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July 10, 2020

The best plastic-free alternatives - a picture of bamboo cutlery sits atop a bench in a floral navy and white pocket

Plastic Free July is whooshing along. We loved spending the first week dishing up some tips and tricks (and hearing yours) as part of our #swapoutchallenge, which was all about providing alternatives to common single-use plastics. Missed the challenge on Instagram? Not to worry — we've pulled together all our favourite swap-outs in a neat little (plastic-free) package!

Of course, you can also make some of these household products yourself, and over the course of the month we'll be posting some tried-and-tested DIY recipes. 

The best plastic-free alternatives - a man with dark hair and eyes rubs soap on his face

1. Skincare

As something we use every day, skincare is a great one to start with. What we love about plastic-free skincare brands is that they're often committed to using more natural and sustainable ingredients. 

We love:

SunButter Skincare, obviously! For all of your SPF50 and surf zinc needs

Earths Tribe - These guys have a range of great products, but we love the make up rounds for sustainable make up removal (forget single use wipes!) 

Happy Skincare - Their award-winning Deep Cleansing Balm comes in a tin!

Cedar and Stone - We hear their Lemon Myrtle and Rose face oil, which comes in a glass dropper bottle, is the bomb

The best plastic-free alternatives - a hand holds a round piece of soap above a table covered in greenery, combs and other bathroom products

2. Haircare

As we discovered when we started out on our own plastic-free journey, the plastic bottles that shampoo and conditioner come in are multi-layered, non-recyclable nightmares. Luckily, these days we have plenty of alternatives. 

We love: 

Beauty and the Bees - They've got some delicious conditioner bars (including a Tasmanian beer-scented one!)

Lush - Are all about nudity (when it comes to packaging, that is) and they have a great range of delicious haircare bars 

The Australian Soap Company - Melbourne-based and we love their shampoo bars 

Green and Kind - These guys sell cotton soap bags and soap holders, which you'll need if you don't like mushy haircare bars

If you're not ready to switch to bars just yet, you can fill your own containers with shampoo and conditioner at most bulk grocery stores. 

The best plastic-free alternatives - a bamboo toothbrush with blue bristles and toothpaste on top is in the foreground while a white woman smiles in the background

3. Dental care 

This is a big one. You might have already switched to a bamboo toothbrush (heck, even the supermarkets are selling them now), but did you know you can swap out your other dental products for more sustainable options?

We love:

Love Beauty Foods - They make a minty fresh tooth powder 

Nelson Naturals - Use their 'Crush and Brush' toothpaste tablets in conjunction with your toothbrush instead of paste 

Kappi Life - For a solid bamboo toothbrush that's fully biodegradable (not all of them are)

Dental Lace - Yep, even your dental floss can be swapped out for a plastic-free alternative

Black Chicken Remedies - Bring an Ayurvedic ritual into your life with their copper tongue scraper 

The best plastic-free alternatives - a close up shot of a Black man applying roll-on deodorant under his arm

4. Body care 

When it comes to general body care, there's a plethora of plastic items hanging out in your bathroom. Imagine if they were all swapped out?

We love:

Exposed Naturals - This is our favourite plastic-free deodorant, and they're made in Melbourne 

Green and Kind - Ever thought about swapping out your cotton buds? These guys make bamboo ones!

Leaf Shave - Forget plastic razors. These ones are stainless steel & solid zinc and beautifully engineered. 

Flora and Fauna - Wash your bod with their divine vegetable fibre Konjac sponges 

Modibodi - Hooray for an alternative to pads and tampons! These period undies are Australian-designed and owned and among the best 

Lunette Cup - Another great sustainable option for those who menstruate 

The best plastic-free alternatives - a close-up of wooden pegs on a clothesline

5. Laundry 

Another area that we need to conquer in the plastic-free pursuit — especially because synthetic clothes release microfibres in the wash, which make their way into the ocean (and beyond). 

We love:

Guppy Friend - This cool contraption helps trap microfibres in the washing machine

The Australian Natural Soap Company - Make 100% natural soap flakes 

That Red House - These guys sell the very delicious-sounding organic soapberries 

Green Potions - Instead of using a nasty chemical spray in plastic, check out their natural stain remover in a glass bottle

Biome Stores - Before you stock up on more plastic clothes pegs, grab some bamboo or stainless steel ones from here! 

The best plastic-free alternatives - an image of staple foods side-by-side in containers

6. Groceries

Considering the amount of groceries we go through each week, the swapouts we make with our grocery shopping habits make a huge difference on the path to becoming plastic-free. 

Our tips:

- Start shopping at your local bulk foods store (such as The Source), where you'll find your products naked. You'll also probably discover it works out cheaper than heading to the local supermarket, plus they've got all kinds of goodies — from grains to chocolate; nut butters to cleaning products. 

- Locate your closest fresh produce store, market or farm gate. Food tastes way better when it's been produced locally. 

- Collect jars, reusable bags and boxes, and keep them in your car so you don't get caught out! 

The best plastic-free alternatives - a close-up image of a fibre sponge

7. Cleaning 

Plastic is found in, under and around the kitchen sink. We might think that our cleaning products need to be plastic, but there are plenty of fantastic plastic-free options getting around. 

We love:

Thurlby Botanical - We're all about their agave washcloth, which you can compost at home!

EcoCoconut - Coconut can do everything, including become a perfect and sustainable scourer and dish brush

That Red House - Based on old-school dishwashing methods, the soap cage is a very cool alternative to dishwashing liquid, and their chunky soap dishwashing detergent is epic

The Australian Natural Soap Company - Once again, these dish and laundry soaps are the business 
 The best plastic-free alternatives - SunButter products surf wax, sunscreen and surf zinc lined up on the sand at the beach

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