10 Zero Waste Swaps to Help Reduce Your Plastic Waste | Part 1

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The majority of us are now aware of the devastating effects of plastic pollution. It can even be seen in the remotest places on earth.
From all the plastic ever created only 12% has been destroyed via incineration and a shocking 9% has been recycled. This means that around 79% of plastic will find its way into the world’s ecosystems. This is catastrophic and endangers all forms of life on earth.

Since the invention of mass-produced plastic in the 1950s, unfortunately, a throw-away culture has evolved. In many ways, we are addicted to single-use and disposable plastic. It’s considered normal for a single-use item to be used for less than 10 minutes before being discarded, only to remain on earth for hundreds of years.

Now, plastic litter is simply everywhere. Wildlife is suffocating on plastic waste and our oceans are suffering. There are so many different types of plastics now that even our recycling programs aren’t effective. Many countries don’t know how to dispose of their trash anymore.

Swaps to Help Reduce Your Plastic Waste - picture of plastic bottle on a beach

That’s where a zero-waste lifestyle, or conscious effort to reduce our plastic use to the best of our abilities comes in.

Now we have a flurry of eco-conscious brands with a mission to rethink the way we consume. They offer durable alternatives to wasteful products and allow us to vote with our wallets where we want change. Luckily there are now many alternatives to empower you to create a waste free routine. Swaps exist for pretty much every situation, whether it is in the kitchen, bathroom, the bedroom or even in your beauty routine.
As a consumer, one of the simplest solutions to plastic pollution is for us to reduce, reuse, refuse, recycle and repeat. That’s where I hope this blog will help.

10 Zero Waste Swaps to Help Reduce Your Plastic Waste

Zero waste swaps are alternatives to reduce the waste generated from single-use items and they come with several advantages. Not only do they help reduce the amount of waste produced, but they also save you a bunch of cash over the long run. Interestingly enough, they also often do a better job than their wasteful counterpart!

Bambaw

One company worth mentioning is Bambaw. This company has developed reusable or biodegradable alternatives to wasteful products to help tackle the source of the issue by eliminating waste creation at the consumer’s level.

By developing sustainable alternatives to single use products people are able to simply swap out what they’re using regularly but for a resuable item. Zero-waste is a lifestyle that aims to reduce the waste generated on earth. It offers the simplest solution to pollution by tackling the plastic problem at its source.
Let’s have a look at some of the items they offer…

Swaps to Help Reduce Your Plastic Waste  - Bambaw cotton buds

No. 1 – Bambaw Cotton Buds

Did you know that cotton buds are the 8th most common piece of plastic pollution found on our beaches? They cannot be recycled and far too often they find their way into nature. Here they can remain for a couple of centuries! Naturally this is a major threat to marine life, all for an item that is used for less than a minute and should be biodegradable.

Instead, opt for cotton buds made using paper, cotton and/or bamboo. Bamboo sticks are eco-friendly and use less resources than completely cotton ones and tend to be sturdier.

Swaps to Help Reduce Your Plastic Waste - bambaw reusable makeup wipes

No. 2 – Bambaw Reusable Makeup Wipes

Your everyday bleached white single use cotton pads are unfortunately an absolute disaster for the environment. Did you know that cotton is actually really hard on the planet? It’s grown using a massive amount of pesticides, fertilisers and water. Because of this, cotton should not be use as single-use item. With this in mind, these wipes use bamboo as their primary fabric with cotton being secondary.

Another downside is that cotton pads are most commonly packaged in plastic which as we know is a huge contributor to the plastic problem. Skip that altogether by purchasing eco friendly reusables 🙂

The Bambaw Reusable Make up Wipes set includes soft and scrub makeup removal pads. The scrub pads are perfect for cleaning off stubborn products and for exfoliating the skin. The soft pads are great for sensitive areas like the eyes and everyday makeup.

Once used, simply gather the used bamboo makeup remover pads in the cotton mesh bag. Then, wash them in the laundry machine at 40°C to 60°C.

Side Tip: if you’re a crafter, try sewing some up yourself with leftover organic cotton or bamboo fabric!

Swaps to Help Reduce Your Plastic Waste - bambaw safety razor

No. 3 – Bambaw Safety Razor

Traditional safety razors are a really good and effective swap for plastic-free shaving. These razors use one single blade made from stainless steel and they’re easily recyclable once they’ve blunted.
Previously safety razors were widely used before the mass production of single-use plastic razors. Yet again, plastic made it’s way in to the market and now means that billions of plastic razors and cartridges are thrown away every year. They cannot be recycled, as the metal is embedded in plastic. As a result, this means that all this plastic is burned or ends up in nature. This is a disaster for the environment. Luckily, there are better options. Enter: Bambaw Safety Razor.

The Bambaw zero-waste razor provides a close shave for both men and women. It’s great for shaving the face and the body and can be used in the shower, bath or over the sink.
The Bambaw safety razor is ideal for beginners as it is designed for easy use and utilizes a closed comb. This makes it less aggressive than an open comb. Shaving with the eco-friendly razor is different from a cartridge razor. Therefore, a complete and illustrated online user manual is included.

Each razor handle is made of a unique stem of bamboo to ensure a safe grip and one razor sharp blade to achieve the perfect shave.

friendly soap

Friendly

Another brand worth mentioning is Friendly. Friendly is a UK based and owned company with a large range of divine smelling cold pressed soaps. This method means that your soap is totally biodegradable and free from by-products too, so there’s literally no waste. Plus, their packaging is made from materials that are 100% recycled as well as recyclable. Plastic doesn’t get a look in – hurrah!!

Their ranges contain no animal products or by-products and have never been tested on animals. In fact, they’re proudly registered with Cruelty free International and The Vegan Society. The soaps are poured, cut, stamped and packed by hand in the UK helping to keep a very low carbon footprint.

Our favourites include:

No. 4 – Friendly Shampoo Bar

The tea tree and lavender shamboo bar by Friendly contains nourishing castor oil that produces a gorgeous creamy lather that conditions and cares for your hair more deeply. Lavender and tea tree essential oils do a marvellous job of promoting healthy hair growth as well as providing antibacterial properties too. This shampoo bar is a real treat to help to refresh as well as cleanse your hair.

No. 5 – Friendly Shaving Bar

Shaving foams are a thing of the past my friends. Zero waste shaving bars are here and are here to stay!
Friendly make an aromatic Orange and Lavender Shaving Bar that works wonders for shaving. It softens your beard/hair and nourishes your skin both at the same time.  It lathers really well between the hands or better still, use a bowl and brush to get a real good foam. For best results, use after a shower or bath.

Each Shaving bar is handmade with castor oil, olive oil, coconut oil, kaolin clay, soy wax, aloe vera and lavender & orange essential oils.

Check out part two here to keep learning more Zero Waste Swaps to Help Reduce Your Plastic Waste.

shelves with various kitchen items

Additional blog posts you may be interested in:

Emily Nöth

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Our planet is drowning in plastic pollution – UN environment
A whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled – National Geographic- December 20, 2018