(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 😉
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?
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.