Top 20 Eco-Friendly Swaps for Plastic Free July 2021

Top 20 Eco-Friendly Swaps for Plastic Free July 2021

What is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July is a global movement which inspires hundreds of millions of people in 177 countries to be part of the solution, rather than the problem. Each year, we produce around 300 million tonnes of plastic waste and researchers have estimated that 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been created since its discovery in the 1950s.
As a result of this explosion in plastic production, pollution has become a huge problem. Out of all the plastic ever created, around 50% has been designed as single-use. Plastic Free July spreads awareness of the effects of single-use plastic pollution. The movement provides resources to help us change and encourage us to make better choices for the environment.

What is Plastic?

Plastics are a group of either synthetic or naturally occurring materials which are usually derived from raw materials like crude oil, cellulose, coal and gas. These materials are used to create polymers which are cheap, strong and take a long time to decompose. Plastic is found in so many things, like water bottles, containers, carrier bags, face masks, cutlery and cups.
Expanded polystyrene (EPS)

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

Used to create water bottles & food trays.

High—density polyethylene (HDPE)

High—Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

Used to create milk bottles, ready meal containers & shampoo/soap bottles.

Low—density polyethylene (LDPE)

Low—Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

Used to create carrier bags, food containers, and films.

Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene (PP)

Used to create crisp packets, drink lids and single-use face masks.

Polystyrene (PS)

Polystyrene (PS)

Used to create disposable plates, cups and cutlery.

Expanded polystyrene (EPS)

Expanded polystyrene (EPS)

Used to create packaging and single use beverage cups.

Table adapted from United Nations Environment Programme.

The Plastic Problem

Plastic is so apparent that scientists now say plastic has become a geological indicator of the Anthropocene era (our current geological time period). Unfortunately, only 9% of all plastic waste ever created has been recycled. 12% has been incinerated, while the remaining 79% has gone to landfill, compromising our environment. The plastic waste which enters our natural environments can persist for centuries. This waste is harmful to our wildlife, can increase disease transmission and enter our food and water.

The Swaps!

So, let’s get down to business and take a look at 20 eco-friendly and plastic-free swaps that you can make for plastic free July.  

Eco Swap Number 1 

OceanSaver Cleaner Refill Drops (10ml)

OceanSaver offer a fantastic range of plant-based cleaning concentrates which allow you to reuse your own cleaning bottles and help you cut down on plastic consumption. The range includes a variety of eco drop solutions, including antibacterial, multipurpose, kitchen, floor and bathroom cleaners. You simply pop your eco drop into your bottle, add 750 ml of water, shake and spray! If you do not have a bottle you can reuse then you also have the option of purchasing a bottle for life. According to OceanSaver, the eco drops save so much space that 1 of their delivery trucks is equivalent to 12 trucks on the road with a non-eco competitor.

Eco Swap Number 2

 EarthKind Sea Saver Microplastic Collecting Wash Bag

 The EarthKind Sea Saver Washing Bag is an awesome way to stop microplastics entering our waterways. The micro filter bag is specifically designed to collect plastic particles which are released from our clothes when we wash them. All you need to do is put your synthetic garments like polyesters and nylons into the bag before putting the bag into the washing machine. Make sure to wash natural fabrics like cotton separately outside of the bag. The Sea Saver Bag is also great if you want to protect fragile garments! After use, collect any plastic particles from the washing bag and recycle them.

Eco Swap Number 3
Soap Nuts | 300g | 100 Washes
Soap Nuts are organically grown on the Sapindus mukorossi trees which can reach 15 meters tall. They contain saponin which is an organic detergent with cleansing and degreasing properties. These saponin agents are removed from the nuts by splitting them up and drying them. When the nuts come into contact with water the nutshells release saponin, acting as a natural cleaning agent and fabric softener. All you need to do is pop 4 or 5 soap nuts into the smaller cotton bag provided and pop them in the washing machine with your laundry. Depending on the temperature of your cycle, you can reuse the same few soap nuts several times. These are such a great swap to make for plastic free July or any month for that matter. Soap nuts are vegan, plastic-free, hypoallergic and compostable.
Eco Swap Number 4
Shade All-Natural Sunscreen
With July being a summer month in the UK, we definitely recommend you invest in some natural and plastic-free sunscreen. Shade Cream is a lovely option created by Not The Norm. The Shade All-Natural Sunscreen uses a combination of organic shea butter, oils and zinc oxide to offer a reasonable sun protection factor (SPF) of 25. The sunscreen is available in 15ml or 100ml. Natural products like these can cost a little more than your plastic alternatives but Shade is long-lasting and a little really goes a long way.
Eco Swap Number 5

