 billion toothpaste tubes are thrown away every year.
Most toothpaste tubes are difficult to recycle due to their mixed materials. They take around 500 years to break down.
Instead of toothpaste packaged in plastic, you can switch to toothpaste tablets, which are travel friendly, refreshing, and waste-free.
SWOP 6: Toilet Paper
Toilet paper is a necessity in every bathroom, but it can contribute to deforestation and waste.
National geographic estimates that, approximately 27,000 trees are cut down daily to produce toilet paper.
While there are already options for reusable toilet paper, this may only be for very tough eco warriors.
As a compromise, try to look for toilet paper made from recycled materials or bamboo and in sustainable packaging.
These options are more sustainable and help conserve natural resources.
Another great option is opting for a bidet. This keeps your bum as clean as it will ever get and saves waste at the same time.
SWOP 7: Menstrual Products
Traditional menstrual products like tampons and pads generate a significant amount of waste.
It is estimated that every woman will use around 11,000 disposable menstrual products in her lifetime.
Consider switching to reusable menstrual cups or cloth pads. These alternatives are cost-effective, eco-friendly, and reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.
SWOP 8: Plastic Shower Accessories
Plastic shower accessories like loofahs and shower poufs are often discarded after a few uses.
Once on the landfill, they need hundreds of years to break down.
Luckily, there are alternatives like natural loofahs or konjac sponges.
These options are biodegradable and can be composted at the end of their life.
SWOP 9: Dental Floss
Traditionally, dental floss is made of nylon and comes in plastic packaging.
Both the fine floss and the containers are not recyclable and if everyone in the US would floss their teeth as recommended, containers would fill a football field six stories high every year.
We are happy to tell you that there is also a fantastic alternative for this bathroom item.
We offer dental floss made of waxed corn fiber. It is fully biodegradable and comes in a refillable glass container.
SWOP 10: Deodorant
Last but not least, deodorant often comes in plastic packaging and contains harmful chemicals.
In fact, the deodorant industry is responsible for more than 15 million pounds of plastic waste every year.
Instead of buying deodorant packaged in plastic, try natural deodorant in compostable packaging.
If you want to try something new, a crystal salt deodorant block could be a great option. It is a highly effective and purely natural option to tackle that odour.
Change requires commitment
By following these steps and making sustainable swaps, you can significantly reduce your plastic waste and create a zero waste bathroom.
Remember, every small change makes a big difference in protecting our planet.
Start your journey today and inspire others to join you on the path towards a more sustainable future!
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