Consumables make up a big percentage of the waste we produce. Wet wipes, tissues, toilet paper, kitchen roll, toilet roll, cotton buds and cotton pads create masses of unnecessary paper, plastic and cotton waste, much of which could be avoided.


In the UK we go through 11 billion wet wipes a year! Most of these are non-biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to break down into microplastics which pollute waters and can enter the food chain.

One of the big problems with wet wipes is incorrect disposal. Wet wipes which are flushed down the toilet cause blockages in sewerage systems which wastes lots of money to remove.​ Wipes should always go in the refuse bin when finished with.

TOP TIP: The greenest thing to do is avoid wet wipes completely. Switching to reusable cloths which are washed is the best way to go.

If reusable isn't practical then there are biodegradable wet wipes available to buy.


Tissues and kitchen towel are very handy but not so eco-friendly. As well as paper waste they often come in non-recyclable plastic packaging. The greenest way to go is to switch to handkerchiefs or reusable kitchen towel to drastically cut down on waste. 


There are also greener single-use options available. Products made from sustainable bamboo or recycled paper with paper packaging are much more eco-friendly options. 


270,000 trees are cut down each day to end up down the toilet. It may seem like a difficult area to avoid waste but there are ways to be greener. Buying toilet paper in recycled paper packaging instead of non-recyclable plastic is a good start. Choosing toilet paper made from bamboo or recycled paper is a great way to be more eco-friendly, that way a tree hasn't been directly cut down for the toilet paper!

   TOP TIP: Getting a bidet is a great way to drastically reduce toilet paper use. Use the water spray to do the majority or all of the cleaning instead of paper! A German company called HappyPo have invented a travel bidet which is really easy to use and made from recyclable plastic. It can be bought online at AmazonSmile by searching 'HappyPo Easy-Bidet'.


TOP TIP:  Globally, 1.5 billion cotton buds are thrown away each day and 10% of these go down toilets. Whatever material they are made of, they are items of single-use waste which could be avoided. LastSwab are a Denmark-based company who have invented a reusable alternative. They've even created a design for makeup use.

If you prefer to stick with single-use cotton buds there are still ways to be greener. Most paper-stem swabs sold in the UK come in plastic packaging. There are more eco-friendly cotton buds made sustainably with bamboo stems which are sold in recycled cardboard packaging.


Most of us aren't aware how bad cotton is for the environment. It uses masses of water and harmful pesticides to grow. Not only that, cotton pads come in unrecyclable plastic packaging. There are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives available such as reusable pads or reusable cloths.