Practical tips for a plastic free bathroom

Practical tips for a plastic free bathroom
© Adobe Stock / marrakeshh

You can find all kinds of plastics in normal bathrooms: packages, hygiene products, or micro plastics in cosmetic. Though, there are some easy steps to avoid synthetic materials in your bathroom – thus, contributing to environmental protection. Any piece of plastic we avoid is not going to waste the oceans. Here, you can find some practical tips for less plastics use.


Buy loose goods

Some products might not contain any synthetic materials, but they still are often wrapped in plastic. However, there are alternatives: various products are available in so called “unpackaged shops,” which are present in many larger cities. There, you can bottle liquids and jug loose products in jars you bring along. Moreover, you find more or less anything you need for your bathroom – toilet paper, soaps, cleaning detergents, and washing agents for instance. Even shaving foam and shampoo can be bought as soap bars and thus avoid many plastic bottles. Our tip: collect your soap remains in a little soap bag and use it as body scrub while showering.


Green substitute for plastics

Wherever you go you’ll find plastic. That is why it is challenging sometimes to find something else but synthetic packaging. If you take a closer look, you can find glass jars and buy them as an eco-friendly alternative. Compared to synthetic materials, glass does not require delectable resources or plasticizers in its production. Often, cosmetics are sold in glass bottles or glass jars, which are available in organic supermarkets in a wide range. Why don’t you try out body oils instead of body lotion, as they are commonly stored in glass bottles. Do you miss a plastic free alternative? Why don’t you contact the manufacturers, and ask for other packaging materials? If we are demanding for a difference, there might be a greater offer in the near future.


Essenzen im Badehaus im Hotel Lamm © Hotel Lamm Mitteltal
It also looks so much nicer without plastic: like the essences for spa treatments in the traditional bathing house at Hotel Lamm in the Black Forest © Hotel Lamm Mitteltal


Well hidden: micro plastics

Unfortunately, synthetic materials are also well hidden in the packaging of products. This is called micro plastics. Body scrub contains micro plastics in form of small beads, however there are also liquid and jelly-like forms of it utilized as fillers or film building substance. The liquid forms are too small to be filtered by sewage treatment plants and, in this way, reach the oceans. Micro plastics can be found in lotions, hairspray, and toothpaste, but is also included in cleaning detergents. As there are many types of micro plastics, it is difficult to recognize which products contain micro plastic. Meanwhile, there are useful apps helping to detect those products.

The utilization of micro plastics is forbidden for natural cosmetics and natural cleaning detergents. However, you should check if those products are certified and show the right label. When washing synthetic fibers, micro plastics are washed out as tiny fibers as well. That is why your towels, bathmats, and cleaning rags should be manufactured of natural fibers that are biodegradable. Specifically bathmats are usually made from synthetic micro fibers. Many drugstores offer plant-based and biodegradable rags and sponges.


Fair fashion © Lynn Anders
Natural fibers instead of synthetics: otherwise microplastic gets into the oceans through the washing machine © Lynn Anders


Re-using is always better

To avoid plastic consumption in the long run, it is always best to use products, which are re-usable. Anything re-usable avoids plastic trash. Shavers are a common example for re-usable items in the bathroom. Nonetheless, even wasting the blades can occur plastic free: there are full-metal safety razors, and only the metal blades need to be exchanged. There are some other ideas for re-usable items, which you might not have thought of yet: washable cotton pads, washable panty liners, and the menstrual cup. Just keep your eyes open for plastic free alternatives, and you might be surprised to what extent you can avoid trash.

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