The war on plastic is officially open and people are slowly but surely opening their eyes on the enormous burden that single-use products are for our planet.
2018 has definitely been the year of the – at least theoretical – ban on plastic. Thanks to TV programs like ‘Blue Planet’ and numerous awareness campaigns led by organisations like Greenpeace, a big part of the population has started to pay attention to the problems that come with non-reusable products.
Researches from Eurostat say that in 2015, 166.3 kg of packaging waste was generated per inhabitant in the EU while the latest estimates for England indicate that waste generation was around 31.9 million tonnes in 2015 and 33.1 million tonnes in 2016.
And one place where we generate an incredible amount of waste everyday is our bathrooms. Even though it’s now incredibly easy to transform our hygiene and beauty routine to a more sustainable one, the Ocean Conservancy collected 27,938 used tampons and applicators on beaches around the world in a single day.
If you don’t know where to start, here is Stylist.co.uk’s guide to make your bathroom more eco-friendly in 2019.
Switch to a bamboo toothbrush and an eco-friendly toothpaste
Did you know that a normal toothbrush takes up to a thousand years to decompose? With every person using an average of 300 in their lifetime, this makes brushing our teeth a natural disaster.
To stop contributing to the problem, just swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one that is compostable. If you want to go the extra mile to save the planet, think about changing your toothpaste for one that comes in a metal tube or a glass jar. The ocean thanks you.
Ditch the cotton pads and buds
One-use cotton pads and buds are an environmental nightmare. Women (and men) use multiple every day creating waste that could easily be avoided.
To remove your makeup, think about more eco-conscious solutions like a konjac sponge, a cloth or reusable bamboo or cotton pads. They are nicer on the planet and on your skin. It’s a win-win situation.
Use refillable products
If you can’t give up your beauty routine, think about choosing products that have less impact on the environment. The best solution is going for brands that offer refillable bottles, glass containers or use recyclable materials.
The beauty industry is increasingly more aware of the impact that it has on the planet and a lot of great brands are making an effort to be more eco-conscious – it’s also a great excuse to try out some new products!
Change your menstrual routine
You don’t want to be responsible for the enormous amount of used tampons found of beaches around the world every day, do you? In 2018, tampons are out, menstrual cups are in.
The ones who’ve tried it swear that using a menstrual cup changed their life, but if you are not ready for the big step, there are many other solutions to avoid producing waste while on your period. From eco-friendly tampons to leak-proof panties, you just have to find what fits your needs.
Choose eco-friendly materials
When shopping for beauty and hygiene products, keeping the materials they are made of in mind is very important.
Plastic hides everywhere in our bathroom but luckily the majority of our beauty accessories now come in sustainable materials. Swap your plastic brush for a wooden one and make sure your beauty blender is made of sustainable foam. Look at the label, that’s all it takes.
Go for sustainable brands
When it comes to really making a difference, putting our money where our mouth is is vital.
So many brands are now making an effort to be more eco-friendly that we have no more excuses. Cruelty-free, organic and recyclable: a few brands showed us a change is possible, we now expect every other one to follow their lead.
Ban the wipes
If you are trying to make your beauty routine more eco-friendly, wipes are a definite no-no. The Marine Conservation Society reports that wet wipes have become the fastest growing cause of pollution on our beaches - even worse than tampons.
Instead of wipes, try to use reusable options like a cotton cloth or compostable wipes. Simple changes can have big consequences.