Take a look around your bathroom, and you’re sure to find an awful lot of plastic in the everyday products you use – from toilet paper packaging to toothbrushes, deodorant and cotton buds.
While doing Plastic Free July, we found that the hardest products to swap out by far were the beauty products and toiletries we used every day.
But there are plenty of brands and small companies that are changing that as the plastic-free movement grows. We’ve continued to incorporate these products into our routine over the past couple of months to give them a thorough testing.
Here are the best alternatives we found.
Who Gives A Crap Toilet Paper: multipacks from £24, whogivesacrap.org
This Australian company began in 2012 and donates half of its profits to charities and projects – including Sanergy who build toilets in slums of Nairobi, as currently more people in the world have a smartphone than access to toilets.
It doesn’t use any virgin trees in its product – or inks, dyes, scents – and instead the paper is made from waste paper (like textbooks).
Each roll is 3ply and still quite soft. They are individually wrapped in a thin piece of kraft paper that keeps them dry, which is the most sustainable way to package them.
It’s a sign-up delivery service too, meaning you’ll never have to awkwardly carry a multi-saving pack home again.
OHNE Tampons: from £6.80 for 8, ohne.co
OHNE tampons are organic, guaranteed by the Soil Association, and are not bleached like most tampons are free of pesticides.
The wrapper, box, shipping bags and applicator of the applicator version of the tampons are biodegradable.
While the non-applicator tampons are wrapped in a thin layer of recyclable plastic, which it needs to prevent contamination, the company are working on finding a bio-plastic.
You can order mixed boxes of tampons to suit your periods, money from each box contributes to helping educate young women in Zambia in menstrual education through School Club Zambia, and contribute to new toilet blocks being built.
Natural Deodorant Stick: £7.16, Ben-anna.com
As one of the only brands offering a plastic-free option for deodorants, this Germany-based company has designed this push-pop style cream stick and it’s a godsend.
Coming in seven scents, we prefer the original one, “Pure”. They are all made from natural ingredients like shea butter and soda, and aren’t tested on animals.
It’s a smooth application and stops any odour from occurring. Once you’ve finished, you can recycle the cardboard after washing it.
Zao Pearly Eye Shadow: £16, zaoessenceofnature.co.uk
This brand, founded by David Reccole, specialises in plastic-free makeup.
Currently, its compact bronzing powders, eye shadows, eyebrow powders, eye primers, blushes and shine-up powders are all plastic free – but some items that come in tubes or use wands still use a little plastic, but come in bamboo packaging.
The eye shadows have refillable pots – which are currently plastic, but will be switched to biodegradable cardboard envelopes later this year. They use sustainable and biodegradable bamboo outer materials that clip back together with tiny magnets.
We tested the golden sand eyeshadow that’s 100 per cent plastic-free and very easy to apply. All their products are non-toxic, natural, and cruelty-free too.
Lush Solid Shampoo: from £6.60, lush.com
Paving the way in the zero plastic toiletries market, which now offers 40 per cent of its range plastic free, Lush launched its shampoo soap bars in 1988 and has 26 different fragrances to choose from.
But our favourite is by far the seanik blue bar. After lather the product up in your hands to apply, it leaves your hair clean, shiny and soft.
If you’re worried about keeping them dry and surfaces clean, you can buy a metal tin to keep them in for £2.50 from Lush that will last years.
Paper Cotton Buds: £2.40, itsallaboutyou.co.uk
The plastic sticks that make up many cotton buds are one of the most commonly washed up things on British beaches after they’re flushed down the toilet.
Now many brands have switched to paper or bamboo alternatives thanks to the #switchthestick campaign in 2016.
These bamboo buds come in a biodegradable pack and not a plastic case, they can be composted at home, too.
Environmental Bamboo Toothbrush: £2.80, ethicalsuperstore.com
Disposable plastic toothbrushes are a huge source of plastic waste. Swap yours out for a bamboo option that’s sustainable and biodegradable.
The bristles are plastic but are made from BPA free plastic, which is non-toxic.
When you’re done with it, remove the bristles and it can be decomposed at home.
Hemp Organic Facial Rounds: £8, etsy.com
Made from hemp, these washable facial rounds replace single-use cotton pads, which are mostly not organic and come in a thin, non-recyclable packet.
These large pads are great for taking makeup off and can be put in the washing machine to clean, or just washed by hand.
They come in a pack of five and are only wrapped in a thin piece of paper that can be recycled.
Verdict: Best Plastic-Free Toiletries And Beauty Products
Who Gives A Crap toilet paper is great, as it reduces a lot of un-recyclable plastic that toilet roll usually comes in and donates money to charities that help build toilets around the world.
We also love that it’s a delivery and subscription service, too.
The plastic-free deodorant is also a top choice as it cuts out lots of plastic from your daily routine.
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