Dishwasher Tablets

Did you know that most dishwasher tablets are individually wrapped in plastic which you need to remove and recycle? Thankfully, you can now purchase a variety of dishwasher tablets that use a water-soluble film which does not need to be removed beforehand. Brands like Ecoleaf by Suma and Ecozone offer a brilliant range of vegan dishwasher tablets which are free from cruelty and plastic. Ecoleaf offer their tablets in a pack of 25 or 70. Ecozone are available in several options which differ in cleaning power, like their classic and ultra tablets.

Eco Swap Number 6

Reusable Coffee Cups -

 Reusable Coffee Cups are probably one of the best eco-friendly investments you can make. So many coffee shops are now offering discounts to consumers who bring their own cup to reuse. If you haven't made the switch yet and you frequently visit coffee shops and cafes we suggest purchasing a reusable cup. Huski Home and Neon Kactus offer a trendy collection of reusable cups. The Huski Home collection is made by repurposing wasted rice husk to make a sustainable selection of unique coffee cups. The Neon Kactus collection features an exquisite range of glass coffee cups available in 8, 12 and 16 ounces.

Eco Swap Number 7

Compostable Sponges


Switching to compostable cleaning sponges has got to be one of the best eco-friendly swaps you can ever make. Traditional kitchen sponges are derived from petroleum based plastics and they are harmful to our environments. This has opened up the opportunity for a more eco-friendlier option. One of the latest innovations are the Compostable 'Pop Up' Sponges. These sponges are dehydrated sheets made from 100% plant-based cellulose. All you have to do is put them in water and they pop up to size. The pop up sponges use 90% less space compared to non-eco alternatives. However, sometimes you need a sponge which can help you to scrub off grime and dirt. For this you want to consider using something like the Sisal & Wood Pulp Sponge. The sisal sponge has a 100% wood pulp base and a scourer made from the sisal plant Agave sisalana, which is very effective when scrubbing the dishes. Another great option is the Coir & Wood Pulp Sponge which has a scourer made from coconut hairs. The coir sponge is a bit tougher than the sisal sponge and works even better on dirty pans.

Eco Swap Number 8

Plant-Based Cleaning Brushes


It is absolutely amazing that you can now choose plant-based over plastic for your cleaning brushes. These brushes all feature either a wooden or bamboo handle and either sisal or coir bristles. There is a brush for nearly everything... The Coconut Cleaning Brush is used for the dishes and the Chopping Board Scrub Brush is great for scrubbing your chopping boards, trays and surfaces. There is now a Coconut Hand Brush which works great for sweeping up in the garden and around the household. The most popular of all brushes is the Sisal & Coir Pot Brush which works really well when scrubbing pots and pans. What's even better is that all of these brushes are non-scratch and work really good on non-stick pans too! There are lots of uses for the Sisal Ring Brush. We recommend using the ring brush to clean fruit and vegetables, but customers have said the brush works great for cleaning the bottom soles on shoes. Oh and we nearly forgot the Bottle Brush which is definitely worth the investment if you have trouble cleaning the bottom of deep bottles and glasses.

Eco Swap Number 9

Wild Natural Deodorant

Wild is a new, effective and sustainable deodorant which is vegan and aluminium-free. It works by purchasing a case for life which you refill with natural deodorant. Currently there are 6 different cases and 8 scents to choose from! The deodorant refills are plastic-free and compostable too. There is even an option to personalise your case with your name - how cool is that?

