4 PLASTIC- FREE SWASPS THAT ARE NOT AS PERFECT THEY MAY SEEM (AND HOW TO CHOOSE MORE WISELY)

In our previous blog post we suggested you look a little deeper into the plastic-free movement, by asking you to have 2 important questions in mind whenever you found yourself about to buy a new product.


If you missed it, click here to find out how to buy and live plastic-free without getting caught up in fads and fashions.


Today, we would like to put some of these tips into practice by helping you to choose the best option (from all those out there) when it comes to 4 specific types of products.

What is the best option?

A few years ago, it was really difficult to find alternatives to many products that were manufactured out of plastic. These days, we don’t only have substitutes for almost everything, but we nearly always have more than one option to choose from.


No doubt you are not sure which way to turn when you see a number of products in the same category and you ask yourself: Which one should I go with? What is the best option for me?


If you ask us which one we would choose, this would be our well thought out response.

 

  1. Recycled or plant-based scourer vs a natural loofah scourer

No doubt you have seen alternatives to traditional scourers and washing up sponges in stores and online. Some rely on certificates or are made from recycled materials.

You can even find plant fibre alternatives for washing up avoiding the need for plastic.
However our favourite, out of all of them, is this natural loofah washing-up scourer.

Why, you may ask?

  • Because when compared with scourers made from recycled materials, this one is a completely plastic-free option.
  • And compared with other plant fibre alternatives, that are equally valid, this one does not come transported across the world from Asia, which is often the case with others on the market. These loofahs are grown and processed in Galicia, Spain.

In our opinion, this scourer offers everything we are looking for.

Natural loofah scourer


  1. Synthetic bags vs recycled cotton shopping bags for buying in bulk

If there is one product that now has endless alternatives to choose from, it is reusable bags for buying loose produce without generating waste.

  • You may be able to get your hands on some lightweight fabric and make them yourself.

  • Or buy synthetic mesh bags. You can even find them at the supermarket check-out, although they do release microfibres into the waterways with every wash and if you read the label you will most likely find they come from Asia.

  • Also within reach are a number of produce bags made from cotton that comes from various origins.

Fortunately, no matter which one you choose, you will avoid using 100’s of lightweight plastic bags by the end of the year, however would you like to know which ones we would choose?
Our favourite alternatives are these recycled cotton mesh bags for buying loose produce.
These bags are the very best switch:

  • Thanks to the material they are made from, cotton – a natural fibre and in this case it’s also recycled.

  • Thanks to where they come from: they are designed, put together and sewn in Spain.



  1. Plastic or disposable water filters vs activated charcoal for filtering water

Using a water filter means you reduce the waste you would generate if you were to continue buying bottled water. This way you can forget about buying bottles (large or small), because a filter can reduce the chlorine present in your drinking water while also getting rid of any unpalatable smells or tastes your tap water may have.

You may have seen the various options on the market:

  • Filtering gadgets you attach to your tap (plastic).
  • Disposable filters for jugs and/or bottles (packaged in and made from plastic).

After doing a lot of research, and making sure we not only back plastic-free products but also those sourced locally, we have managed to find an activated charcoal water filter that comes from nearby forests in neighbouring France.

This water filter made from Europe timber is 100% natural, and biodegradable once its life filtering water is over, and as it has reduced its need to be transported long distances, it is our preferred option.

Active Charcoal Water Filter made from Europe Timber


 

  1. Bamboo straws imported from Asia vs Bamboo straws sourced locally

Reusable straws help you to generate less waste by avoiding the use of something you only use for an average of 15 minutes.


In addition, if you choose to reuse a straw made of bamboo you are supporting the use of a totally biodegradable material.


We know that nowadays you can find them practically everywhere (unfortunately often in a plastic blister pack), however when you turn over the packaging to read the label you will see that perhaps they are not such a great idea after all.
Faced with the huge number and variety of options made outside the EU, at Sinplastico we have opted for these straws made in the French Basque Country, that lies only 150km from our warehouse.


Made from off-cuts of domestic bamboo, the material is collected as part of regular plot maintenance (it’s not grown intensively nor specifically for purpose).
They also have an additional advantage: you can put them in the dishwasher.

Local bamboo straw

At Sinplastico we have loads of other swaps to help you to reduce your plastic use. Would you like to know more?

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