War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita: My Plastic in the Bathroom Audit

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So who's been watching War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita? It's a compelling watch and clearly highlights the problem with our addiction to plastic. 

If you haven't seen it already, make sure you catch up with it on iPlayer

I'm not sure the word is 'enjoying', but what I'm appreciating is the programme demonstrating how easily plastic slips into our every day lives, very much unnoticed. 

Last week's episode looked at Plastic in the Bathroom

Did you know that 9/10 wet wipes contain plastic? And of those that do, 84% of that wipe is actually plastic, and therefore not biodegradable?

Whilst I don't use wet wipes, in any form - facial, toilet or cleaning, and as you know, I'm a bit of a crunch Eco Girl, I thought it would still be worth doing a plastic audit of my own bathroom.

Let me share with you how I fared...

1. Plastic in the Shower

War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita: Plastic in my Shower

  1. Shampoo - at first you may not notice it, tucked behind the razor, but my shampoo is currently Chocolate Solid Shampoo for normal hair, by Lamazuna. I have made the full switch from plastic bottles. My husband occasionally uses the scalp cleanser from Aveda - he is 'follicley challenged'.  
    1. In the girls' bathroom, they are finishing up some Tea Tree shampoo by Faith in Nature, and then have Aloe Shampoo & Conditioning Bar, by Natural Vegan lined up.
  2. Conditioner - I alternate between Aveda Damage Remedy and Heavenly Organic's Seaweed just-add-water Conditioner. The conditioner in the bottle is undoubtedly easier than the powder, hence it still being around. So what I really need to find is a conditioner bar, and then that would be one bottle gone.
  3. Washing - we have fully made the switch to soap bars in our house, and so we use soap in a soap pouch to create a lather, exfoliate and store the soap.
  4. Shaving - I have yet to make the full transition to a fully metal razor. (One of the next items on my To Switch list.) However, in the razors we use (Hubby has the same), it is only the heads that we dispose of - the handles stay.

Plastic in the Shower Score: 3/6

I'm currently 50% plastic free in the shower, and hopefully pushing that score up further soon. That said, one thing that is probably slowing down my full transition is Aveda's use of recycled plastic in their bottles. They use 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) material as much as they can. When they can't use it, they are starting to combine PCR with bioplastic. You can read more about this here.

2. Plastic for Cleaning our Teeth

Plastic for our Teeth

  1. Toothbrush - As I've said before, we have an electric toothbrush, and we're going to keep it. Yes it's made of plastic, but we do the best we can not to create any more waste than we absolutely need - it's rechargeable (and we have 100% renewable energy from Ovo) and we share a handle, swapping the heads on and off. Plus - I use a bamboo toothbrush for cleaning my night guard for my teeth, and when we go away, we take the electric toothbrush and use bamboo toothbrushes for when the power runs out.
  2. Toothpaste - Currently, we are not doing well. I've tried many plastic-free toothpastes so far, but none have been quite right for me. However, I've just got in stock some fabulous Toothpaste Tablets, by EcoLiving, which have been given the thumbs up by the family. So once we've used up our current supply, that'll be some more plastic gone.

Plastic for Cleaning our Teeth Score: 2/3

66% Plastic for cleaning our teeth is not great. And we will push to do better. Using toothpaste tablets instead of toothpaste in a tube, will instantly bump us down to 33%. And after that, other than not using an electric toothbrush, I'm not sure there's any more we can remove... 

3. Plastic for my Face & Hands

Plastic for my Face

  1. Hand soap - As I've said, all the hand soap in our house are bars, so yey...!!
  2. Face wash / cleanser - when we lived in America, I found the Acure brand - no parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde, paraffin, mineral oil or animal testing allowed! So I stocked up and am working my way through the stash. But once I'm done, I'll migrate to a solid facial cleanser from Lamazuna.
  3. Moisturiser - again using Acure, in a plastic container. Sadly, no recycled plastic containers here - maybe this is something I should look into until I can find a solid moisturiser? But I am following Mama.Eco's lead, I've just invested in a 'tube wringer' to make sure I get the very most out of any plastic tube I buy.
  4. Night Oil - now I'm over 40, all these lotions and potions get much more air time with me ;-) But this bottle is glass - yey!! I also alternate with a glass one from Heavenly Organics. So no plastic here.
  5. Face Wipe - I use a flannel to wash my face every night and a reusable cotton wipe to take any make up off
  6. Exfoliator - I'm currently using coffee grounds (seen in this glass pot), but once these are gone, I'll be switching to the Orsa Sandstone Facial Peeling Stone - but both are plastic free
  7. Deodorant - I use the Solid Deodorant, by Lamazuna. No plastic at all, only recyclable, compostable cardboard packaging. 

Plastic for my Face & Hands Score: 2/7

That's looking a bit better...!! Phew! But, it's still nearly 29%, which is nearly 1/3. Plastic in a bathroom seems to be a hard beast to beat.

4. Plastic for my Period

 Plastic for my Period

  1. Sanitary Towels - I have used Natracare ever since I can remember. Well, I can't actually remember, but probably since I was 30, probably earlier. So let's just say 10+ years. They are made from organic cotton, ecologically certified cellulose pulp, plant starch, and non-toxic glue; the wrapper is paper, and the packaging is recycled cardboard printed with vegetable-based ink. No plastic here. 
  2. Tampons - Their tampons are 100% organic cotton, with a cardboard applicator, and paper wrapper, so totally biodegradable.
  3. Panty Liners - again, they come with an organic cotton cover, are totally plastic free, have GMO free ingredients, have no perfumes or dyes, are totally chlorine free, are biodegradable & compostable. 
  4. Period Pants - to try to make my periods even more eco, I'm having a go at period pants too. Although Natracare are biodegradable and compostable, they are still single use, so first up I'm trying out these Thinx Period Pants. And so far so good. I've used them instead of panty liners with a tampon on heavier days and on their own on lighter days, and whilst I feel a bit 'naked', so far so good... No leaks. And no waste! Next stop though is getting over myself and using a Moon Cup. I really want to do this before my girls start their periods, so I can show them that Zero Waste periods are totally achievable. 

Plastic for my Period Score: 0/4!!

Yes!!! At least one area of our bathroom is fully PLASTIC FREE!

5. Plastic for my Bum 

Plastic for my bum

  1. Loo Roll - This is an area that I've been pretty good on for a good few years now. I first discovered Who Gives a Crap, through a friend while we were living in the US, and we've continued to use them here in the UK. Their toilet roll is made with 100% recycled paper, uses no inks, dyes or scents, they donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets to those in need. And they deliver to your door. And they are totally plastic free! What more could I want? 

Plastic for my Bum Score: 0/1!!

Another great win for our bathroom! 

So whilst we still have a lot of areas that we can improve on, overall our plastic score for our bathroom is: 7/21, 33%... so not bad and I reckon we could probably get down to 25% without too much extra work or change.

How does your bathroom fare? What changes have you made? What extra do you plan to make in the future?

This exercise was definitely a good thing for me to do for our household. It high-lighted our wins and where we can improve further.

I hope this was useful for you too.

As ever, with love from our family to yours, 

Elena x 


Elena Cimelli | The Contented Company | Eco & Zero Waste


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