Plastic-free laundry detergent in the UK: Now, more than ever, more and more people are starting to wake up and pay attention to the daily damage being done to the lovely planet that we all share. One of the Earth’s biggest enemies is plastic pollution. This is quickly becoming one of the planet’s largest obstacles. According to the Ellen McArthur Foundation, the oceans will have more plastic than fish by the year 2050.
It does not have to turn out that way, even the small changes can help reduce the impact. Luckily most in the UK understand the need to be as eco-friendly as possible, including the importance of using plastic-free laundry detergent. In this article we are going to look into what different types of plastic-free laundry detergent are available in the UK.
How much laundry detergent does the average UK household go through annually?
Most UK households go through at least one to two bottles of washing detergent every month for a total of about 20 bottles annually. According to the Office for National Statistics in 2019 the number of households in the UK was 27.8 Million. That’s a staggering 556 Million bottles of washing detergent being used every year in the UK alone. This leads us to ask many questions including what effect does this have on the environment? And what eco alternatives are available?
At around £10 per bottle, with the energy and waste costs added in on average UK households are spending well over £250 per year. Using an organic or plastic-free laundry alternative not only reduces the harmful impact on the environment, but it can also save you money and from having to replace clothing so often.
What effects does this have on the environment?
It is becoming more and more apparent that washing laundry has a bigger impression on the environment than we had originally believed. From the type of washing machine used, the fabric of the clothing, and the kind of laundry detergent, it all has its own consequences.
Plastic-free laundry detergent is fast becoming the easiest and most efficient way of reducing our environmental impact. If everyone did a 5kg load of laundry every other day, approximately 440 kg of carbon dioxide emissions would be released, and this is just a rough estimate. Not to mention washing in hot water greatly increases the carbon cost as well. Throw in laundry detergent that is laden with harsh chemicals and you’ve set yourself up for an environmental impact that could have been easily avoided.
What plastic-free laundry detergents are available in the UK?
Luckily, many are starting to become more aware of the impact that everyday tasks and products can have on the environment. The understanding that this doesn’t need to happen to get the job done has led to many plastic free alternatives becoming available in the UK.
Below are a few different eco plastic free laundry detergent available in the UK:
- Ecozone Soap nuts:
Soap nuts also known as soap berries have been used for thousands of years as a natural washing detergent. These soap nuts work in all types of washing machines and provide a naturally sourced, non-toxic allergy free laundry detergent. Being a natural product, they are 100% biodegradable and come in a cotton bag. A 1 Kilo bag can last up to 330 washes which works out to be 3p per wash.
- Ecover Non Bio Washing: This washing detergent comes in a cardboard box and is made from plant-based and mineral ingredients. Although this non-bio powder is gentle on your skin and the environment it is powerful on ground in dirt and effective at cleaning at 30°C.
- Clothes Doctor plastic free laundry detergent: This laundry detergent has been made in the UK using a blend of plant-based ingredients. It comes in an 100% aluminium bottle with a compostable label. The bottle once empty can be sent back to the Clothes Doctors workshop in Cornwall to be reused with your next order or you can join one of their refill subscription programme which means when they deliver their products to you, they will collect the old containers to refill. This programme can reduce your waste to almost zero. Aluminium can be reused over and over again without loss of quality. If you don’t wish to return it the label should be composted and the container is widely recyclable.
- Tru Earth Eco-Strips Laundry Detergent: These laundry detergent eco-strips have a smaller eco footprint than traditional powder and liquid detergents. The zero waste laundry detergent strips are packaged in a zero plastics compostable cardboard sleeve and because it is lightweight the fuel consumption and global warmings emissions is cut by 94% compared to leading brand powder and liquid detergents.
These are just a few of our favourite plastic free laundry detergents which are available to purchase in the UK. These companies have been making it their mission to provide quality products which cause as little damage as possible to the planet. Their laundry detergents are plastic-free and made with natural, cruelty-free ingredients.
Other ways you can help reduce:
Switching to plastic-free laundry detergent is a great start, however, there is more that you can do to help, especially during laundry time. Taking these steps will also massively help:
- Use colder water: Cooler water is much gentler on clothing and saves quite a bit of energy at the same time. 90% of energy use comes from simply heating up the washing water.
- Skip the drying cycle: While the dryer might not be the main culprit for energy waste, it can increase it a lot. Hanging your clothes can help make them last longer while eliminating the dryers energy waste.
- Keep your machine clean: Clogging or not cleaning the washing machine on a regular basis can result in higher energy output. This is due to the machine having to run at a higher temperature.
Using plastic-free detergent is not just about being eco-friendly (although it is a very good thing), but it is also just as much about saving money, time, and frustration. Regular detergents can cause a health hazard in addition to an environmental one, there are simply no negatives to making the switch.
The Earth cannot handle the sheer volume of non-biodegradable waste the human population produces. Something has to give eventually, and preferably the damage can be minimised by making small adjustments in our everyday lives. By doing our part, even if it is a small one, it makes an impression. It is the little changes that lead to the bigger, more positive, ones. If we continue with our irresponsible use, what are we leaving behind for the future generations? We share this lovely planet and it is our duty to protect it.