Many reports and studies suggest that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Evidently, the use of plastic is a colossal issue across the globe that needs to be tackled sooner rather than later if we are to preserve the planet and all of us that are on it. There are various every daily habits that produces a lot of waste that we fail to realise, such as buying your favourite cup of coffee from Starbucks each morning and forgetting to recycle old glasses, cans, and cartons.
Single use plastic in the washroom, however, is a major issue that comes in the form of lotion bottles, sanitiser bottles, non-recyclable bins, endless paper towel waste and much more. Public washrooms don’t experience as much waste as our everyday bathrooms do – we have toothpaste tubes which are notoriously hard to recycle as cleaning them is a difficult task. Toothbrushes which again, are hard to recycle. Disposable razors which are very harmful to the environment, face wipes that aren’t biodegradable or healthy for the planet.
Research conducted by the Soil Association told us that 64% of consumers are now looking to buy products with recyclable packaging and 55% would like more product refill points in store. While this is a step in the right direction, another study from Recycle Now showed that 90% of packaging is in fact recycled in our kitchens, but only 50% is recycled in our bathrooms and washrooms.
Swap Paper Towels for Hand Dryers
Paper towels are without a doubt, one of the main things we use when we’re in a washroom. We’re fully aware of the long term debate still occurring between which is healthier and more hygienic – paper towels vs hand dryers, but the damage paper towels have on the environment is too large to simply ignore.
We cannot stress the importance of swapping paper towels for hand drying technology that is not only more hygienic, but is quicker, cheaper, easier to use and reduces our carbon footprint. Paper towels increase greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution. Do you really need to damage the environment with paper towels for one use, when a smarter alternative solution is available? The real question is – would David Attenborough approve?
Invest In A Split Waste Bin
It’s time to invest in a split waste bin which means you no longer have to take the time to separate your rubbish. A split waste bin allows you to separate your rubbish into recyclable rubbish, and non-recyclable rubbish. There are various models and stylish designs available online at affordable prices.
Plastic-Free Soap Dispensers
Where there is soap and hand sanitiser, there are bottles that pollute the environment and spend the rest of their purpose doing nothing but waiting to degrade, and not be recycled! Public washrooms ideally should feature automatic soap dispensers that allow users to simply place their hands under, and with the sensor the dispenser should provide soap without any hands touching it. This minimises the spread of germs and bacteria and promotes hand hygiene as well as overall personal hygiene.
Refill or Upcycle
If you do continue to use plastic bottles in the washroom for soap and sanitiser, you might as well make the best out of a bad situation by reusing and refilling the existing bottle. Rather than continuously purchasing new bottles to throw the old one away, just refill! This reduces your plastic usage and contributes a little more to reducing plastic and the damage it has on the environment.
Reducing waste is a step by step process, so it’s not something you can accomplish overnight. However, there are realistic ways to achieve a zero-waste washroom and bathroom if you take into consideration the steps mentioned throughout this article.
Tips To Reduce Single Use Plastic
• Say goodbye to using plastic straws
• Stop purchasing and using plastic carrier bags as they take around 1,000 to degrade. Use a reusable produce or tote bag whenever you go shopping
• Use reusable travel mugs and water bottles
• Reduce your usage of plasticware. Reuse plastic containers for storing leftover food
• Use your local shops. Reduce the need to travel short trips
• Where possible, avoid using plastic bottled containers e.g. soap bottles, shampoo, and conditioner bottles, etc.
See our infographic below for some more top tips.