This is a mini celebration of all the ethical and more sustainable businesses that are popping up all over the world. It’s very refreshing to see companies with principles and a real desire to supply something better to the world rather than destroy it in the quest for the highest profits. In this post, I’d like to highlight a company in the UK called “Anything but Plastic” who have provided me good service and helped me reduce the amount of plastic I bring into my home. I have absolutely no affiliation with this company, I just enjoy their products and service.
Nothing is better
Before I move on, I’d like to reiterate one of the main principles behind Use 10 Percent Less, which is that the best thing we can possibly do is stop using things. Avoiding something and not using it is far better than buying recycled products, finding alternatives to plastic, looking for renewable options, and the like. Not using something that we don’t really need to use releases a little of the pressure on the world. But, when something is necessary, it’s important to find a product that creates the minimum impact on the natural world (of which we’re an integral part – Bee a Human). All of the plastic we briefly use and dispose of thoughtlessly is a terrible imposition on the world and that’s one of the reasons I turn to companies like anythingbutplastic.co.uk when I need to.
Anything but Plastic
I was led to “Anything but Plastic” when looking for a way to avoid standard dental floss that is made from plastic. It’s horrible to think that I use dental floss every day and these little bits of plastic have to go somewhere after I used them. Not only the floss is plastic, but the container is another small plastic thing that has to go somewhere and, wherever that “somewhere” is, this plastic will be there for hundreds of years (even if it’s incinerated, the releases CO2 will be in the atmosphere for a long time).
It was on the company’s website that I found Dental Lace that comes in a refillable glass bottle and uses floss made from mulberry silk. I’m not sure if this is a terrible imposition on the silk worms, and I haven’t tried to look closely into that, it’s just that this solution has virtually eliminated plastic from the process (unfortunately, the label on the bottle is plastic but it is a reusable bottle at least). This floss is 100% biodegradable and compostable.
It’s because of concerns about the silkworms that the principle behind Use 10 Percent Less comes up again. Even when I’m using this mulberry silk floss, I should use as little as possible and not be wasteful with it. If we’re all careful and limit our consumption as much as we can, the world will be under less pressure. Just the fact that something is compostable doesn’t give us the licence to be wasteful. We also have to remember the energy used in the packaging and shipping of the products.
I’ve been using this Dental Lace for a couple of years now and it’s a very good product for me. It’s not quite as strong as the standard plastic dental floss and, if I try to use the same part of the floss on too many teeth, it can snap. This is very easy to manage of course.
Price can be an issue, with many things like this. Plastic is such a cheap product, it’s very hard to compete. Each refill of mulberry silk dental lace costs me about £3.25 and the standard plastic floss costs less than half of that. That’s another reason why there should be significant taxes on plastic.
My bathroom shelf
I feel fairly good that I’ve managed to significantly reduce the plastic on my bathroom shelf. Here’s a photo of how it looks now.
From left-to-right the items are;
- two glass bottle of deodorant – plastic pump spray mechanisms
- natural deodorant – glass jar with metal lid – haven’t tried this yet!
- glass bottle of tea tree oil – plastic lid
- glass jar of coconut oil – refillable – plastic lid (I’ve had this jar since 2014)
- dental lace as described above
- scissors, clippers and tweezers
- all metal safety razor
So, from the plastic point of view, not too bad. I’m still concerned about the little bits of plastic here and there. Also, I haven’t found a good solution for my toothpaste yet – that still comes in plastic tubes that I just “throw away”.
So, if you feel inclined (I hope you do), please seek out ethical and sustainable companies when sourcing your products. It’s good for all of us, and the world, if we can reduce our usage of plastics. Of course, it’s good if we can reduce our usage of everything, but disposable plastic products and packaging are particularly nasty and we should reduce these as quickly as we can. I’ve found this store “Anything but Plastic” to be good for me, and there are many, many similar options appearing across the world. Take a look at them and see if they can play a part in supplying the things you really need is a better way.