Did you know that your bathroom is a major source of single-use plastic in your home? Studies show, up to 64% of single-use plastic comes from bathrooms. Making your bathroom plastic-free is a great way to reduce your environmental impact and contribute to a more sustainable future.
What’s the problem with single-use plastics?
First let’s look at why we should make our bathroom plastic-free.
Single-use plastics are a major source of the world’s pollution. According to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme, single-use plastics account for around 50% of all plastic waste generated globally. What’s more the Plastic Pollution Coalition estimates that the average U.S. household bathroom generates 20-30 pounds of plastic waste a year. And in the United States, only 5-6% of plastic waste is recycled.
Here are some of the reasons plastic waste is harmful:
- They take hundreds of years to degrade. Most single-use plastics are not biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to degrade, which means they can persist in the environment for a very long time. As they degrade, they release methane, a greenhouse gas that is more potent than carbon dioxide.
- They harm wildlife. When single-use plastics are not disposed of properly, they can end up in waterways and oceans where they can harm marine animals and birds. These animals can become entangled in plastic debris or mistake it for food, which can lead to injury or death.
- They contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Single-use plastics are typically made from fossil fuels, and their production and disposal contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
- They pollute the environment. Single-use plastics are a major contributor to litter and pollution, which can harm ecosystems and damage natural habitats.
- They are made from harmful chemicals. When not disposed of properly, these chemicals can leach into the environment and water supply. If incinerated, they release harmful toxins into the air.
- They are unnecessary: Many single-use plastics, such as straws, utensils, and shopping bags, can be easily replaced with more sustainable alternatives that are reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
How to Make Your Bathroom Plastic-free
Now that we’ve put the problem in context, let’s focus on what you can do about it. Making some simple changes to your personal care routine will help you make your bathroom plastic-free:
Use soap bars. Instead of using liquid soap in plastic bottles, switch to soap bars. You can find soap bars - like &Better’s Body Scrub Bar or Face Cleansing Bar - packaged in paper or cardboard.
Replace plastic toothbrushes. Replace your plastic toothbrush with a bamboo toothbrush. Bamboo is a sustainable and biodegradable material.
Use shampoo and conditioner bars. Switch to shampoo and conditioner bars that are packaged in paper or cardboard. They are a great alternative to plastic bottles. Plus shampoo and conditioner bars from &Better are also sustainably made. They’re handcrafted in a cold-process that uses less energy and preserves the ingredient’s benefits.
Ditch disposable razors. Disposable razors are a major source of plastic waste. Switch to a safety razor or a reusable electric razor.
Choose plastic-free packaging. When choosing skincare and beauty products, look for brands that use plastic-free packaging or are packaged in glass, metal or paper. All of &Better’s amazing, all-natural personal care products are plastic-free.
Use natural cleaning products. Choose natural cleaning products that come in plastic-free packaging or make your own cleaning products using natural ingredients.
Compost your bathroom waste. If you have a compost bin, you can compost your used cotton swabs, dental floss, and other bathroom waste. This will help you reduce the amount of waste that goes to the landfill. You can compost &Better’s soap, shampoo, and conditioner bar packaging as well!
- Donate unwanted toiletries. If you have any unused toiletries, donate them to a local homeless shelter or women's shelter. This will help others who may not be able to afford these items.
By following these simple tips, you can make your bathroom plastic free, reduce your impact on the environment and contribute to a more sustainable future. And you’ll feel better doing it.