5 Ways to Reduce Plastic Use in the Washroom

Plastics have come to permeate every facet of our lives, and only now are people starting to realize the consequences of this lifestyle. With growing concern over the health of our oceans and the negative effects of micro plastics, change is needed now more than ever. While there are many areas in our lives where we can eliminate plastic use, here are just 5 ways you can reduce plastics in the washroom.

From the handle to the replaceable cartridges, to even the plastic packaging in which they come, people underestimate the impact that our grooming practices can have on our planet. Fortunately there are several alternatives available.

Electric razors are the obvious choice but will eventually have to be replaced, ultimately leading to another brick of plastic in the environment. For that extra degree of sustainability, try leaning how to use either a safety razor or straight razor. While both have similar shaving techniques, safety razors still require you to replace the metal blade every so often, while a well maintained straight razor can last a lifetime.

Switching from body wash to good ol’ bar soap can not only help you be plastic-free, but waste-free as well. It eliminates both the bottle of body wash and the loofa. It is also important to look at the packaging. Many major brands come in plastic wrapped cardboard boxes. Try to find soap bars with limited packaging, or better yet, no packing at all.

Just think, every toothbrush you have ever used since birth is still, to this day, sitting in a landfill if not swirling around in the ocean. Not to mention the clear plastic casing in which they are wrapped. One way to combat this is to switch to bamboo toothbrushes. They may not be as fancy as your typical toothbrush with cross bristle action and gum cleaning back, but they get the job done.

One thing to watch for is the bristle composition. While some brands will be fully biodegradable, others will be recyclable and require you to remove the bristles before tossing the handle in the compost.

Similar to your toothbrush, toothpaste tubes are also not recyclable and are a major source of plastic pollution. One way of getting around this is to buy toothpaste that comes in a glass jar, which has the added benefit of leaving you with a reusable container when you’re finished. Another way to eliminate those pesky tubes from your life is to make your own toothpaste. There are dozens of guides online and you can make them as fancy as you would like. If you want to stick to basics, however, all you need is coconut oil, baking soda, and some essential oils for flavour.

As any dentist will tell you, flossing is an important practice for good oral hygiene. Yet we rarely stop to think about what effects that little plastic container will have on the environment, and even worse the floss itself. Dental floss is often made of nylon, a non-biodegradable plastic polymer. A good alternative is silk floss, which is biodegradable and can be thrown in the compost. Try to find silk floss that doesn’t come in a little plastic container if possible.

The issue of plastic pollution and ocean health is a huge problem that we need to face. With some mindful consuming and willingness to learn, we can take steps towards finding a solution. Our affair with plastics needs to end, and we can do it one step at a time.

A student-run club that operates a small-scale composting service, while also promoting sustainability through proper waste management and Zero Waste lifestyle.