Earth Day’s Focus is Planet vs Plastic - How Can You Save Plastic In The Washroom?

Date posted: 17.04.2024

Earth Day’s Focus is Planet vs Plastic - How Do You Save Plastic In The Washroom?

Earth Day’s focus this year is the Planet vs Plastic. This blog aims to delve into the current landscape surrounding plastic refuse, what we as a company are doing to reduce our plastic pollution, and how you can do the same.

Only 9% of plastic gets recycled, meaning the remaining amount is incinerated, at landfill sites, floating in our oceans, and even trapped inside glaciers - chilling!

This plastic is here to stay, too, taking up to 500 years to fully decompose. To put that amount of time into perspective, 500 years into the past from today, Henry VIII was the King.

This versatile material we use on a daily basis has left its mark on our planet. However, fortunately, it isn’t all doom and gloom. Scientists are confident that we have not yet passed a point of no return, so if we make some small lifestyle changes now, we can begin to reverse decades of plastic pollution.

What Are HSG Doing to Save Plastic?

Our soluble cleaning product is significantly reducing our plastic waste. One urinal sleeve can get through 3000-8000 ml of cleaning product annually, so 4-10 plastic spray bottles for just one urinal every single year.

Most urinal sleeve providers will supply a new plastic bottle of their recommended cleaning solution after each service per urinal. To help reduce our plastic waste, we provide our cleaning solution for Ureco through a water-soluble sachet and a high-quality, reusable bottle. This method provides a multitude of benefits:

Plastic Waste - We prevented an enormous 18,720 plastic bottles from being disposed of in 2022 and 37,440 bottles in 2023 - a combined 56,160 bottles over just 2 years. This is the equivalent of 11.23 tonnes, or about ten family cars, and 63.57 cubic metres, which would fill six dustbin lorries, of plastic waste prevented.

CO2 Emissions - This 11.23 tonne reduction in plastic use means we prevented 70.22 tonnes of CO2 from entering our atmosphere from plastic production and treatment.

Logistics - Because we don’t have to transport bulky liquid-filled bottles, cleaning product transportation size and weight are reduced by over 90%, which reduces our fuel consumption and vehicle size.

Storage Space - One pack of cleaning sachets is about the size of an A6 notebook, but has the potential to produce 9000ml or 12 plastic bottles worth of cleaning product.

What Can You Do to Save Plastic in the Washroom?

Durability and cost-effectiveness. No other material blends these three aspects as well as plastic. However, the environment ultimately pays the price if these plastic products are not disposed of properly.

Washrooms, for a number of reasons like hygiene, water presence, and quick product use, are a plastic-intensive part of the home. Here are 3 ways you can reduce plastic pollution in the washroom:

Recycle Properly

Unfortunately, keeping all your almost empty shower gel bottles in the shower doesn’t count as reducing plastic pollution.

Of all the plastic that is collected to be recycled, which is about 15% of all plastic produced, only 60% of this is actually recycled. Ensuring that you recycle your bottles correctly will prevent recyclable plastic from going to landfill or being incinerated. This means checking the product labels, for example, what parts of the bottle can be recycled - doing this before purchasing will mean you are always buying recyclable plastic. It is also important to remove all product residue to ensure the bottle can be recycled properly.

Ditch the Disposable Razors

Inexpensive and easy to use, disposable razors have become commonplace in the washroom. However, after 3-10 shaves, they become blunt and clogged up, and then off to landfill they go. This means that a person who shaves daily will dispose of 40 to 120 razors every year. It is no surprise then that globally an estimated 5 billion of the things are disposed of annually.

Disposable razors are extremely difficult to recycle, thanks to the use of oil-based, non-biodegradable plastics, which are combined with other materials that are difficult to separate and pose a safety risk to workers.

Moving to a reusable razor handle and replacement heads uses significantly less plastic and the handle itself will last for years. This relatively small lifestyle change will help prevent this unnecessary source of plastic pollution. And will likely save you money in the long run, too.

Wet Wipes - Keep Them Dry

Wet wipes are a handy invention. And we love the things. So much so, that we are now using an eye-watering 14,000 wipes every second globally. In the time you have taken to read this blog so far, over 1.6 million wet wipes have been used.

Wet wipes contain plastic. This means that, although the norm, wet wipes should never be flushed. And sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but even ‘flushable’ wipes shouldn’t generally be flushed.

This is because, beyond problems with pipework blockages, with Water UK finding that a staggering 93% of pipework blockages are as a result of wet wipes, including those that are labelled ‘flushable’, they are also a source of plastic pollution.

Opting for pure cotton wipes will ensure they are fully biodegradable, and then disposing of them in the bin will benefit the environment and your pipework.

To conclude, whether we like it or not, we are plastic-obsessed. Even the most environmentally conscious individuals cannot avoid using it in day-to-day life. The difference in terms of allowing plastic pollution will be the decisions we make, from purchasing a product to disposing of it.

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