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Bathroom, Kitchen and laundry ideas

We all want to do the right thing by reducing our use of plastic and single-use products around the house but often knowing what to do can be a challenge.

The best place to start is looking in your home bins. It might sound gross, but by looking at what items are in your bin you can identify what waste can be reduced or avoided. Plastic Free July have put together an easy ‘how to’ on completing a bin audit at home or in the work place.

Wherever possible avoid single-use products. Instead opt for reusable products that will have multiple uses. If single-use products can’t be avoided chose products that can easily be recycled.

Here are some of our top tip’s room-by-room on what single-use or plastic products that can be swapped with less wasteful alternatives.

In the Bathroom

  • Eliminate plastic containers from your bathroom and replace with a bar – hand, body, and face wash, hair shampoo and conditioner, and shave soaps all come in bar form.
  • Reuse spray bottles for cleaning by either filling them up at bulk stores or by making your own cleaning spray.
  • Use a washable facecloth to remove make-up.
  • Make your own toothpaste and store it in a glass jar.
  • Choose toilet paper not wrapped in plastic.
  • Ditch the single-use, plastic dental floss for an alternative such as beeswax floss or silk floss that comes in a glass jar.
  • Swap your plastic razor for a stainless-steel razor with replaceable blades.

Plastic Free July have put together an easy ‘how to’ on completing an audit of your bin at home or work.


  • Use reusable containers for storage or try beeswax-coated cotton fabric wax instead of plastic cling-wrap.
  • Refill your own containers at a refill supermarket to avoid single-use packaging.
  • Use washable dish cloths (preferably made of natural fibres) instead of single-use paper towels.
  • Rather than recycling unavoidable single-use plastic containers, reuse them for storage first.
  • Avoid soft-plastic and single-use packaging by baking your own biscuits, muffins, breads and making your own dips.
    Find an alternative to putting food scraps in your rubbish bin so you won’t need to use a plastic bin liner. Try composting your food waste or use the Auckland Council food scraps service.

Reducing food waste can save you money. Love Food Hate Waste have tips on the best way to store your food to keep it fresh for longer.

In the Laundry

  • Refill your laundry cleaning product containers
  • Try making some homemade cleaning solutions - baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar are powerful cleaners and can be used in a variety of ways. 
  • Switch to a stain-remover bar, instead of a spray plastic bottle or powder in a plastic container.
  • If you’re looking for a new laundry basket, check out natural woven baskets or purchase one second hand.
  • Choose to buy clothes pegs made from stainless steel, wood, or bamboo with a stainless steel spring as an alternative to plastic pegs.

If you are looking to eliminate plastic from your home, check out Plastic Free July. Plastic Free July is a worldwide challenge with millions of participants. It empowers individuals, communities, and businesses to choose to refuse single-use plastics in their lives. It’s a personal challenge that’s part of a global effort for our oceans, for cleaner streets, and for the planet. The website has many more suggestions on how to reduce plastic waste so check it out.

We support and encourage all Aucklanders to take simple, daily actions to create long-lasting habits that minimise the use of single-use items for good.