Plastic-free cleaning

Small steps…

  • Swap the supermarket’s ubiquitous sponge scourers for one of the environmentally-friendly alternatives.
  • Dare to give them as gifts so your friends and family can try them for themselves!

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A plastic-free (and cheaper!) alternative to plastic sponge scourers

For all the years we’ve been running our holiday cottages, the routine was always the same: with each new arrival we’d leave out small bottles of shampoo, conditioner and moisturiser, a bar of soap and an absorbent sponge cloth (more on all these later). We’d also put out a drying up towel and a brand new washing up scourer – you know the one: a yellow sponge, with either a white or green scouring side, that usually comes in a plastic wrapper.

If the scourer was filthy when our guests left, we’d bin it. If it still had some life in it, we’d scrub down a few wellies or rugby boots, and then bin it. At worst, we could have been responsible for landfilling over one hundred plastic scourers every year. And that’s not even mentioning the regular trickle of particulates polluting the local water course through their use.

This seems another good example of how an unthinking habit can be so damaging, and yet so easily corrected. I’m embarrassed it took me so long to recognise the issue – only last year did I begin to investigate the alternatives, from loofahs to coconut fibre pads. We settled on the Scrubby: made from 100% cotton and measuring 16 x 12cm, they come in a variety of colours and patterns, wrapped in a cardboard sleeve.

They’re tough enough to scrape even my cooking off the ovenware, yet soft enough to avoid scratching. And when our guests leave or ours is needing a clean, we just throw them in the washing machine with everything else. Best of all, they cost me all of £3.50 each, and would be even less if my local shop sold multipacks.

Cheaper, just as effective, and better for everyone – a no-brainer.

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