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7 Product Swaps for Plastic Free living
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7 Product Swaps for Plastic Free living

Protecting our planet from excess plastic: sounds simple enough, right? 

But the truth is that it’s not quite that straightforward. Part of the problem is that not all of us know what steps we can take to help cut down on single-use plastics. For most of us, sustainability equates to recycling our used plastics and packaging. However, there are many more actions we can take to help cut down on our collective plastic footprint. 

Thankfully, there are various strategies and product swaps that result in a much more sustainable lifestyle. While it would be unfair to ask you to go 100% plastic-free, you’d be surprised at the simple steps you can take to dramatically cut down your plastic use.

Reducing your plastic use for Earth Day

We already provide a solution to eliminating your period waste (11,000 disposable period products in a lifetime, no less!). To help you do even more, we want to extend your knowledge by sharing other plastic-free product swaps to help you complete the challenge.

The 22nd of April is Earth Day. It’s the perfect time to join together to cut down on plastic use and focus on more planet-friendly actions. 

So where should you start? The bathroom of course! Whilst 90% of packaging is recycled in our kitchens, only 50% is being recycled in the bathroom. As a result, recyclable bathroom waste accounts for 30-40% of total landfill waste in the UK. But it’s not just the waste itself that’s problematic. Most plastics are created using fossil fuels like crude oil, as opposed to renewable sources — not to mention the emissions created during the production process. It’s true that some plastic products can be recycled, but this process also causes emissions. As for the plastics that can’t be recycled, most end up in oceans where they pose a danger to local wildlife.

Bring on the plastic-free period!

If half the population menstruates for around 40 years in their lifetime, that’s A LOT of disposable period products going into landfill (an estimated 11-17 thousand per person or 140kg) and our oceans. Did you know that around 90% of a sanitary menstrual pad is made from plastic and will take ~500 years to breakdown? This is only an estimation, as plastic has only been around for roughly half a century, and with modern landfill practices there’s a good chance all that rubbish will be preserved forever, rather than breaking down due to the lack of oxygen. Worryingly, there was more plastic produced in the last 10 years than ever before in the history of plastic!

What can you do to help?

It’s difficult to break a habit — especially when they’re products you’ve used for years — but living sustainably is a journey that only gets easier with time. Try some of the following product swaps as an easy way to drastically reduce the amount of plastic in your life.


 Disposable period products

What made you want to switch to a menstrual cup? Was it the convenience (it was for me), or was it the fact that you’d be saving so much money? Maybe it was the health benefits or the eco-friendly factor that pushed you to make the switch.

Whatever the reason, trash-free periods are possible and SO much better for everyone, including the planet. The options we have today have come a long way since our grandparents’ day!

Menstrual cupsreusable pads and period panties are all fantastic ways to eliminate a large amount of your usual plastic waste. Tampons and pads may be what you’re used to, but the average menstruating person will go through a staggering 286 disposables every year.

Check out our infographic ‘Menstrual Cups versus Tampons

Disposable razors

Another culprit when it comes to single-use plastics is the humble razor. Convenient and unassuming, this is yet another product that is thoughtlessly thrown away, doomed to end up in a landfill. A fantastic alternative is the Bambaw safety razor. 


Shampoo bottles are another source of bathroom plastic that can quickly add up over time. Shampoo bars are a great alternative that not only removes the need for plastic, they’re also better for you. Most solid shampoo bars don’t contain the perfumes, chemicals, and harsh detergents that are in major brands of bottled shampoo. This means you won’t expose your body to toxic ingredients that can strip your hair and possibly disrupt your hormones.


Every year, over 1 billion toothbrushes are thrown away, equating to 50 million lbs (over 22 million kg) of landfill waste (and that’s just in the US!) Just like your disposable razors, bamboo alternatives offer a more sustainable solution. With a wooden bamboo toothbrush, like the one from The Humble Co., you can recycle it when it's reached the end of its lifespan — rather than simply tossing it away.


Rather than classic aerosol sprays, natural deodorants offer a sustainable option. Made from anodised aluminium and recycled plastic, these clever devices even feature 100% plastic-free refills. Your skin will feel the benefit too, as the all-natural ingredients keep you feeling fresh without blocking your pores or disrupting your PH levels. What’s more, there are even options that are manufactured with 100% cardboard packaging. Win-win!


You may not think it, but the average baby gets through a total of 4,000 disposable nappies by the time they’re potty-trained. This will cost families an eye-watering £400 a year, as well as creating the equivalent of half a tonne of carbon dioxide in the process. Reusable nappies will therefore not only help your wallet but the environment too.

Makeup wipes

One of the worst offenders on our list, makeup wipes take years to break down in landfills and cause havoc when flushed down the toilet (don’t do this!). Reusable wipes or pads are far better for the environment; choose between biodegradable bamboo or plant-based celluloce wipes or add a little makeup remover to a reusable pad and pop it in the washing machine — it’s that easy!

Our Lunette Intimate Wipes are also a great option for this.


What else can I do to reduce plastic?

Aside from making the switch to reusable hygiene products, why should we stop there? We’ve all seen the damage that plastic is doing to our waterways – from turtles choking on plastic bags to oceans that are a mass of plastic bottles and other microplastics.

In this world of disposable fast-fashion, single use toys and entertainment, consider going to the thrift store or second-hand store first! We promise they’re not all old and smelly, there are some pretty trendy second-hand stores out there. It’s also a great place to take stuff you want to donate/get rid of instead of throwing it away.

Avoid buying fruit and vegetables that are wrapped in plastic (why does that perfectly shaped avocado have to be wrapped in plastic on a styrofoam tray?). Instead, bring your own reusable produce bags or shop at a local farmers market!

Make sure that you leave your reusable shopping bags in the boot of your car or have a small foldable one that fits in your everyday clutch/bag. You can even make your own no-sew bag from an old t-shirt  in less than 10 minutes. If you’re at the store already and want to avoid the plastic bags, ask if they have extra cardboard boxes to spare!

A good quality stainless steel water bottle will last a lifetime! It’s so easy to grab a water bottle from the shelves of the supermarket, but the effect those bottles have on the environment AND your health aren’t worth it. Single-use water bottles can leach BPA into the water over time, and who wants to drink that? Not us!

For the coffee lovers who can’t start their morning without a cup of joe, bringing your own mug or coffee cup will save millions of plastic-lined cups and lids from going to landfill and polluting our oceans. There are some wonderfully designed reusable coffee cups out there, and if you forgot your coffee cup one day, opt for no coffee or ask for no lid! Every little bit helps. Life hack: your office most likely has a kitchenette, just grab a mug from there before you head to your favorite coffee shop!

You can also save your jars and use them for pantry staples from a bulk food retailer and instead of cling film, try Beeswax Food wraps, which are fabric soaked in beeswax (also easy to make your own!). You might also want to switch to glass or metal straws instead of disposable plastic straws, or see if you can get milk in reusable glass bottles with deposit scheme instead of plastic bottles.

These swaps WILL take practice, and it IS okay if you forget sometimes. Remember that reducing your plastic intake is a journey, and some people recommend just picking the achievable things to begin with and get those into habit first before making the next swaps. For example, if you have already gotten a pack of disposable razors – don’t throw them out, but use them before switching to a reusable safety razor.

The most important thing is to use what you already have and be mindful about things that you buy!


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