One of the easiest ways to reduce plastic waste is to avoid buying plastic products in the first place. Little do we know that a lot of our household waste comes from one particular part of the house- our bathroom. Bathroom necessities create household plastic waste that mostly end up in the landfill. While 90% of packaging from the kitchen can be recycled, only 50% of our bathroom waste is recycled (some with good reason). Many bathroom necessities take decades to decompose. For example: Wet Wipes=100 years, Plastic toothbrush=400 years, Shampoo bottle=450 years.
Living with less plastic begins at the purchasing phase. The less plastic we purchase, the less we waste. Here are 3 bathroom necessities that you can easily swap to reduce plastic waste (with minimal effort).
- Use a Bamboo Toothbrush instead of a disposable plastic one. The American Dental Association recommends replacing your disposable toothbrush every 3 months for hygiene purposes. That means an average American will throw away 300 toothbrushes in a lifetime.
- Use a Shampoo Bar instead of liquid ones packaged in plastic bottles. A single shampoo bar can last as long as 3 regular bottles of shampoo and they can be completely packaged plastic-free.
- If you use a loofah, use the one that comes from plants. Loofahs need to be replaced every 3 weeks to stay clean and safe to use as a scrub. A plant-based loofah works just as well as a plastic one and they decompose naturally after you dispose of it. These loofah scrubs are from a mature type of gourd vegetable that you can grow and make from your own garden. This saves you money too.
These 3 things are bathroom staples that you continuously buy. To stay hygienic, you also need to replace them from every 3 weeks (for loofahs) to 3 months (for toothbrushes).
If there are the only three things that you can do to help reduce your household plastic waste, simply deciding to buy more compostable alternatives to bathroom necessities will already make a difference.