Single-use plastics have a stronghold in most homes. Discover how these nine brands are changing the consumer’s mindset around the harms of daily plastic use.
Plastic pollution is one of the largest threats to our environment. Single-use plastics such as cling wrap, coffee cups, straws, water bottles, and cutlery require precious resources to make and manufacture, to only be discarded after a one-time use. These plastics are accumulating in the landfill, posing risks to surrounding communities and wildlife. Because plastic does not biodegrade, every single piece of it still exists on this planet.
The well-known plastic-free movement has spurred many individuals to partake in challenges, such as Plastic Free July, to rethink the daily use of plastics. Coverage of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, amongst other unsettling videos and images, has sparked a change in many brands and consumers.
This shift in mindset has gained so much traction that many brands are realizing the impacts of their products. In an effort to reduce plastic pollution, businesses and brands are stepping up their sustainability efforts by redesigning the product or eliminating plastic altogether to be more environmentally-friendly. Sustainability changes the game for how products are designed, manufactured, and disposed of.
Read on to discover nine brands that are spurring conscious consumerism and inspiring other brands to reduce their products’ impact.
Many homes are familiar with the use of plastic cling wrap to cover unused produce or wrap trays of leftovers in order to keep them fresh. While convenient, plastic wrap is known to contain chemicals that can harm your body over extended periods of time. Most cling wrap brands consist of Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and Bispenol A (BPA); these chemicals are known endocrine disruptors, thus producing detrimental effects on the body.
Image via Abeego.
In addition to the health effects of plastic wrap, it is also manufactured to be single-use–that is, used once and then thrown away. Brands like Abeego have produced an alternative to plastic wrap that can be used for around nine months, then composted. Made of beeswax, tree resin, and jojoba oil infused into an organic hemp cotton cloth, this food wrap does not pose the same harmful risk as its plastic counterpart.
Household cleaners are traditionally sold in plastic containers and extensively marked up–even when the main ingredient is water. Most individuals don’t have access to refill stations to reuse the containers, so they often resort to purchasing another bottle for the same price. Think of all the plastic containers used for just household cleaners (hint: it’s a lot!). Not only that, common household cleaners come jam-packed with toxic ingredients that often do more harm than good.
Image via Blueland.
To combat plastic pollution and toxic household cleaners, Blueland sought out to design acrylic spray bottles that will last hundred of uses, plus include a refill system that requires a simple cleaning tablet and water. Instead of repurchasing an entire bottle of cleaner, consumers can buy just the cleaning tablets for a fraction of the price. This eliminates the cost and weight of shipping along with product waste over time.
3. Brush with Bamboo
First designed in the early 20th century, plastic toothbrushes have remained a staple in many consumer’s lives. While they are designed to be bacteria-resistant, the plastics in a toothbrush are near impossible to recycle, meaning the majority of them end up in landfills. In fact, all plastic toothbrushes ever made still exist on this earth.
Image via Brush with Bamboo.
Hailed as the first plant-based toothbrush, Brush with Bamboo‘s design consists of an organic bamboo handle and bristles made of 62% castor bean oil and 38% nylon. While not fully compostable, this toothbrush still heavily reduces plastic use by containing only a small percentage of nylon in its bristles alone.
4. By Humankind
Bathroom products are notoriously known for being a plastic haven. Deodorants, mouthwash, shampoo bottles, and other hygiene products all come packaged in hard-to-recycle plastics. They’re also often packaged in a way that leaves product waste at the bottom of the container.
Image via By Humankind.
By Humankind, a high quality personal care brand, has solved that design problem by creating refillable products and minimal packaging. The mouthwash comes as tablet refills, while the shampoo comes in bar form to reduce a need for a vessel. Their products are also thoughtfully designed to be neutral and minimal in order to appeal to a large range of consumers.
Laundry and dishwasher pods have become all the rage since its release in early 2012. Known for its ease of use and convenience, pods have changed the way consumers buy detergent. But, convenience often comes at a cost. The containers that house laundry and dishwasher pods are seldom recycled, meaning a whopping 90% of them resort to landfill.
Image via Dropps.
In addition to sourcing plant-based ingredients, Dropps has gone above and beyond by shipping its pods in a compostable and reusable cardboard package. This eliminates the need to buy large plastic jugs of detergent at a local grocery store. This brand shows consumers that they can be environmentally friendly and still have the convenience of detergent pods.
Hair care, face, and other bath products are also commonly packaged in plastic containers that get thrown away once finished. Plastic packaging isn’t the only culprit here; many facial scrubs and washes also contain plastic in the form of microbeads that provide exfoliation. While many personal care brands have phased out microbeads, they’re still being washed down the drain and ingested by both people and animals.
Image via Lush Cosmetics.
Lush Cosmetics is actively fighting plastic pollution by formulating products with no packaging at all. Up to 35% of their personal care items are designed in a way that does not rely on a container or preservatives. This vast selection of package-free items enables consumers to make a more conscious decision when choosing their next product.
7. Marley’s Monsters
Facial rounds, paper towels, napkins, wipes, and sponges are all bathroom and kitchen essentials for the standard household. Once used, these items typically end up in the landfill along with its plastic packaging. The single-use nature of these products wreaks havoc on our environment in many ways.
Image via Marley’s Monsters.
Marley’s Monsters took a design flaw and made these household staples reusable, vibrant, and sustainable. Instead of simply tossing paper towels and sponges in the trash, these eye-catching products can be rewashed and used for hundreds of times before heading to compost. By simply opting for products with a longer lifespan, consumers can reduce their impact on the planet.
8. Meow Meow Tweet
Personal care and hygiene products are typically designed to be manufactured, shipping, used, and then disposed of. This model follows the linear economy approach, in which items are created, then thrown away in the landfill. Products with sustainability in mind tend to favor a circular economy, or closed loop system. This gives the vessel a longer life span and often reduces costs associated with manufacturing and recycling.
Image via Meow Meow Tweet’s Instagram.
Known for their whimsical packaging and spirited branding, Meow Meow Tweet makes purchasing sustainable and cruelty-free products an easy decision. Their products are packaged in a way that supports reusability and refillability. Instead of purchasing the bulk refills separately, consumers are encouraged to clean their vessel and return to the company. This reinforces a closed-loop system over a linear economy by reducing landfilled items and preserving natural resources.
Ziploc bags are used in many households to store snacks, sandwiches, and other miscellaneous items. Due to their flimsy nature, these bags are commonly thrown away after a single use. This poses threats to the environment and people’s health.
Image via Stasher.
To overcome the disposable nature of Ziploc bags, Stasher has designed high quality silicone bags that can be reused endless amounts of time, thus diverting thousands (and even millions) of snack bags from the landfill.
Cover image via Milleflore Images.
Searching for more earth-friendly content? Check out these articles:
How the Plastic Free Movement Impacts Packaging and Product Design
Workflow Tips for the Environmentally Conscious Designer
5 Designers Who Use Their Work to Promote Environmental Issues
10 Free Nature-Themed Icons for Eco-Friendly Branding
The post 9 Household Brands That Want You to Rethink Single-Use Plastics appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.
Read more: shutterstock.com