Top tips for a zero waste bathroom

You might be surprised to learn that the bathroom produces a lot of waste, but it really does: shampoo bottles, conditioner bottles, shower gel bottles, hand-wash bottles, soap packaging, disposable razors, facial wipes, bathroom cleaner bottles, toilet roll inner tubes… you get the idea. In fact, most of our bathroom waste can be recycled, but research suggests most of us don’t even think about recycling when it comes to the bathroom. However, why not go one better than that and cut down on the waste so it doesn’t exist in the first place? The planet will thank you! It’s just about breaking habits.

We have collected some handy hints together for creating a low waste or zero waste bathroom. Even if you make one change towards zero waste, it is better than nothing. What will you try changing?

Shampoo and conditioner

You could try out the ‘no poo’ method, which can involve just washing your hair with water alone, or washing your hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Both of these products can be purchased in bulk, meaning much less packaging than traditional shampoo and conditioner. Or, if you’re not ready or willing to take that step, you could try packaging-free shampoo and conditioner bars, which are available at Lush.

Shower gel, hand-wash and soap

Image credit: Pixabay
Image credit: Pixabay

For these face and body cleansing items you could either bulk buy and refill the same container over and over, or you could opt for a solid bar of soap to perform all of these duties; opt for an unwrapped or paper wrapped soap. The whole family can share one bar, rather than each having a separate bottle of gel.

Sanitary towels and tampons

Replace these bleached, eco-unfriendly items with a reusable menstrual cup such as the Mooncup, or/and cloth pads which can be thrown in the washing machine with other laundry. An excellent selection can be found on Etsy, or you could learn how to make your own.

Facial wipes and cleansers

Ditch the ‘throwaway’ face wipes, and instead opt for a flannel and tap water to remove your makeup. Or wash your makeup off when you’re in the shower. For cleansers, toners, moisturisers and face masks, try Lush, or why not make your own using ingredients you already have in your kitchen cupboards?


Replace your usual deodorant with a crystal deodorant, which will last you about a year, or baking soda which can be bulk bought. Some claim antiperspirant success from slathering their underarms with coconut oil too, so why not give that a go for a day?


Image credit: Pixabay
Image credit: Pixabay

Try a safety razor instead of your disposable razors, and use with shaving soap; this will last you much, much longer.

Toothpaste & toothbrush

Swap to a compostable bamboo or wooden toothbrush, and make a tooth paste or powder, such as this one. If you’re in a rush or don’t wish to try making your own, pop to your local Lush store; they sell ‘toothy tabs’ and tooth powder, in recycled packaging you can clean and return to the shop.

Toilet & shower

If you’re not ready to embrace a lifetime of using a compost toilet, you could pop a brick or large stone in your toilet cistern to at least cut your water usage. When you want a shower, pop a bag under the shower head to catch the water which is used whilst the water is heating up. Then you can use this water around the home, and to water plants inside or out.

Toilet roll

Change your loo roll habits. Always buy recycled, unbleached paper. You could buy your toilet rolls from an office supply store, which will sell them wrapped in paper instead of un-recyclable plastic, or – if you are ready to take the plunge – you could look into making or buying some washable toilet wipes. This can seem very daunting, but it would be a great move for the environment, your skin, and your wallet.

Featured image credit: Pixabay

Published by

Lucy Ravenhall

Lucy is a long-standing editor of the Forge Recycling blog and loves writing about her environmental passions.