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The challenge with Plastic Free July is that it occurs just when all of us are taking off for our summer travels. And, according to Xavier Font, professor of sustainability marketing at the University of Surrey, avoiding plastic while travelling is even more important that whilst at home as many of the tourist destinations that we travel to do not have strong infrastructures for dealing with waste.
We know, we know! Sometimes traveling can really put our plastic commitment to the test! In fact, travel goods like sample-size toiletry bottles and other disposable items are some of the biggest contributors to plastic waste. Plastics aren’t just polluting our oceans and harming wildlife, their harsh chemicals can also be a health hazard to humans. But fear not, traveling plastic-free is easier than you might think. By simply preparing yourself with plastic free products, then making a conscious decision to bring them with you when traveling, you can greatly decrease the amount of plastic waste coming from your toiletry bag.
We've created a checklist to help you banish disposable single use plastic toiletries for good.
First up, try to quit those messy travel bottles by getting bar alternatives for your beauty products. Think more than just soap bars, there is now a wide variety of solid toiletries available on the beauty market!
Affordable options include:
1. Solid plastic free shampoo, conditioner and mosturiser
Plastic free shampoo bars are essentially the same as liquid shampoos, except that they’re shaped into a bar form and save our precious water. These plastic free products are also smaller than bottle alternatives so you can fit in that extra pair of shoes you’re dying to bring on your next holiday!
Oh and the best part; solid plastic free shampoo will not leak in your luggage. Just make sure you go for moisturising bars that won’t strip sensitive skin. If you’re looking for the one that actually works, check Beauty Kubes Shampoo and Conditioner.
We love Beauty Kubes as this zero waste starter kit essential is organic, Ecocert approved as well as vegan-friendly and 100% free from plastic packaging. For many beauty enthusiasts, plastic free products like these have an additional benefit of having no chemical content - all of them are "sulphate free". Lightweight, long-lasting and eco friendly - need we say more?
When it comes to keeping your skin summer dress ready on your travels we really recommend this organic bar body balm from Scence. 100% organic and coming to you in a compostable card tube your skin will feel nourished and silky smooth the plastic free way.
2. Plastic free deodorants
Deodorant or antiperspirant is a very personal product and there are so many options available on the market nowadays in the form of gels, sticks, roll-ons or powders it can be hard to know what to go for. Particularly if you then throw in the added desire for it to be natural and plastic free. As luck would have it, we've written a guide to making the switch to a natural, plastic free deodorant to make this switch easy for you.
Ready to make the switch now? Check out some that we’ve picked for you here. Plastic free, certified natural organic and affordable - a must have for your plastic free travel!
3. Plastic Free Suncream
The dog days of summer are upon us. Many of us will be travelling to even warmer places where the sun is out all day long, and spending time outside with substantially less clothing. Well, protection against a stronger blast of UV rays is more important than ever but quite frankly it’s pretty hard to find a plastic free alternative to this travel essential.
You can imagine our excitement then when we discovered this SPF50 mineral, vegan sun cream from Amazinc in recycled aluminium- it is quite literally the answer to all our natural and plastic free suncream prayers! This unique mineral-packed plastic free suncream formula provides all day protection at the beach and up in the mountains. The zinc oxide reflects harmful sun-rays whilst a blend of olive and almond oils keeps your skin hydrated. It's perfect for both children and adults alike.
Amazinc have also just launched an SPF30 vegan mineral suncream in a compostable card pot.
We also love these suncreams as they're 100% natural meaning they're better for both people and planet. There are lots of options out there though so be sure to check out our full guide to creating a natural, plastic free suncare routine here.
4. Toothbrush and travel case
Ok, next up- your toothbrushes. Have you ever thought of the amount of plastic toothbrushes you’ve thrown away in your life? Not to mention the single- use ones that are available for us at some airports and on long distance flights. Each year in the UK over a 150 million plastic toothbrushes are dumped in landfill. And worldwide, around 4.7 billion.
The alternative? Bamboo! For safe travels pop yours in a bamboo toothbrush case to keep it clean and fresh. The clever vent holes in the cases also allow the toothbrush to dry and prevent odours or mould occurring. Buy your toothbrush and case together here.
5. Travel Soap and Soap Box
We blumming love a travel soap at Acala HQ because it’s so versatile we can use it for everything from face wash to hair if we need to. For example this travel soap from All Natural Soap Co is made with anti-mosquito and sunburn soothing formula which makes it the ultimate multi-tasking, plastic free travel soap. Plus, you never have to worry about taking it out of your bag at security as it’s liquid free. What is more, like plastic free shampoo bars, solid soap doesn’t contain water like liquid soaps or shower gels so they tend to last a lot longer and are more cost effective.
Wondering where to pack it? How does a 100% biodegradable and compostable soap case sound? It functions like plastic but is made from a wood based bioplastic. Wood bioplastic is a relatively new material that was originally created for use in the construction industry as a sustainable alternative to traditional materials, but new and exciting uses, such as this soap dish, are now also becoming possible. Sounds good, right?
And there you have it, all your travel essentials, plastic free.
Last but not least, whilst you're on your jollys, be sure to give positive feedback to those businesses that are low-waste. As well as give constructive feedback to those businesses that offer plastics and explain that you’re happy to bring your own container, bag etc. Especially, give feedback to accommodation providers, these are businesses who often ask for you to fill out a survey, so let them know why you prefer plastic free products and why it really is irresponsible to distribute so much single-use plastic. Just offer suggestions and solutions!