Plastic pollution has become a global concern, as our planet is drowning in plastic litter and microplastics. While plastic has many valuable uses, societies have become highly dependent on single-use or disposable plastic — with severe environmental consequences.
Over 300 million tons of plastic is being produced every year, 50% of which is single-use plastic—meaning it’s used for just a few moments but remains on the planet for hundreds of years. Furthermore, according to Greenpeace, every piece of plastic ever made, still exists. This reinforces the degree of plastic pollution on our planet that we face.
However, by making small changes in our lives, we can make a huge impact! Below we have discussed some eco-friendly product swaps you’ll barely notice.
1. Swap plastic baggies for snack containers or washable baggies.
According to Natural-Environment.com, plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtles and other marine animal deaths every year when animals mistake them for food. However, an excellent way to reduce this plastic pollution is to swap plastic baggies for snack containers or washable baggies.
There are many reusable containers and baggies available now that you can find one that fits your needs. This simple swap makes a huge impact on the environment We highly recommend this reusable food silicone bag from Lekue.
Photo credits: Nisbets.com
2. Swap body wash for bar soap
Swapping body wash for bar soap is another great way to reduce plastic wastage. Due to minimal packaging of bar soap, this contributes to a lower environmental impact, with bar soap usually being packaged in minimal paper-based packaging compared with plastic disposable bottles for liquid options.
If you’re looking for an excellent bar soap, we highly recommend our ‘Rose Skin Food’ bar soap from Sintra Naturals. This all-natural bar soap is made with excellent skin-loving ingredients and is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin.
3. Swap plastic toothbrushes for bamboo toothbrushes
instead of buying your standard plastic toothbrush, only to discard it to landfill in three months when it gets a bit tired, consider swapping out for a bamboo toothbrush, an eco-friendly alternative to using plastic.
Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants, meaning there is a quickly replaceable, sustainable supply, and it’s also completely biodegradable, so it can be recycled or composted when it has reached the end of its life.
If you decide to switch to a bamboo toothbrush, we highly recommend our Bamboo toothbrush from Bamboo Barter. This bamboo toothbrush has an added bonus.. when it has reached the end of its life it can be sprouted into a beautiful Basil or mint plant!
4. Swap make-up wipes for reusable cleansing pads
Research has shown that we’re discarding an astonishing 11 billion wet wipes every year which can take up to 100 years to biodegrade.
Swapping from regular disposable wipes to a reusable cleansing pad is an excellent sustainable alternative that will help to reduce waste and save you money in the long run! We love these Super Soft Reusable Cleansing Pads from Between Me & You Skincare. These reusable cleansing pads are made from a blend of organic cotton/ bamboo and are designed to gently cleanse, tone, and care for your skin.
5. Swap regular dishwashing detergent for natural dishwashing detergent
Regular dishwashing detergent is bad for the environment due to being made with ingredients that are toxic to marine organisms and plastic packaging that pollutes our planet.
However, by switching to a sustainably made natural dishwashing detergent, this can help to reduce waste whilst protecting marine organisms. We love this zero-waste vegan dishwashing paste from Sintra Naturals. This all-natural Gentle Dish Washing Paste is Multipurpose can be used on dishes, cleans stovetops and bathrooms too.
6. Swap clingfilm for reusable beeswax wraps
It is estimated that more than 1.2 billion metres of single-use cling film are used by British households every year - enough to go around the circumference of the earth 30 times. Considering the popularity of cling film for everyday use, as cling film is a single-use plastic this is bad news for the environment leading to immense amounts of plastic pollution.
However, swapping to beeswax wraps is a fantastic food wrapping alternative, which can help to reduce single-use plastic pollution. We love these beeswax wraps from Queen bee wraps. These food wraps are waterproof, breathable and antibacterial, meaning they will keep your food fresher for longer.
7. Swap kitchen towel for a reusable alternative
As a single-use and disposable product packaged in plastic, kitchen roll is another kitchen staple that isn’t the greenest. Furthermore, paper towels are treated with heavy chemicals, bleaches, and dyes to make them sturdy enough to absorb water without falling to bits, which can further pollute our streams and soils which is toxic to land and sea creatures.
However, there are many reusable alternatives to plastic towels that will help to reduce waste and pollution. We love these reusable bamboo kitchen towels from Ethical Superstore which will replace paper towels in your home. They are strong and absorbent, can be used wet or dry and can be washed in the washing machine ready for you to use again.
Photo credits: ethicalsuperstore.com
8. Swap Aerosol deodorant for a natural stick deodorant
Traditional aerosol cans facilitate the release of VOCs into the atmosphere. This causes environmental pollution because of the interaction of VOCs with nitrogen oxides, leading to the formation of ground-level ozone (a harmful air pollutant).
Switching to a natural deodorant will help to reduce pollution caused by harmful ingredients in traditional deodorant. We love this soothing, natural deodorant balm from Scence, offering effective protection all day with active magnesium and delicate rose geranium essential oil. Furthermore, this deodorant balm is completely plastic-free and has 100% compostable packaging (it also smells amazing).
9. Switch from plastic bottles to a reusable water bottle
By switching to a reusable bottle, you can save around 150 single-use plastic bottles from use every year and benefit from a sustainable way to hydrate, time and time again. This will lower the amount of plastic bottle waste in landfills, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We love this Stainless-Steel Reusable water bottle from Kept. This elegantly crafted vacuum sealed bottle features a double-walled high-grade steel shell that will keep your beverage at the temperature you desire.
10. Switch from fast fashion to sustainable clothing
The Fast fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry, accounting for 10% of the planet's carbon emissions. However, despite the widely publicised environmental impacts, the industry continues to grow, relying on cheap mass manufacturing, frequent consumption, and short-lived garment use.
However, by switching to higher-quality sustainably made clothing that will last you a long time, this can help to reduce clothing pollution in landfills. We highly recommend the sustainable clothing brand Sustainabili-T, offering a wide range of stylish sustainable casual wear.