Welcome back to another Recycle Less Update! Some items may have been featured in previous Recycle Less Updates however below are improved finds. As some long time readers know I’ve been on a journey for a few years to reduce the amount of plastic I consume and stuff in general. It’s not easy and any plastic free finds, eco environmental finds I find, I share!
Since starting being more conscious buying less plastic I’m actually buying less as well. Double whammy! When you see plastic everywhere you realise just how much there is, sometimes despair now it’s here it’s never going to go away. I’m not anti plastic everything. It has valuable use when used right. I try to avoid unnecessary plastic whenever I can. Food and beauty items are still my number one plastic hurdles. Whenever I can grocery shopping I use cotton produce bags (I even take them on holiday!), go for skincare without nasty ingredients (since starting being plastic freer, it’s evolved in avoiding petroleum plastics and it’s derivatives in skincare, food), do my best to find the plastic free alternatives. I’m no angel, shoes are plastic as I’m vegan too. For example I didn’t know shoe glue can contain animal gelatine for the bonding. What’s that got to do about being plastic free? Sometimes you have to compromise, give and take and do the best you can caring as much you can for the environment.
Previously I was compromising with a silk floss. It came in a glass container however being silk and me being vegan I was never happy about it. But it was better than nylon or ‘plastic’ floss. Even since I saw a photo of a seal with floss wrapped around its neck cutting into its flesh, I’ve been anti plastic floss. An Amazon recommendation was Kaiapuni floss £5.99 plus shipping. A corn based floss making it 100% biodegradable and clumsy friendly container being metal. Refills are cheap, £6.99 for 2 plus shipping. Some Amazon reviews said the floss can break but this has only happened to me twice starting a refill. It can feel a bit thick, but you get used to it. I haven’t found any other vegan floss options that aren’t plastic so I’m sticking with it. The only plastic packaging is perhaps what Amazon send it it. For me it was their standard cardboard envelope packaging.
Everything aside from the metal container is compostable. While there’s no excuse for the out of focus photo, you can see how you cut the floss hooking around the tab.
The classic zero waste first switch from plastic! I’ve tried so many bamboo toothbrushes finding the right one for me. Some have only last a few weeks before the bristles fray or annoy my teeth, others are too big or have wavy bristles which I feel don’t clean well if you use the brush down technique. The Bamboo Toothbrush by Freshly Cosmetics €4.00, I like as the bristles are all one length and the head is tapered. Makes it easier if you brush/flick down when brushing teeth rather than scrubbing them. I like too I can get only 1 if I want rather than a pack and that Freshly Cosmetics at least every 6 weeks has 20-25% off! Bonus point, it just comes in a cardboard box. No sealed packaging inside the box. I believe toothbrushes that come with the additional inside seal, the seal is biodegradable but it just seems like an unnecessary step and extra product waste and costs. The bristles are made with nylon 6, which according to Freshly Cosmetics has a high degradation rate and bamboo is know for being anti bacterial. While it isn’t 100% zero waste due nylon 6, it is vegan and the best bamboo toothbrush I’ve found so far!
I call this my Mary Poppin’s bag! I only started using it as friend did and thought that looks kinda cool! So vain! Hehehe! Seriously it’s great. Folds up small and expands so much! It can carry up to 18kg in weight too! €5.94 plus shipping, made with Azo-free dyes I also call it my Granny bag. Every time I went to order one I accidentally chose the short handle. I’d have preferred shoulder strap length but the shorter handle is working better wrapped around bike handle bars. Also when it’s full the handle isn’t comfortable walking. It works better than a normal cotton tote as it fits oversized items a tote wouldn’t. It stretches after a few uses however it bounces back to its original size in the wash. Do things fallout between the mesh? Surprisingly no! I thought lots would but this bag is almost too good to be true. I’ve seen more cotton string totes selling in shops here, however they don’t look as good quality, looking like the fibres would shred and tear pretty quickly. While they also don’t look as ‘elastic’ as this one it’s great that more stores are selling them, like Natura.
Berry Punnets/Containers. Food Finds
I was so excited when I saw my local ecological supermarket chain stocking berry punnets with cardboard bases and compostable film wrapping! Extra bonus the blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are grown in Spain. Same country means less transport emissions and that companies are aware of what people want as packaging! The ‘plastic’s’ super noisy but that’s nothing as it’s compostable. I get looks unloading it from the basket or packing it it’s so noisy! I’m also liking that Oxfam chocolate bars are packaged in cardboard with compostable film wrapping. While also I don’t know the growing conditions or shipping details of the organic cinnamon I buy, I’m happy I can now get it 70g glass jars instead of 25g glass jars. This means I buy less, working out cheaper in the long run with less plastic lids to be recycled. Very often the details are in the little things. Another company also does cinnamon in the same size pot however the label’s plastic. I refuse to buy it! I’m liking too the ‘bin’ shop I go do doesn’t bat an eyelid filling up my cotton produce bags. Veritas my local organic chain are now selling cotton product bags. My local big chain supermarket, Alcampo or Auchan in France, also doesn’t bat an eyelid using them and happy to report they’re now selling reusable produce bags while plastic however, it’s a start. They also now offer the option of paper produce bags in addition to the standard plastic produce bags. The paper bags are either always out of stock when I go or people prefer using them as they’re free compared to buying the reusable produce bags. Either reason it’s a start to a long journey switching from plastic.
Are you trying to cut down on plastic? Have you found any great alternatives? Please share in the comments below!
Previous Recycle Less Updates can be found on the Recycle Less page here.