Plastic Pollution

Reduce Household Plastic Use

(Single Use) Plastic...Not Fantastic

We promised we would guide you towards a more plastic-free lifestyle by showing you where in your household you can reduce or eliminate your plastic use.

Now, there’s an ideal length that a blog should be so that it’s long enough to be useful and informative but not so long that you fall asleep before you get to the end…..and you’d be surprised at just how many everyday items contain single-use plastic that we could go on for a while (teabags, who knew eh?!) so we’ve rounded up the worst culprits so you don’t get too bored (don’t even get us started on food packaging…that’s a whole other blog post!) We’ve even broken it down by room to make it as easy as possible for you to reduce your plastic waste…. thank us later 😉


The Problem:
An obvious place to start maybe…everyone knows that single use plastic straws are one of the worst offenders, but did you know that more than 1.2 billion metres (745,000 miles!) of cling film is used every year by Brits – that’s enough to wrap the world around its circumference a staggering 30 times! It’s not reusable either as you can’t clean it and it loses its cling after one or two uses.

The Solution: Switch to these vegan wax wraps – they’re 100% natural, reusable and when they do come to the end of their life they can be composted!

The Problem: Ok, so you know there are many manufacturers out there that produce more eco-friendly washing up liquid that won’t harm aquatic life – but the fact is most of these still come in plastic bottles. When 90% of our recycling isn’t actually recycled, the best thing to do is ditch the plastic altogether!

The Solution: You could try this organic washing up soap bar (available in lemon or unscented) or if you prefer a traditional liquid, try our new washing up liquid which comes in a recyclable aluminium bottle – much more planet-friendly!

The Problem: In a similar vein to the above, laundry detergent not only often comes packaged in plastic bottles but many of them contain animal bi-products!

The Solution: We are quite taken by these Tru Earth Laundry Strips! They’re soluble strips that you simply chuck into your machine with your washing – they contain no nasty chemicals or plastic and they come in a small and easy to store cardboard envelope so you’re eliminating both micro-plastics and single use plastics from your laundry routine.

The Problem: As well as being non-recyclable, the lightweight nature of polythene bags means they’re a likely candidate for being blown out of landfill and potentially ending up in the ocean where they wreak havoc on wildlife.

The Solution: A popular product here at Squeeky HQ are these Cotton Produce Bags! You have your reusable bags for the rest of your shopping so why not say no to plastic for your whole shop and use these to bag up your fruit and veg? 

Cotton Produce Bags


The Problem: Dentists advice is to switch your toothbrush every two-three months (yeah, we forget too!) but assuming you do stick to this, that innocent looking implement in your bathroom is responsible for 600 million kilograms of plastic waste every year. They’re not recyclable due to their size; they get stuck easily in recycling machinery.

The Solution: Switch to a bamboo toothbrush and make your teeth cleaning routine planet friendly! While you’re at it…ditch those toothpaste tubes too and try something different like these toothtabs! Aside from being nasty and plastic, traditional toothpaste contains a large volume of water – so you’re paying for extra shipping and the planet is paying for extra transport emissions!

The Problem: We’ve touched on the fact that many household products come in plastic bottles – globally we consume more than one million bottles per minute and in the UK alone we use on average 216 hair care bottles per household per year.

The Solution: There’s no longer a need to buy shampoo in plastic bottles, there are many fabulous hair care products now available in soap bar form! These come in a few lovely flavours and you can also shower and shave with them!

The Problem: Another shedder of micro-plastics is that innocently named ‘shower lily’ – the poofy thing you squeeze your soap onto to make it really lather up? It’s not just the plastics with this one – they’re also the perfect breeding ground for bacteria so unless you buy a new one regularly you’re probably not as clean as you think you are! 

The Solution: If you don’t have the time, inclination (or the green fingers!) required to grow your own loofah (yep, that’s a thing!) why not ditch that plastic puff and treat yourself to one of these gorgeous ramie bath puffs instead? It’s 100% compostable once it reaches the end of its life, and it can be machine washed to keep it bacteria-free.

The Problem: Who else sometimes uses wet wipes as part of their beauty routine (don’t be shy, you can admit it!) Those harmless looking wipes that you assume are no more damaging than tissues are actually a disaster waiting to happen if not disposed of correctly. They’re made of polyester and polypropylene (fancy words for plastic!) so they don’t degrade like tissues. 48% of us in the UK admit to flushing them down the toilet and this, among other things, leads to the build-up of delightfully-named ‘fatbergs’ which stop our sewers from working as effectively as they should and costing us millions in clear up operations every year. (If you’re as intrigued as we were to see what these ‘bergs’ look like you can read more here! Just don’t click this link if you’ve recently eaten….

The Solution: Make the switch to these organic, washable makeup pads  instead – they come in a handy little bag to keep them all together in your washing machine and can be used time and time again. 

