St Bride's: News - Let it Shine - #PlasticLessLent: Week 4

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St Bride's: News

Let it Shine - #PlasticLessLent: Week 4

Let it Shine - #PlasticLessLent: Week 4

This week the choir are looking at ways to reduce the plastic in our household cleaning as we journey through our #PlasticLessLent.

Here in the UK, we spend £1billion per year on cleaning products. The majority of these are packaged in plastic and put a burden on the environment in many other ways such as chemicals, palm oil, animal testing, and plastic waste.


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So what are the alternatives?

Au Naturel


Rachel Chapman models our au naturel range in fetching russet choir gown

A few decades ago, most people only had homespun products in their cleaning arsenal, and made do with a few natural ingredients and lots of elbow grease. Tired of being bombarded with multinational companies screaming at us to buy multiple different products, some consumers are returning to this gentler approach to cleaning. Gloucester couple Claudi and Peter, living plastic free since 2016, set out the basics of cleaning with only lemons, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda in their family blog:

Green Brands

If au naturel cleaning seems a little too extreme, there are some modern cleaning products with less of an environmental impact.

With products that are widely available and ingredients that fully biodegrade, it's easy to see why Ecover is the most popular 'green' brand on the market. Although most of their products are sold in plastic bottles, it is possible to get them refilled if you're lucky enough to live near a shop with a refilling station. It is also possible to buy Ecover products in bulk online, reducing the overall use of plastic. This is also the case with Method and Bio-D brands.

Relatively new to the market, online company Splosh send out their cleaning products by post. Although initially the products come in plastic bottles, when these are empty, you can buy inexpensive sachets of refill concentrate which are sent out packaged in paper and cardboard. Pop a sachet in the empty bottle, fill to the top with water, and the sachet dissolves, leaving the product ready for use in a few minutes. With natural ingredients in the products and a novel way of reducing the carbon required to transport the refills, this is an attractive and competitively priced alternative to the supermarket regulars.

Cleaning Equipment

So now you have the reduced-plastic unguents sorted, what about cloths and scrubbers? Most dishcloths and scourers are made using plastic, are not recyclable and will not degrade in landfill. In this article, The Telegraph takes a look at using less plastic in general, but with a great section reviewing the bamboo, silicone, and coconut hair alternatives to plastic sponges and scrubbers.

Purchasing a pair of supposedly rubber gloves, you may find that your local supermarket brand is partially made with vinyl. Check the (hopefully non-plastic) packaging on rubber gloves to see if they are labelled as bio-sustainable latex, as this material is so green, it is suitable for home composting.

When your plastic dustpan and brush, sweeping brush and mop come to the end of their useful lives, do consider investing in bamboo and aluminium alternatives.


As we found with products for the bathroom in Week 2, the multinational giants dominating our supermarket shelves would have us believe we need multiple harsh chemical products, all packaged in plastic, in order to clean our houses properly. Once this belief has been questioned, it is possible to see how you might clean your whole house with a few natural ingredients, or choose a more eco brand of your usual spray bottle, very easily.

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