- 26 Aug 08, 01:59 PM GMT
My fridge is a plastic-free zone but the bathroom is a different matter, with plastic bottles and tubs, disposable razors and even products containing plastic.
Hygiene, personal preference and regard for anyone who comes within 10 feet of me all dictate that giving up toiletries is not an option, so, what's a girl to do?
Well, the first thing to point out is that bottles for shampoo and similar products are often easily recyclable.
They tend to be made from HDPE or PET, the same plastic as milk or water bottles, and can be recycled in the same way.
Furthermore they can also be made from recycled plastic. The Body Shop has just announced that its Wellbeing range will be packaged in 100% post consumer recycled plastic.
But hang on, doesn't the Body Shop (now owned by French beauty industry giant L'Oreal) offer refills of its products?
Once but no longer, according to a spokeswoman for the firm. Uptake was reportedly poor as customers found the hassle of remembering the old bottle inconvenient and the policy was ditched in 2003.
One non-plastic option is to lather up with a shampoo bar - a solid version of the liquid stuff. These can get a little messy to transport if you're going on holiday but Lush sells a tin to keep its round bars in.
A more hardcore alternative espoused by some other bloggers such as Life Less Plastic and Fake Plastic Fish is to abandon commercial shampoo completely and use bicarbonate of soda with a vinegar rinse.
Apparently this "no 'poo" regime (as it's known) starts to work after a couple of weeks of greasiness. I am sceptical but I have to admit being too chicken to try it so far.
Bicarbonate of soda is also hailed as an effective deodorant by some. Again I have my doubts but I had my doubts about the wool nappy too and that does work so maybe when my current roll-on finally runs out I will dare to try it.
There are also BO-bashers available with mainly glass packaging or a small amount of plastic although some of the more "natural" ones have received mixed reviews.
Shaving is without plastic is tricky. Men can go for an old school cut-throat razor but I'm not taking one of those to my ankles although I am willing to give a metal safety razor a go.
My usual product is a pack of 10 disposable razors, packed in a plastic bag with two plastic holders, none of which is currently recyclable.
In the US, Recycline offers disposable razors made from recycled plastic and will take back the used razors.
Wax strips suffer from the same problem as throwaway razors in that they are designed to be discarded after use.
But hot wax or sugaring can be done using reusable cotton strips (although some products wash off better than others).
Finally, skin care and cosmetics. As well as being packaged in plastic, products such as exfoliants can contain microscopic plastic beads, as this article from Slate Magazine explains.
Nail varnish contains synthetic polymers and lengthening mascara can achieve its effect by adding polyester fibres to lashes.
And then there's the packaging - almost all cosmetics are largely packaged in plastic although some companies are experimenting with card and metal combinations.
It's all hugely difficult to navigate. But there are some easy changes: I've ditched cotton wool (packaged in plastic) and gone back to a flannel for cleansing my face. Not an exfoliating micro-bead in sight.
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