It’s a new week in July and we’re sharing even more about going plastic-free in July! Our main takeaway this month: it’s HARD to avoid plastic in beauty and cosmetic products. However, thanks to some great companies out there, it’s not impossible (and getting easier by the day). Self-care without plastic sounds daunting, but if you implement these tips you’ll see that some of the best products come in biodegradable, reusable or zero packaging. A major bonus to going plastic-free is that you’ll simplify your self-care and find natural alternatives to products your skin will love!
Plastic-Free Oral Care
This is something you might not have thought of at the start of the month (we sure didn’t), but our toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss are all either encased in plastic or are made of plastic! Opt for a bamboo brush, a tin of toothpaste and some eco-friendly floss! Check out The Humble Co., they are an ethical personal care company that was created by dentist Noel Abdayem who wanted to create products that are not only good for you, but also great for the environment. On their website, you can order bio-degradable floss and great bamboo handle toothbrushes. For toothpaste, we’re opting-out to using paste in a glass jar by Nelson Naturals. You can also try toothpaste tablets that turn into a paste when you put them in your mouth by Nelson Naturals and Bite.
Plastic-Free in the Shower
When it comes to shampoo, conditioner and body wash, you’re going to want bars rather than liquid products in plastic tubes. Stores like Whole Foods or Lush sell shampoo bars with no plastic wrappings or containers (lush will also re-use any of their black plastic containers, so make sure to bring them back when you re-stock). We also love plastic-free bars from Unwrapped Life. They even have a traveler set that comes in tin cans making it easy to pack on your next escape! Feeling creative? You can pretty easily create your own DIY plastic-free hair care products!
According to DoSomething.org, 50% of people in the US don’t recycle shampoo and conditioner bottles. That leads to a massive amount of plastic in landfills and waterways. Research suggests there could be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050 – using plastic-free shower products is one big way you can stop this from becoming a reality.
Ditching the Disposable Razor
Razor cartridges are a BIG offender in the world of disposable plastics, and aside from that, they’re incredibly expensive! According to a study by Statista, 163 million consumers in the U.S used disposable razors in 2018 – now think of how many razors each one of them used (that's a scary thought!). Razors with disposable heads were a brilliant product marketing invention, but (sorry Gillette) they’re more expensive and less effective than a simple old safety razor. Once you ditch the disposable and learn to use a safety razor you’ll be wondering why the heck you didn’t do it sooner! Make sure to store your used razor blades in a glass jar and look into your municipal laws for safe-disposal (some pharmacies will accept and recycle them).
Reusable Cotton Rounds
Gone are the days of buying disposable cotton pads in plastic sleeve packing! Make the switch to reusable rounds to remove your makeup the sustainable way and throw your used rounds in the washing machine (in a garment net bag) to be cleaned and reused.
Beauty and Cosmetics
We love our natural beauty products, but the industry creates a massive amount of waste. Zero Waste Week reported more than 120 billion units of packaging every year are created by the global cosmetics industry. Some quick research on zero-waste brands reveals that this waste is unnecessary! There are loads of great plastic-free cosmetic companies such as Elate Cosmetics and Kjaer Weis. Both companies make great products without plastic packaging. As a bonus, they offer a refill method so you can bring your empty palettes back to be refilled.
Rather than purchasing packaged perfumes try out some essential oils for your signature scent (most come in bottles that are refillable). Here’s a great article on how to DIY your own perfume.
This one is for the ladies! Disposable tampons and pads come packaged in an extraordinary amount of plastic. Alternatives such as a reusable menstrual cup (like a Diva Cup) or period-proof underwear (check out Thinx) have become hugely popular! Luna Pads has also created reusable pads that are plastic-free AND zero-waste. Transitioning from conventional single-use menstrual products can seem a bit tricky and uncomfortable at first, but it's one that makes a huge difference on our bodies and our planet.
A little bit goes a long way! Coconut oil has such incredible properties that benefit our skin, hair and body. Use Coconut oil as makeup remover, moisturizer, lip balm, as a hair mask, shaving balm, oil pulling and it even acts as a mild sunscreen (spf 4). Best of all, it comes in a glass jar :)
Facewash, Masks and Lotions
Facewash and lotions can be tricky as everyone has different skin-needs. If purchasing from your favourite brands, opt for products that are packaged in glass bottles (such as Tata Harper and Neal's Yard Remedies) and can be returned for re-use. Check out the cleansing bar by Galinee, the Bliss bar by Ethique, and many of Lush's products. Try coconut oil as a lotion alternative or a butter block by Ethique. In a need of a great face mask? Ditch the single-use mask sheets and create your own with plastic-free ingredients you already have in your kitchen! Google will help you get started with thousands of recipes in your fingertips.
We hope this post has provided you with more ideas on how to stay plastic-free. Stay tuned for next week’s article on how to be plastic-free on the go!