Looking to boost your green credentials? Then welcome to Plastic Free July, a global movement that helps millions of people to be part of the solution to plastic pollution on our streets, in our oceans and our communities.
But before you even leave the house in the morning, you can drastically reduce your plastic diet simply by switching up your bathroom routine.
Fortunately, big brands are making it easier for us to do our bit. First up is cosmetics giant L’Oréal, which will take back and recycle its empty packaging — its Maybelline brand and recycling company TerraCycle have installed recycling points in branches of Tesco, Boots, Sainsbury’s and Superdrug. Meanwhile, Aveda, The Body Shop and Faith In Nature all offer refills of your existing bottles.
Then there are the newer kids on the block: KanKan is a new soap brand that comes in a recyclable can that you then fill up your glass dispenser bottle with (try the mandarin and clary sage hand wash starter kit, £24, kankan.london).
Next, bamboo up your bathroom — bamboo is a sustainability saviour because it’s fast-growing, doesn’t need pesticides and is 100 per cent recyclable.
In addition, it’s highly versatile.
We love Colgate’s new compostable bamboo toothbrush (£2.75, superdrug) and It’s All About You’s bamboo cotton buds (£2.95, itsallaboutyou) — cotton buds are one of the most commonly washed-up plastics on beaches.
And finally, you should even tackle your tampons: period products have become increasingly plastic-based in recent years. Eschew plastic applicators and plastic-wrapped pads in favour of organic cotton tampons and biodegradable towels — Ohne (ohne.com) is a plastic-free, ethical and recyclable period brand.
When you’ve finally made it out of the door, use a keep-cup for your takeaway coffees (there’s a plastic lining in that paper-looking cup, as well as the lid). So enjoy your guilt-free cuppa.
For more tips, check out plasticfreejuly.org
Plus: How to recycle your trainers
If Plastic Free July has you thinking about your carbon footprint, try applying some sustainability to your sneakers. British ethical trainer brand Sans Matin hand-makes its leather trainers from locally sourced materials in Columbia — and two per cent of profits go to the charity Children Change Colombia.
Better still, you can recycle your old Sans Matin trainers by boxing them up and returning them (nabbing you a ten per cent discount off your next pair in the process).
Trainers in good condition are then sent to charities in the UK and developing countries. Whatever items can’t be reused are repurposed, with the materials then used in insulation and carpet underlay.
The SJC trainer is winning praise from online reviews for comfort and sizing so you’re not just doing the planet a favour… £140, sansmatin.co.uk