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5 rooms that generate the most plastic waste - and simple swaps you can make

From bathrooms to bedrooms, keep scrolling to discover more…

home waste rooms© Photo: iStock
Tania Leslau
Lifestyle Writer
April 7, 2022
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Sustainable living is all the rage and rightfully so – but how can we implement mindful living within our own homes? From the kitchen to the bathroom and bedroom, there are plenty of ways to avoid excess plastic waste in our day-to-day lives.

The Bower Collective revealed the rooms that produce the most plastic waste, so we know how to create a safer environment for our families and planet. Keep scrolling to discover more…

1. Bathroom

63.7% of the home’s annual plastic waste

According to Bower Collective, the bathroom produces 30.9kg of plastic waste per household per year. The worst plastic pollutant in the shower is body wash, followed by hair conditioner.

Some sustainable alternatives include reusable body wash and shampoo/conditioner bars.

shampoo bar

Eco Warrior Shampoo Bar, £3, Boots


2. Utility Room

8.1% of the home’s annual plastic waste

As if we didn't dislike it enough already, doing the laundry produces 3.93kg of the home’s plastic waste per household per year. The three biggest culprits in this room are fabric conditioner (which accounts for 20% of the room’s waste), glass and mirror cleaner (which accounts for 14.2%) and finally, something we’ve all been using much more of since the start of the pandemic, surface sanitising spray (which also accounts for 14.2%).

Ensure your laundry is as eco-friendly as possible with a sustainable, refillable laundry liquid.

bower laundry liquid

Laundry Lavender Liquid Refill, £3.84, Bower Collective


3. Kitchen

7.7% of the home’s annual plastic waste

Even without the considerable contribution of plastic waste from food packaging, the kitchen produces 3.73kg of plastic waste per household per year (excl. plastic from food waste). 22.1% of the kitchen’s output can be blamed on kitchen cleaning spray alone. More thorough hand washing also means more plastic waste as one-fifth of all kitchen waste is from hand-wash bottles. Washing up liquid also accounts for a sizable 11.5% of the kitchen’s plastic waste.

Opt for a reusable hand sanitiser with these colourful pocket-sized options that come with refillable liquid.

hand sanitiser

Pocket Hand Sanitiser, £4.50, Haan


4. Living Room

6% of the home’s annual plastic waste

Your living room produces 2.9kg of plastic waste per household per year. Although it may use up a lot of energy from electrical appliances, this room produces very little single-use plastic waste.

Jazz up your sustainable living room with a beautiful, zero-plastic sofa. 

blig blue sofa

Big Blue Sofa, £2915, Barker and Stonehouse


5. Bedroom

4.9% of the home’s annual plastic waste

The bedroom produces 2.4kg of plastic waste per household per year but there is one huge hotspot, which independently accounts for 79.2% of the bedroom’s contribution: make-up. In a two-person household, you can expect to rack up around a surprising 1.9 kg. of makeup waste per year. Lipstick is the biggest culprit as it accounts for 23% of bedroom single-use plastic waste, and 29% of a makeup bag.

Curate a plastic-free makeup bag with an eco-friendly beauty kit.

beauty box

H&B Clean & Conscious Monthly Beauty Edit - Zero Waste, £40, Holland and Barrett


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