Rest of Home

You can say no to plastic in other areas of your home too – in the garden, switch from plastic pegs that become brittle in the sun to these gorgeous stainless-steel ones. 

Micro-fibres are a big contributor to the plastic problem and they can be found throughout the home – these coconut cloths are a great alternative to traditional cleaning cloths. All of the scrubbing power, none of the plastic. 

There’s even no reason for your four-legged friends to miss out – now, even your pets can be in on the planet-saving action! From compostable poop bags to bamboo food bowls, reduce their eco pawprint with these goodies!

We hope that’s helped to give you some ideas on how you can make your home a plastic-free haven. We could go on, but we know it can be overwhelming to know where to start – as we always say, saving the planet doesn’t need a few people doing zero-waste perfectly, it needs millions of people doing it imperfectly.

zero waste quote on chalkboard


Plastic – prevention is better than cure

A revolution when it was first invented, plastic was sold as a cheap solution to using up natural resources – now,  plastic waste is destroying the very nature it was designed to protect.
What’s the issue?
The strength and durability of plastic is now working against us; every single piece of plastic ever made is still in existence, taking anywhere from 20 to 500 years or more to decompose, and thanks to today’s throwaway culture, 40% of plastic produced is single use. This means that that straw that you use for half an hour, or that plastic carrier bag you use for five minutes, is going to be around a lot longer than you are. And an estimated 8 million tonnes of this plastic ends up in the ocean.
But why does this matter?
It’s then inevitably ingested by marine life; according to, ‘up to 9 out of 10 seabirds, 1 in 3 sea turtles and more than half of whale and dolphin species have ingested plastic.’ If they’re not ingesting it – they’re getting tangled in it – it’s estimated by the Worldwide Fund For Nature that 100,000 marine creatures die as a result of plastic pollution each year.


On land it’s a similar story, with animals such as cows, deer, raccoon, land birds and even elephants found to have died as a result of plastic blockages in their stomachs or from suffocation. Plastic can also adversley affect human health too – it breaks down into tiny particles called microplastics which contaminate our soil and enter our waterways. A study by The University of Newcastle estimates that we may be consuming as much as 5 grams per week each of microplastics – that’s the weight of a credit card!
But wait, I recycle my plastic – is this not working
In a nutshell, no. Of the 8.3 billion tonnes that have been produced, only about 9% has actually been recycled and 12% incinerated; the other 79% is either in landfill or in the environment.
What else is being done?
Companies across the globe are coming up with alternative uses for our plastic waste.
In Kawasaki, Japan, technology companies have put their heads together to try and solve the area’s plastic pollution problems. This resulted in the world’s first ‘Hydrogen Hotel’ being opened in 2018. 195 tonnes of waste plastics are recycled per day, turned into hydrogen (we’re simplifying a complex process here!) which in turn is converted to heat and power to provide 30% of the hotel’s energy needs.  They even use waste from the hotel itself such as toothbrushes and haircombs to convert to hydrogen – a process which produces no CO2 pollution, further bolstering the initiative’s environmental credentials.
This could be implemented in other projects and other locations across the world; with it becoming more difficult for countries to export their plastic waste (and quite rightly so) countries will need to find solutions to the increasing plastic problem.
Developing countries are among the most affected by plastic pollution – they want and need products such as food, medical supplies and other items that come with plastic packaging, but they don’t have the technology available to dispose of the waste which means that it is either buried or burned, both of which have environmental implications of their own. 
In Indonesia, the University of North Sumatra has developed a plastic and sawdust composite, which locks plastic into a stable form and stops it leaching into soil or blowing away – some of the hazards of landfill. Like in Kawasaki, using plastic waste to create these ‘safe sinks’, as they are known, could be a local solution to a local problem. Further testing is needed to determine whether it is safe enough – flammability could be an issue for example, and it is potentially still susceptible to termites, but these plastic and natural material composites could be used as a sustainable building product for constructing new homes, fencing, a replacement for plastic decking etc – the possibilities are endless. 
What’s the end game?
So, whilst there are some great initiatives around the globe to come up with methods of reusing our plastic in a way that causes no further harm to the environment, the fact of the matter is that the only real way to end this problem is to stop using plastic altogether. More needs to be done to lobby against the giant corporations that produce this plastic; we’ve all been brainwashed into thinking that the plastic problem is down to the consumer but we’re just buying what’s readily available and convenient!
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all do our bit though; one of my favourite quotes is ‘zero waste doesn’t need a few people doing it perfectly, it needs millions of people doing it imperfectly’…instead of feeling like you won’t make a difference, every time you make a plastic-free choice, imagine that a million others are doing the same.


You’re probably already familiar with our brilliant range of organic, vegan and plastic-free cleaning products, but stay tuned for our next blog which will help you do a  ‘plastic audit’ on your home!

Small Changes = Big Impact.