Easy Bathroom Swaps to Reduce Single-use Plastic

TheSkinny: Speaking of showers, pull back the curtain and look inside yours. Chances are that its shelves are overflowing with precariously balanced bottles of shampoos, conditioners and oversized body washes.


So in honor of Plastic Free July, an initiative that seeks to inspire consumers to be part of the solution to plastic pollution, let’s start in the bathroom—which is the smallest room, but a large contributor to the problem. Due to laziness (walking from the bathroom to the kitchen) or the extra step (rinsing), reports have shown that around 50% of U.S. consumers don’t recycle personal care items, which results in hundreds of millions of them in landfills each year. Choose one or two items to swap  (we love this “low-lift” list of 15 plastic-free swaps from Well+Good, which “don’t require a major lifestyle overhaul”). Then, once they become a forever future habit, move on to additional products.

Some to consider: These zero- to low-waste 6 self-care products recommended by the Zoe Report. We’re starting with hand soap and dental floss, but anti-plastic movement bathroom products are plentiful, according to Fast Company.

Do the math: For anyone worried about the price of zero- or reduced-waste products, crunch the numbers on hand soap. First, keep an empty bottle for foaming hand soap, then look at these dissolvable pod refills ($5 for 40oz). They provide the equivalent of four new 10oz foam hand wash bottles at that range from about $3.79 (7.5oz) to $4.59 (10oz) for just one bottle. Not to mention, you avoid the waste of four single-use bottles that would likely end up in the landfill or the ocean. Even with a traditional refill (approximately $6.99 for 28oz), while better from a single-use plastic perspective, it still doesn’t compare.

Want to learn more? Find out how much you already know, and what you don’t, with this plastics quiz from National Geographic. (We scored 4/6. Surely you can beat that.)

Finally, let’s close the curtain on shower liners. Here at TheSkinny, we are realists and know that a non-plastic shower curtain liner may not work for many. However, you can be mindful in your choices: This top-rated, mildew-resistant model won’t have to be replaced nearly as often. And as “the Cadillac of shower curtain liners,” how can you resist?


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