Plastic pollution is a serious issue – single-use plastics take hundreds of years to degrade, and even if they’re mechanically degraded by, for example, tidal forces, they produce microplastics that are harmful to our hormonal systems.
The good news is that there are lots of easy switches you can make to reduce the amount of plastic you use, and help to save the planet. Here are 11 of the easiest biodegradable products to switch to:
1. Bamboo toothbrush
Bamboo toothbrushes are a better alternative to standard plastic toothbrushes because they’re biodegradable. Bamboo is a sustainable material that’s easy to grow, so bamboo toothbrushes have a much smaller environmental impact than plastic toothbrushes.
2. Reusable water bottle
Disposable plastic water bottles are one of the worst offenders when it comes to plastic pollution. They’re made from petroleum, which is a non-renewable resource, and they often end up in landfill where they take hundreds of years to degrade, and while they’re breaking down, they convert into harmful microplastics that pollute our environment and enter the food chain, causing hormonal disruptions to testosterone. Hormones like testosterone, of course, are vital for human health, so this is a serious issue.
Switching to a reusable water bottle is an easy way to reduce your plastic footprint. Stainless steel or glass reusable water bottles are the best options, as they’re non-toxic and durable.
3. Reusable coffee cup
Like water bottles, disposable coffee cups are made from petroleum-based plastics and they often end up in a landfill. They’re also lined with plastics, contributing to the harmful health effects outlined above.
Switching to a reusable coffee cup is an easy way to reduce your reliance on disposable coffee cups. There are lots of different reusable coffee cup options available, from glass to stainless steel to bamboo, so you can find one that suits your needs.
4. Wooden or bamboo cutlery
Plastic cutlery is another major source of plastic pollution. It’s often used once and then thrown away, and it’s difficult to recycle because it’s often contaminated with food. Bamboo cutlery is a must have for any small restaurant or cafe looking to lessen its environmental impact and make customers feel better about shopping there because it is extremely biodegradable. Bamboo is a sustainable material that’s easy to grow, so bamboo cutlery has a much smaller environmental impact than plastic cutlery.
5. Cloth shopping bags
Cloth shopping bags are biodegradable due to their construction, making them a great replacement for single-use bags.
They’re also much more durable than single-use plastic bags, so you’ll save money in the long run and avoid frustrating issues with plastic bags like tearing and breaking..
6. Beeswax wraps
Beeswax wraps are a great alternative to plastic wraps because they’re biodegradable and they’re made from a renewable resource – beeswax.
7. Compostable garbage bags
Compostable garbage bags are a great alternative to plastic garbage bags. They’re made from plant-based materials, so they will break down in a compost pile.
8. Natural fiber cleansers
Natural fiber cleansers are a great alternative to plastic microbeads, which are often used in facial scrubs and exfoliants. Natural fiber cleansers are made from biodegradable materials like bamboo or jojoba beads, so they won’t pollute our environment or cause hormonal disruptions.
9. Stainless steel straws
Stainless steel straws can be used time and time again. Great for milkshakes but also great for the planet. The reason stainless steel straws are better for the environment is that they’re reusable meaning that you won’t have to keep buying more and more plastic straws that will just end up in a landfill.
10. Bamboo towel
Bamboo towels are a great alternative to conventional towels because they’re made from a sustainable resource – bamboo. Bamboo is a fast-growing grass, so it doesn’t require the same amount of water and land to grow as trees do. Bamboo towels
11. Menstrual cup
Menstrual cups are a fantastic alternative to tampons because they’re reusable and they don’t produce the waste or health risks associated with disposable tampons.
However, switching to menstrual cups is a decision you should discuss with your doctor because they can cause urinary tract infections in some women.
12. Coconut bowl
A coconut bowl is a great alternative to a plastic or styrofoam bowl. Coconut bowls are made from the hard shell of a coconut, so they’re durable and biodegradable.
Switching to biodegradable products is a great way to reduce your reliance on plastic and help to save the planet. These are just a few of the easy switches you can make – there are lots of other options out there, so do some research and find the biodegradable products
13. Plant-based toothpaste
Plant-based toothpaste is one of the less well-known items on this list. The benefits of plant-based toothpaste are that it doesn’t contain the harsh chemicals that are often found in commercial toothpaste, and it’s biodegradable. It also generally uses byproducts of the agriculture industry that would normally contribute to methane generation in landfills, so using plant-based toothpaste helps fight climate change as well.
14. Compostable phone case
A compostable phone is generally made plant-based materials, so it will break down in a compost pile. They’re also often made from recycled materials, so they have a smaller environmental impact than conventional phone cases.