#WasteNothing bathroom ideas

Two packaging free shampoo bars

Refresh your bathroom routine to reduce waste

When it comes to recycling, the waste generated in the bathroom often gets overlooked, despite the wide availability of recyclable, packaging-free and reusable alternatives. We’ve pulled together some practical tips to help you switch up your routine and reduce your waste, hopefully leaving your conscience as clean as your face!

A good place to start is taking stock of what you already have in your bathroom cupboards. If you’ve not had a good clear out for a while your bathroom is likely to be filled with lots of unused, half-finished, old, or out-of-date products. Streamlining what you have and decluttering are helpful things to do before setting out to form new habits.

Items that are unopened could be donated to charity – The Trussell Trust who run food banks are always in need of donations of toiletries and personal hygiene products. Products that you’ve opened, not really used, but that are still in date could be passed onto friends or through an online groups.

Soap, toothpaste tablets and a reusable razor

Find recyclable, reusable or packaging-free alternatives

There’s no need to replace items you already have for more environmentally friendly versions. If you’ve already got it, keep using it. But once the item runs out, try to swap it for a reusable, refillable or packaging-free version.


The humble soap bar has undergone a massive transformation in recent years, and it is now possible to get unpackaged bar versions of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and facial wash. Packaging-free, solid versions of products include:

    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Facial wash
    • Moisturiser
    • Shaving bars
    • Shower gel
    • Toothpaste

If you want to find some packaging-free alternatives, Bristol’s many zero-waste shops are a great place to start looking.

Plastic-free and recyclable packaging

Health and beauty product packaging can be hard to recycle. Look for packaging that’s made of just one material, or made of materials that can be easily separated out and recycled, such as aluminium, glass, or recyclable plastics.


You can now refill a variety of washing products, including:

    • Shampoos
    • Conditioners
    • Body washes
    • Bath soaks
    • Moisturiser
    • Liquid hand soaps

You can save old bottles and dispensers and get them refilled at one of a growing number of shops with a refill station.

Metal reusable container, razor and a plant in the background

Reusable products

Many disposable products now have reusable alternatives including:

    • Razors
    • Wet wipes
    • Eye make-up remover pads
    • Menstrual cups
    • Sanitary towels
    • Incontinence pads
    • Period pants
    • Nappies
    • Toothbrushes with recyclable heads
    • Ear buds

When your disposable products run out replace them with a reusable version. A reuseable razor will still have blades to dispose of over its lifetime but you can use a blade bank to collect and recycle them safely.

Selection of homemade health and hygiene products

Make your own

Another way to cut down on your packaging, and know exactly what’s in the products you use, is to make your own products. Many of the ingredients can be bought packaging free or in recyclable packaging. Buying the ingredients in bulk and then refilling your containers over and over can also result in less packaging overall.

There are lots of ideas and recipes to make your own cleansing and beauty products online. You can also find more inspiration by joining courses.

A reusable razor and packing free shampoo bar

Set up a recycling station in your bathroom

Add a recycling station to your bathroom to save recyclable materials like toilet roll tubes, plastic bottles and aerosol cans from the black wheelie bin. You could hang a canvas bag over the door for this purpose, or use a spare basket or set aside an empty drawer or cupboard to collect things in.

Some health and beauty products can’t be recycled at the kerbside because they are made of composite materials or hard-to-recycle packaging. However, there may be a TerraCycle collection point you can use. TerraCycle run recycling programmes to collect harder to recycle items like soft plastics, toothpaste tubes, contact lenses and hand wash pumps.


If you enjoyed this blog, go ahead and share it!