Plastic Free July is here again! Started in 2011, it has now become a huge international movement, with an estimated 140 million people participating from 190 countries.
The goal of Plastic Free July is to get us all to reduce the single-use plastics we use every day. You can cut out all single-use plastic for the month of July, or choose a few items that are achievable for you - it all adds up!
As part of our zero waste community, you've probably already ditched the "Big 4" plastic offenders - plastic water bottles, disposable coffee cups, straws and supermarket bags. So, what's next?
Here are a few plastic free swaps you might not know about...
#1: Safety Razor
The safety razor is one of our favourite plastic-free swaps, not just because it saves us throwing out plastic disposable razors (which can't be recycled), but it also looks great in the bathroom! Simply unscrew the razor head and switch out the blades every few weeks.
Replaces: Disposable plastic razors
#2: Shampoo Bars
You've probably heard of shampoo bars, but chances are you've been disappointed after trying a few and ending up with straw-like hair. That's because most shampoo bars are soap-based. Our Kind2 shampoo bars are pH-neutral, meaning they give you soft hair, even with London's hard water. Try the discovery pack to find out which one's right for you. You can even get conditioner bars for extra soft and silky hair!
Replaces: Plastic Shampoo and Conditioner Bottles
#3: Zero Waste Unsponge
Those yellow-and-green plastic sponges in your kitchen sink are home to more bacteria than your toilet! Health experts say they should be thrown out every 2 weeks (and of course they end in landfill). So why not switch to an unsponge, a reusable alternative that can simply be thrown in the washing machine and reused.
Replaces: Plastic Kitchen Sponges
#4: Coconut Dish Brush
Another replacement for nasty plastic sponges and brushes, this dish brush has bristles made from coconut coir sourced from coconut husks that would otherwise have been discarded. This brush is a customer favourite as the bristles are tough enough for heavy pans, but can also be used on glass or non-stick pans without any damage.
Replaces: Plastic Dish Brushes
Above: This coconut washing up brush is made from coconut husk that would otherwise have gone to waste.
#5: Bamboo Pot Scrubbers
For more heavy duty pots and pans, our bamboo pot scrubbers are a must-have alternative to synthetic scourers. The pair of brushes comes with sisal bristles - one soft and the other one hard. You can also use them to clean vegetables (so much easier than peeling them!) or dirty boots.
Above: Switch to sustainable bamboo with these cute pot scrubbers
#6: Soap Nuts
Either you think "soap nuts" must be some strange, exotic snack...or you've already been converted to this eco-friendly laundry detergent. A completely natural alternative to chemical detergent in plastic bottles, soap nuts have been used for centuries in India. Simply place a handful in a muslin bag with your washing load. Laundry has never been greener!
Replaces: Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles
#7: iPhone Case with Rope
Protect your smartphone while protecting the planet with a biodegradable phone case. These can be composted at the end of their life, unlike the billions of plastic phone cases sold each year. Sleek and soft, they come in various colours and styles for all iPhone or Samsung models. An iPhone rope case is especially handy for summer months to hang around your neck when you're out and about.
Replaces: Plastic Phone Cases
Above: Switch to a 100% compostable phone case by Listening Store
#8: Paper Potter
Black plant pots are like the supermarket bags of the garden - they can't be recycled and end up in landfill. If you're a keen gardener, why not try your hand at planting seedlings in your own paper pots. These can easily be made from old newspaper using a hand wooden tool called a paper potter. A little more work upfront, but when it comes to our seedling, you can just place the entire pot in the ground, as the newspaper will biodegrade.
Replaces: Black Plastic Plant Pots
Above: With a Paper Pot Maker you can make an endless supply of seedling pots
Do you have a plastic free sustainable swap that not many people know about? Tell us in the comments below!