Eight easy swaps you can make this Plastic-Free July

There are lots of way you can go plastic-free in July. 

There are lots of way you can go plastic-free in July. - Credit: The Refill Pantry

It's Plastic-Free July, and we've teamed up with St Albans' Refill Pantry to find some simple swaps you can do to help save the planet.

The Refill Pantry is a zero waste shop in London Road and at Carpenter's Nursery where you can bring your own containers and refill from their huge selection of dried food, cleaning and beauty products.

They also sell a range of plastic free alternatives for the kitchen and bathroom to help you make the swap to plastic free living. So what are some of the products they stock and how can they help you switch away from plastic and help save the planet this July?

Kitchen swaps


 So make the switch to one of these fully compostable alternatives – cleaning cloths, sponges and loofah scourers.

So make the switch to one of these fully compostable alternatives – cleaning cloths, sponges and loofah scourers – and at the end of their life you can put them in your garden waste bin. - Credit: The Refill Pantry

1. Did you know that nearly all sponges contain plastic? And those colourful cleaning cloths in your cupboard probably contain microfibres that are entering our ecosystem and slowly destroying the planet. So make the switch to one of these fully compostable alternatives – cleaning cloths, sponges and loofah scourers – and at the end of their life you can put them in your garden waste bin (yes you can as they are made of PLANTS!)


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2. Iron & Velvet have created water soluble cleaning sachets. We use tens of bottles of cleaning products annually in each household. Their simple ‘drop and dissolve’ cleaning pods mean you can reuse the same bottle over and over again.

Bathroom swaps

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Bamboo toothbrushes need little introduction – we've all seen the images of plastic toothbrushes being washed ashore across the globe. But did you know that you can get plenty of other bathroom products plastic free?


Bamboo toothbrushes, Kutis deodorant and Faith in Nature shampoo bar.

Bamboo toothbrushes, Kutis deodorant and Faith in Nature shampoo bar. - Credit: The Refill Pantry

3. Kutis deodorants are handmade in Wales and come in a cardboard push-up tube, without all the nasty stuff that can be found in commercial deodorants.

4. Faith in Nature are a well known ethical UK brand who say that ‘everyone should benefit from what nature provides’ and they now make shampoo bars – these come in a cardboard box and look just like a bar of soap. They lather well, take up little space, and best of all NO PLASTIC!

Beauty swaps

5. Reusable make up wipes are one of best long term swaps you can make. Made from sustainable bamboo or organic cotton, these wipes can be used again and again and can be washed in a little pouch with your regular laundry load.

Made from sustainable bamboo or organic cotton, these wipes can be used again and again.

Made from sustainable bamboo or organic cotton, these wipes can be used again and again and can be washed in a little pouch with your regular laundry load. - Credit: The Refill Pantry

6. And to complement these zero waste beauties what better company to use for your beauty regime than Upcircle – who started in 2015 collecting used coffee grounds from one London café to create face scrubs.


Coffee face scrub

What better company to use for your beauty regime than Upcircle – who started in 2015 collecting used coffee grounds from one London cafe to create face scrubs? - Credit: The Refill Pantry

Their best selling cleansing balm contains used finely ground powder from discarded apricot stones to gently cleanse the skin, leaving it soft and hydrated.

Food and drink swaps

7. Most tea bags contain plastic, and the tea is often lower quality ground up leaves. Loose leaf teas are often fresher, taste better, and have a tenth of the carbon footprint of tea bags.

You can bring your own containers and refill from their huge selection of dried food, cleaning and beauty products.

The Refill Pantry is a Zero Waste Shop in St Albans where you can bring your own containers and refill from their huge selection of dried food (pasta, rice, dried fruit etc), cleaning and beauty products. - Credit: The Refill Pantry

8. Snacks – who doesn’t need these? But with so much packaging it’s hard to find a savoury treat that doesn’t add to plastic pollution. That’s why Just Crisps are such a fab find! 100 per cent British crisps made from potatoes and rapeseed oil both produced on their farm in Staffordshire.

They supply their crisps in reusable tubs that are collected at the same time as the next delivery, so no extra travel and zero packaging. Simply bring your own container to the shop and fill with the crisps.

The Refill Pantry is at 26 London Road (just a few doors down from The Peahen) and at Carpenter’s Nursery and Farm Shop in Sandridge.

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