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This year I’m making more of an effort to cut down on single-use plastics. We’ve seen the impact plastic has on the environment and how it can kill wildlife. We’ve also seen how plastic doesn’t degrade and turns into microplastics found in fish, bugs and our own stomachs.
I’m hoping that sharing what I use personally will inspire others to take similar action. Also, you may be on a similar journey but might have missed something.
I used to use a lot of plastic products for face wash and shower creams. However, I’ve been interested in switching to soap-based products, and my wife found a lovely company call “Little Fox Soapery”. She purchased a gift set that contained face, and body washes, as well as shaving soap. They also have hair and dishes soap which I will be buying shortly.
Another thing I used to use was a plastic body scrub or pouffe. They’re pretty bad for the environment since you can’t recycle them, and are thrown straight in the bin. As an alternative, I have switched to soap pouches. They are 100% plastic-free and made from natural fibres and are therefore biodegradable.
I currently have an electric Oral B toothbrush, and I’m not sure how I can replace this just yet. I could go the bamboo manual toothbrush route, but I don’t want to throw away something I’ve had for over 5 years and is still working as that wouldn’t be beneficial at all.
Toothpaste would be a good one to replace next. I’m thinking of giving the tabs ago, and I have found a company called denttabs. I’ll purchase a month’s worth of them and see how good they are and report back.
Some other ones for me to consider would be deodorant and moisturising cream. At the minute, I’m using spray bottles with plastic tops, and the BullDog moisturiser uses >50% sugar cane as a plant-based plastic. There’s a company called Wild who offer plastic-free deodorant which I’m willing to try. As for the moisturiser, I haven’t found anything yet, but I would love to find an alternative.
Cotton pads are something I almost forgot to add. Of course, the pads themselves are plastic-free. However, they usually come in plastic wrapping, which is bad. To combat this, I have purchased some washable pads made from bamboo. So far, they have been a great alternative, and I recommend the switch.
You might forget toilet roll too because the rolls aren’t plastic, but their packaging is. I swapped to The Cheeky Panda who use sustainable bamboo and is completely plastic-free.
Currently, I am using washing up liquid that’s contained in plastic. However, I have just purchased a kit from Little Fox Soapery. This kit has a dishes bar soap, and also comes with plastic-free sponges. I have been using plastic sponges for a very long time, so we’ll see how I get on with these alternatives.
In the past, I have purchased knives which had plastic handles, and have a plastic holder. I have realised that these are bad, and I decided to switch to knives with a wooden handle. However, I have found some on Amazon that works nicely, but unfortunately, they came packaged in plastic wrapping, which was a little disappointing. I also purchased a wooden knife block which looks great together.
This experience was similar to our chopping board. I wanted to stop buying plastic chopping boards and switch to a nice wooden board. These can be purchased in many places. Another benefit to wood boards is that they last longer and are thicker.
I purchase my kitchen roll from The Cheeky Panda, and I’m pleased with how strong and sturdy it is. You can now also purchase kitchen roll packaged in a thick paper in supermarkets now, which is great news!
Most of my food comes from Gousto who are on a mission to cut down on bad plastic and switch to either plant-based or recyclable plastics by 2022. Some of their herbs and veg come in plastic bags, but they are at a minimum. Also, Gousto is great for creating minimal waste because all of the ingredients will get used every week. So even though it’s not a massive win, it’s still better than nothing. I’m also hopeful they can keep to their plastic targets by 2022.
As I’m a gym-goer, I do have protein powders. And, I’m afraid to say, all protein powder comes in plastic containers. However, I get the biggest container I can to ensure the product lasts longer, and I’m therefore not throwing out so many of them. The plastic is also in sturdy recyclable containers. I know it’s not the best solution, but it’s the only good one I’ve found so far.
This brings me to my next problem. I’m afraid to say that I use Huel for my lunches. They’re great for a calorie-controlled diet, but they aren’t great if you’re cutting down on plastic. Unfortunately, they use non-recyclable plastic, but they are constantly researching to find what’s best.
As you can see, going plastic-free isn’t as easy as chucking everything out of the window and starting again. You really have to think about the choices you make and whether it’s the right one for you. You can start cutting down, and the small wins definitely go a long way. None of us is perfect so you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself if you can’t go 100% plastic-free.
I would love to be free of plastic packaging and products one day, but I know I have a long way to go. If you have any ideas and recommendations, then I’d love to hear them. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.