Natural plastic-free soap bars from @tautanz
Kjaer Weis organic refillable makeup by @taylorblair1
Compostable coffee capsules from @halo_coffee_co
10 Plastic-Free Swaps For Your Most Used Items
Aside from the seemingly obvious culprits, plastic makes its way into our lives in so many ways that we may have previously overlooked. Whilst we at REV are always looking to reduce our plastic usage no matter the month, to round up Plastic Free July we took special note of our most used items and products that have the potential to be swapped for plastic free alternatives. Here are our top 10 swaps, we hope you find them useful!
1. Water Bottles
This one may seem obvious, but we at REV are continuously horrified at the amount of discarded plastic drinks bottles we see littering our environment everyday.
By 2050 it is estimated that there will be more plastic by weight in the ocean than fish. A huge problem is the lack of waste management of the discarded plastic waste which ultimately ends up in landfills and eventually our oceans [source: Ocean Bottle]. With the sale of every one of their bottles, Ocean Bottle fund the collection of 11.4kg of plastic, equivalent to 1000 plastic bottles and invest in people-powered waste management.
2. Washing Up
Conventional cleaning tools like sponges and washing up brushes are made of 100% synthetic, plastic materials that when discarded will pollute landfills and oceans for thousands of years. There are lots of plastic-free, biodegradable alternatives that clean just as well so you can completely rid plastic from your sink area!
Biodegradable coconut fibre scrubs
Every year over a billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away worldwide, ending up in landfill, in the sea or washed up on a beach [source: Truthbrush]. The Truthbrush is a wonderful alternative – beautiful and luxurious as well as biodegradable. The rounded ergonomic handle is crafted from sustainable, organic bamboo which is naturally anti bacterial.
If you prefer an electric toothbrush, Georganics offer an eco alternative alongside their Zero To Landfill scheme which allows you to send back any Georganics products and components that cannot be composted or recycled at home.
4. Grocery Bags
Plastic bags, which are used on a daily basis can take up to 1,000 years to fully break down in landfills. Whilst a lot of stores offer ‘bags for life’, these are often made of plastic materials and aren’t necessarily that durable.
AT REV we are huge lovers of Turtle Bags and are always recommending them! Not only are they made from organic cotton but their string bags are incredibly strong and stretchy and can hold up to 40kg! They also fold up really small in your bag.
5. Home Cleaning
As well as choosing home cleaning products that are packaged sustainably, we also believe it is important to ensure that the product itself is non-toxic and as natural as possible, to protect both our health and the health of the planet. Chemicals found in conventional cleaning products can irritate or cause sensitive skin problems like eczema and even respiratory problems like asthma [Source: Tincture London].
A lot of cleaning products come packaged in plastic, and so it is amazing to see lots of companies offering non-toxic AND refillable options. Here our some of our favourite eco home cleaning labels:
Of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic that has been produced in the last six decades, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Of that, only 9% has been recycled.
It has been reported that 60% of millennials think that bar soap is gross…but making the switch to bar soap from plastic packaged shower gels is one of the most simple and effective ways to reduce plastic in your bathroom. Not just for hands and body, we have a wonderful selection of natural bar soaps for face and hair too!
If you do prefer to refill, here are some of our favourite refill stores in London:
Fin and Earth – Dalston
Bulk Market – Hackney
Gather – Peckham
BYO – Tooting
Zéro – Wimbledon
Find your nearest Ecover refill point here.
7. Period Products
Conventional period products contain lots of unnecessary plastic. According to National Geographic in 2018, 5.8 billion tampons were purchased in the USA alone. Between the applicator, the individually wrapped tampon or pad, and the box that holds it all – that is too much plastic. In lots of tampons, there are even plastic within the absorbent part to help hold the cotton together.
Thanks to companies like Grace and Green, we can have zero waste periods that are totally plastic-free, chemical-free, and 100% organic. Better for us and better for the planet!
Unfortunately, most cosmetic products are still packaged in plastic and contribute to the tonnes of plastic waste that enter landfill and our beautiful oceans every minute. It has been reported that the beauty industry creates 120 billion units of plastic every year.
A pioneer in the beauty industry for both sustainability and innovation, Kjaer Weis offer an eco solution with their luxurious packaging that is designed to last and be refilled, not discarded. The label also ensures that not only are all their ingredients certified natural, organic and cruelty-free, but that they also always reach the standards of luxury beauty.
9. Coffee Capsules
Despite many being made from recyclable material, 80% of conventional coffee capsules are not re-captured and end up polluting landfills and oceans. Combine this with the statistic that in 2018 60 billion coffee capsules were produced, and we are looking a lot of unnecessary plastic waste [source: Halo].
Luckily, Halo offer a sustainable alternative with their fully compostable coffee capsules which can degrade in as little as 28 days in a home compost. A favourite in the REV office, we can assure you their coffee is delicious!
10. Coffee Cups
In our podcast episode with Will Pearson from Ocean Bottle, he tells us that most seemingly paper coffee cups are actually made with a plastic inner lining. Therefore, we always recommend carrying a reusable coffee cup – even if your coffee shop has compostable alternatives, any way to reduce waste is always best!
Our reusable cup of choice, Huskee Cups are created using waste husk left over from coffee production and come in a range of sizes to suit your coffee preference!