The bathroom is a great place to start when looking to reduce your plastic usage for Plastic Free July, there is a huge range of sustainable bathroom accessories available, including from us at UpCircle Beauty.
What’s rubbish in your bathroom?
In the UK we’ve made some improvements with recycling over the last decade – 9 out of 10 of us are recycling our kitchen waste. That doesn’t mean we’re recycling anywhere else in the house: 4 out of 10 of us don’t recycle bathroom products. Adding up to gigantic 30,000 tonnes of recyclable bathroom waste going to landfill every year. It’s a huge problem! That’s before we even think about what’s getting flushed down the loo.
Who hasn’t heard of the monster ‘fatbergs’ clogging up the UK’s sewers & rivers?
They might be called ‘fatbergs’ but they’re made up of a shocking 93% baby wipes! Making the right choices in the bathroom, like reusable wipes over disposable ones is a really easy way to cut down on your plastic usage & your waste in general!
Creating a low waste bathroom cabinet
The best way to start is to look at what you already have: there is no point throwing away usable products & no sustainable company will tell you to do that. Especially not during a cost-of-living squeeze, it would be far more wasteful to get rid of what you already have, even if it is packaged in plastic.
But once you’ve finished what you’ve got, consider investing in a longer lasting & more sustainable alternative.
Here are some of our tips & tricks for keeping your bathroom low waste:
1. Lotions and potions
Hands up if you’ve ever felt guilty for buying a plastic water bottle when you forgot your reusable one? Us definitely! But have you thought about how much disposable plastic makes up the shampoo, conditioner, skincare, toothpaste (the list goes on!) in your bathroom? Many of which aren’t recyclable or don’t get recycled as they’re so hard to clean?
So here is our first sustainable tip: soap. Solid soap bars are an easy, sustainable swap for a plastic shower gel or face wash bottle - and they’re often a great low-cost option! Why not one of the UpCircle cleansing bars – Fennel + Cardamom , Chocolate & Charcoal Chai or Cinnamon + Ginger are 100% natural & help fight waste in the food & drinks industries. Dreamy!
Already made the swap to a solid soap bar?
Why not look to your skincare or makeup next. Consider choosing skincare without plastic packaging, like our award-winning Moisturiser. But also look further into the brand, the plastic around your product isn’t the only plastic in the chain, what of the packing materials? UpCircle is a certified Plastic Negative brand, meaning we fund the removal of twice as much ocean-bound plastic than we use in our entire supply chain, and all of our packaging is 100% recyclable.
Look for brands with similar ideals who show you they care about their own plastic usage, and not just telling you as a consumer what to do with yours. Take Beauty Kubes – who would have thought you could have a plastic-free shampoo, let alone one made from powder!
So obviously we want you to recycle more (we’re the company that pioneered upcycled skincare after all), but it’s truly better if we bought less, and wasted less. That’s right, we’re telling you to spend less money, and buy less things. Madness! Sustainable tip number 2: where possible, go for reusable over single use or disposable.
Reusable make-up pads or cloths
Instead of reaching for a single use cotton pad packaged in plastic, choose a reusable make-up pad or muslin cloth. Our reusable makeup pads are made from sustainably sourced hemp & cotton, are triple layer & come with a mesh bag to wash them inside. If you prefer a face wipe to a cotton round, why not try a Muslin Cloth. For an extra feel-good moment, the UpCircle Muslin Cloths are handwoven at a female cooperative in Kerala, India, helping to support fair trade and women’s wellbeing.
Reusable plastic-free razor
Most razors, even those that don’t look it on first glance, are made with plastic as it’s used in the replaceable blade mount. If you want to go plastic-free, or make sure what you dispose is recycled, try a Safety Razor. The aluminium blade is recyclable kerbside in most places, but make sure to dispose of it safely & correctly. The razor itself is plastic-free, and reusable. It’s also unisex, great for both face & body, and gets you a closer shave than less sustainable alternatives. We did the maths; it could save you up to £163 a year if you make the switch from a disposable razor!
Period cup or pants
Anyone who menstruates will know how much waste goes alongside their period. It’s still a shock to find out how much of the products we put on & inside ourselves are made up of plastic. There are plenty of sustainable alternatives available, from period cups to period pants. We love &Sisters Nudie cup – helping you save 2,000 disposable period products over its 10 year life span! Not ready for a period cup? You can still make more sustainable choices, like an eco-friendly applicator instead of a non-recyclable plastic one.
Biodegradable can be a bit of a misnomer, but if you’re stuck between a rock & a hard place, and you trust the brand who says it, some zero waste bathroom swaps really do just mean choosing a biodegradable option. “Flushable” but not actually flushable wipes – we’re definitely not looking at you! Sustainable Tip 3: say goodbye to the plastic cotton bud.
There is a really no need for a plastic cotton bud, especially when there are so many bamboo or reusable alternatives available. They either end up in landfill or the ocean – neither sound good to us! Instead look for a Bamboo Cotton Bud – biodegradable (and they really do biodegrade over a short time), plastic-free & sustainably sourced. That doesn’t mean you should flush them; instead compost them at home or put them in general waste knowing they will safely biodegrade.
4. There’s always room for pampering
Wow, have you worked up a sweat sorting through your bathroom options! Don’t forget to schedule in time to pamper yourself so you can relax into your new sustainable routines. Having a low waste bathroom cabinet doesn’t mean missing out on your favourite products, it’s just about making considered choices. Sustainable Tip 4: set the mood with an eco-friendly candle.
Treat yourself! You deserve it. Making sustainable choices might be easy, but positive reinforcement works – reward yourself for the steps you’ve taken! Have a beautifully scented candle ready in your cabinet for you to bask in the glow of your ethical bathroom. Why not try the UpCircle duo – Chai Latte & Espresso Martini. You can still be indulgent, but you’ll be using sustainably sourced soy wax & diverting waste from landfill. All that with one candle, wow you do deserve a rest & relax!
5. Love your low waste bathroom
It’s easy to feel guilt about the choices we do & don’t make – especially if reaching for your favourite product that you know isn’t sustainably packaged. Our final sustainable Tip 5: be kind to yourself & love the changes you make. If you swap half the plastic products in your bathroom & not the rest, you’re still using half the plastic you were before – and that’s fantastic! Sit back & relax into some well-deserved guilt-free pamper time.
There’s also no point in having 20 eco-friendly products in your bathroom if you don’t ever use them! If you don’t like a product, give it away to a friend or family member & try something different.
Did we miss your favourite sustainable bathroom swap?
UpCircle Beauty is the UK’s #1 upcycled beauty brand, making sustainable skincare from ingredients that would usually go to waste. They’ve rescued over 400 tonnes of coffee grounds alone!
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