Eco Swap Number 1

Tots Bots Reusable Nappies

 Tots Bots offer a lovely range of eco-friendly, sustainable and reusable nappies. They are the perfect solution to single use nappies. Tots Bots also offer a variety of other products which aid in the use of reusable nappies. You can also purchase a reusable laundry bag for washing your soiled nappies. Other options include reusable wipes and reusable nappy pads.
Eco Swap Number 11

Eco Swap Number 11 Making the switch to a sustainable toothbrush is a great swap for plastic free July. Bamboo toothbrushes are a great option. The handle is completely compostable, and the nylon bristles are widely recyclable. It is recommended that you replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months. Switching to a bamboo toothbrush is a great way to cut out a lot of plastic. Not every gets on with bamboo toothbrushes however... Another great option is a reusable electric toothbrush with replaceable heads. We recommend you check out the Georganics Sonic Toothbrush Set!

Eco Swap Number 12

 Natural Soaps

 Natural soaps bars are must swap for plastic free July! Swapping to bars is a great alternative to liquid bottles. Friendly Soap is one of our favourite soap brands! They produce an extensive range of soaps which are vegan and free from cruelty and palm oil. Eco Warrior is another amazing soap brand with a lovely variety of rich soaps. They have created the clarifying charcoal soap bar which is perfect for blocked pores and sensitive skin. We also recommend you check out SEAL who offer a beautiful range of cold processed soaps! Our favourite from the SEAL range has to be the seaweed and sage soap...

A variety of soap accessories are also available to help with your use of soap bars. The bamboo soap rack is the perfect option which allows your soap bar to air dry naturally without sticking to your bathroom surfaces. The olive wood soap dish by ecoliving is a fabulous option too! Our absolute favourite soap hack is the soap saver bag. This handy little bag allows you to save every last bit of soap. When your soap bar becomes too small or bits begin to break off, pop them into your soap saver bag which you can use to get lather.

Eco Swap Number 13

Ecoegg Collection Ecoegg offer an amazing range of eco-friendly laundry products. Perhaps the most famous of their collection is the legendary Reusable Laundry Egg. The laundry egg helps you cut out endless detergent bottles in favour of a reusable and refillable washing egg. All you have to do is fill your egg with the mineral pellets included and chuck it in with your laundry! Another great swap in the collection would be the Reusable Dryer Egg. The dryer egg helps you to separate your laundry when tumble drying, reducing the dry time by 28%. Both the laundry and dryer egg is available in the scents fresh linen, spring blossom and fragrance free. Before using ecoegg products, it is recommend you descale your appliance with the Washing Machine Detox Tablets.

Eco Swap Number 14

Natural Shampoo & Conditioner BarsNatural shampoo and conditioner bars are such a good eco swap! Ditch liquids in plastic bottles and try a bar... We promise you won't regret it. Sometimes your hair can take some time to transition from a liquid to a solid, but we find the Friendly Soap shampoo and conditioner bars are great for this! Our favourite conditioners are the Friendly Soap Lavender & Geranium and Lavender & Tea Tree bars. They have such a great lather! The ALTER/NATIVE collection is an awesome choice too. They have a lovely range of shampoo and conditioners packed full of skin nourishing oils and natural essential oils. The most popular bars from this collection are the Rose Geranium Shampoo Bar and the Coconut & Argan Oil Conditioner Bar.

Eco Swap Number 15

Natural Deodorants There is no doubt that Wild deodorant is a great choice for a sustainable deodorant (number 9 on this list). However, there are some amazing other choices out there! Our absolute favourite and best-selling deodorants are by Your Nature. The Your Nature Collection includes 7 natural deodorant sticks with gorgeous scents. The deodorants are a solid balm in a push up stick which you can roll onto the skin. The generous 70g deodorants are very effective and can last you up to 12 weeks! The Lemongrass & Tea Tree and Lemon & May Chang scents are most popular right now, continually selling out month after month. Deodorants by Earth Conscious are also very popular lately. The Earth Conscious Collection includes 6 scents which are handmade on the Isle of Wight, UK. These natural deodorant sticks are 60g and can last up to around 10 weeks. The Jasmine & Rose scent is our favourite from the collection! Another great swap to try is made by Biork. The Biork Crystal Deodorant Stick is made from a potassium crystal. To use this natural deodorant, you just need to moisten the tip and use like any other roll on. Some customers have told us that they are still using their Biork more than 2 years after purchasing it!

