Simple and impactful swaps: cutting back on plastic in the bathroom

Hi, my name is Ella, I’m an environmental activist campaigning to #EndPeriodPlastic. My award-winning campaign is leading to significant changes in the period industry and has so far resulted in three UK retailers stopping the production of their plastic applicators, a move collectively saving over 17 tonnes of plastic annually.

I’m passionate about stopping unnecessary plastic at source and holding manufacturers to account, because the harmful environmental impacts of plastic, are totally avoidable. I’m influencing manufacturers to make real changes and councils to spend their period poverty funding on eco-friendly products.

Ella Daish

The Plastic Challenge is here! The last few months have been an incredibly difficult and uncertain time. With everything that has been going on around us, for many, plastic pollution has not been a top priority.

Cutting out plastic from your life is a positive step that everyone can take. The swaps you make will not only ditch unnecessary waste and save resources, which is better for the planet, but it will often save you cash too; definitely a win, win!

It can often feel difficult knowing where to start, but there is no right or wrong place to begin. Take it at the pace that suits you best. When you get into the swing of things, you will find yourself eagerly checking cupboards for what you can swap next and automatically making green switches as you shop.

For me, the bathroom has been one of the areas where I have made some of my most satisfying and impactful swaps. I have put some of my favourites together, which I really recommend you checking out!

Shampoo and conditioner bars

Using shampoo and conditioner bars instead of the bottled kind is a great step to cutting down on plastic, bars are often made of more natural ingredients which is better for you too. What I would say is don’t be discouraged if the first one you try isn’t the right one for you, over the last two years I have tried 4 or 5 different bars before finding the one that suits me best.

Reusable make-up pads

If you use disposable make-up wipes, reusable pads are the perfect alternative. They are super soft, washable, save you money and are great for anyone who wears make-up.

Natural deodorant

Instead of rolling on with the same old, same old, why not consider moving to a natural deodorant, like a bar, salt crystal, balm or clay? Just like shampoo bars, it takes time to find the right one for your pits, but when you do, you will be in plastic-free, lemony fresh heaven!

Reusable razor

Without a doubt one of the best changes I have made is dropping disposable razors in favour of a reusable one. You will be forgiven for envisioning taking chunks out of your legs while using one, that’s exactly what I pictured; trust me it won’t happen! Whatever your gender and wherever you do or don’t shave, reusable razors are a simple swap which will have a big impact. If you want to make the move, shop around as there are some really affordable options out there.  

Eco-friendly and reusable period products

The shocking truth is that conventional tampons and pads contain up to 90% plastic. Made in their billions, used for 4-8 hours, disposed of, and then taking over 500 years to break down, mainstream period products have a huge negative impact on the environment.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. Going green on your flow has never been easier, with so many options now on the shelves and most retailers offering eco-alternatives, there is a choice out there for everyone.

Here’s how you can wave goodbye to plastic at that time of the month:

• Ditch plastic tampon applicators in favour of reusable or cardboard applicators.

• If you currently use conventional tampons and pads there are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives out there that perform in the same way, avoid plastic and are better for your health.

• Opt for a reusable period product like a menstrual cup, cloth pads or period pants. There are multiple benefits to switching to a reusable; you save money, reduce the number of products you use, meaning less waste and it’s convenient as you don’t have to dash to the shops when you run out of tampons or pads!

Aren’t sure where you can get eco-friendly or reusable period products? Check out my Eco Period Brand Bible for a full A-Z list of all the products you can get in the UK and where you can find them in-store and online.

Get involved with the #EndPeriodPlastic campaign

In 2018 I launched the #EndPeriodPlastic campaign, which calls on manufacturers and supermarkets to remove plastic from their period products, as it is crucial that we eliminate it at source. You can add your name by signing the campaign here, which will keep you up to date with news of what is happening and the actions you can get involved with.