girl washing hair with shampoo bar in a plastic free bathroom

Plastic free bathroom ideas to keep you looking and smelling fantastic

If you’re aiming to reduce your plastic consumption, a plastic free bathroom is a great place to start. It may look and feel impossible at first, so here are some easy swap ideas to transform you into a plastic free delight. 

The first thing you may wish to do is a mini bathroom audit. If you’re not familiar with the concept, you can read about how to conduct a plastic audit here. For each plastic free bathroom swap, we will outline the problem and solution. 

Open up your bathroom cupboard, and take a look inside. What single use plastic products do you see? Also, what more sustainable products could you use instead? Here are some ideas: 

Plastic free bathroom swaps

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Plastic free toothbrushes 

Billions of plastic toothbrushes go to landfill or end up in waterways each year. Furthermore, nearly every single plastic toothbrush made since the 1930s is still out there in the world somewhere.

For this reason, swapping to an eco toothbrush is a significant step in plastic reduction that can do great good for you and the environment.

Discover more about plastic free toothbrushes here.

Plastic free toothpaste

Toothpaste tubes are a blend of plastics and aluminium, making them non recyclable. With most plastic ending up in our oceans and taking around 450 years to break down, it’s so important to switch to plastic free toothpaste. 

Plastic free toothpaste comes in a variety of options. You can now get tooth tablets in refillable pots, pastes or 100% aluminium packaged and recyclable toothpaste tubes.

Read more about plastic free toothpaste here. 

Shampoo and conditioner bars for a plastic free bathroom

Estimates suggest that around 552 million shampoo bottles end up in landfills each year from the United States alone. It takes decades for a single plastic bottle to degrade, and it sheds microplastics, which damage the ecosystem and may hurt wildlife.

Ditch the packaging and switch to a plastic free shampoo and conditioner bar. These bars work just as well as the bottled kind you’re familiar with. Instead of pumping or squeezing the product out of the container, you directly access the product in bar form. 

Read more about how to use a shampoo bar here.

Bar soap

Liquid soaps require five times more energy than bar soaps for raw material production – plus, nearly twenty times more energy for packaging production. This means that their carbon footprint is also higher. This is not even accounting for the amount of plastic that they add to our ever growing plastic problem.

Bar soap is a fantastic alternative. However, it’s important to ensure you have a great soap dish that will drain properly.

If you can’t do without liquid soap, you can still have a single use plastic free bathroom, just opt for refilling your current bottle at a bulk store. 

Read more about the pro’s of bar soap here. 

Bamboo cotton swabs or pads

Plastic swabs account for 1-6% of ocean pollution. An unimaginable 1.5 million disposable swabs are produced every single day! These single use products may seem inconsequential, but their impact adds up.  

Choose 100% cotton and bamboo or paper swabs. They are biodegradable and, once disposed of, will break down naturally. Watch out for cheeky “eco” swabs with plastic packaging!  

Discover more about cotton swabs here.

Reusable Razor

According to Statista, 159.79 million Americans used disposable razor blades and shavers in 2019, with this number projected to increase to 161.88 million in 2023. Can you begin to imagine what the figures look like including the rest of the world!

Double-edged safety razors are a great swap. They have been around for decades and were always used until the invention of the modern-day safety razor. This sustainable swap will save you money in the long run.

Read more about how to use a reusable razor here.


Plastic free period products

 The Guardian states that an estimated 700,000 panty liners, 2.5m tampons and 1.4m sanitary towels are flushed down the toilet every day in the UK alone.

In our modern world, a plastic free period is possible, cheaper and easy. Many people say that they prefer plastic free period products to conventional ones, environmental reasons aside.

Read more about how to have a plastic free period here.

These are just a few plastic free bathroom swaps that don’t reduce on quality and effectiveness. There are tons more! What else can you think of?

Mia Hadrill
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