Eco Swap Number 16

BOOBUDS™ Reusable Swabs Have you tried reusable swabs yet? If not, we recommend you check out BOOBUDS™. Swapping from plastic to bamboo cotton swabs is a great first step but you can go further... The BOOBUDS™ Reusable Swabs are plastic-free and sustainable, helping you to cut down on so many single use swabs. The reusable swabs have stems made from sustainable bamboo. The swab ends are made with food grade silicone. After use, you can clean your BOOBUDS™ and pop them inside the case provided. The case is also made from bamboo and features a strong magnetic lock so you can keep your swabs safe and secure.

Eco Swap Number 17

Eco-Friendly Makeup Accessories

Eco-friendly makeup products are not only great for your skin but they are also kind to the planet. The best eco swap for makeup is definitely our Reusable Makeup Remover Pads! In the long run, reusable makeup pads are good to your wallet and the environment. The set includes 16 reusable makeup pads and a cotton wash bag. This means you can pop your dirty pads in the washing machine after use and stop buying single use wipes which are full of microplastics. If you wanted, you could take this a step further and choose our Bamboo Makeup Brushes. These brushes feature a compostable bamboo handle and a widely recyclable aluminium ferrule. The bristles are super soft and made with nylon. After the long life of your brushes you can plier out the bristles and recycled them too! Last but certainly not least is our Konjac Sponge. This plant-based facial sponge is made using konjac glucomannan (KGM) extracted from the root of the konjac plant. The sponge promotes skin regeneration because it helps to remove dead cuticles and pore-clogging impurities of the skin.

Eco Swap Number 18

Sustainable Toothpaste & MouthwashYou should certainly consider choosing natural toothpastes and mouthwashes. This prime eco swap is pretty simple and yet very effective. Our best and most frequently bought toothpaste is the Toothpaste Tablets from the Ecoliving Collection. Available with or without fluoride, these toothpaste tablets are completely free from plastic! You simply pop it in your mouth, chew for a moment and then brush with a minty fresh foam. These toothpaste tablets are available as a 1 month supply in a refillable tin and as a 2 month refill supply in a compostable pouch. Our next toothpaste and mouthwash swap is by Georganics. The Georganics Collection is full of naturally flavoured toothpaste and mouthwash which is organic, vegan and free from fluoride and plastic. The toothpaste is available as a 1 month supply in a 60ml jar. The best selling toothpaste from this collection is the English Peppermint. To apply the paste to your Bamboo Toothbrush you will need the Bamboo Spatula which is sold separately from the toothpaste. The mouthwash tablets are available as a 3 month supply of 180 tablets in a jar. Out of all of the mouthwashes, the Eucalyptus and Activated Charcoal are most popular.

Eco Swap Number 19

Reusable Organic Cotton Grocery & Produce Bags The Reusable Grocery & Produce Bags are another awesome eco swap from the Ecoliving Collection. The reusable produce bags are available as a pack of 3, including a bread bag, a net bag and a lightweight grocery bag. These are perfect for a trip to the grocers for your fresh fruit and vegetables. The bags are made from GOTS certified organic cotton which is machine washable. Even reusable plastic bags are wasteful, so we recommend choosing these natural bags on your next eco swap!

Eco Swap Number 20

Natural Toilet Refresher Bombs 

Last but certainly not the least effective, is our Toilet Refresher Bombs! You may have heard of these before... They are also known as toilet bombs, toilet fizzies, toilet fresheners and toilet fizzers. Our Toilet Refresher Bombs help you cut down on your use of bleach and other harsh chemicals which end up in our waterways. They are similar to bath bombs but go down your toilet to help you clean the basin. You simply pop a couple down the toilet and let them fizz while you give it a good scrub. The toilet bombs are made with only natural ingredients like citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. The lemon toilet refresher bombs are the most popular right now. We offer the toilet bombs in a jar and as a refill pack so you can also top up your current jar. Both options are completely free from plastic too.

So that's it!

Your all caught up! Thanks for checking out our top 20 eco swaps for plastic free july. Did you find any useful swaps here? Have you already made some swaps? We would love to know so let us know in the comments.

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