We’re all for reducing our impact on the environment, but sometimes taking a good hard look at our habits and consumption can lead to feelings of overwhelm, and, subsequently, inertia. Thankfully these three Sydney businesses are taking the grunt work out of minimising our reliance on plastic. They won’t solve all your waste-free problems, but they’re a good start.
Reco – which was founded by inner-west resident Danling Xiao – produces sustainable, lemon-myrtle-scented dishwashing and laundry powders in reusable glass jars. A single courier delivers the products to a small area of Sydney (stretching from Alexandria to the edge of the inner-west). And if you prep your empty jars for collection when you order your next batch, you’ll get $2 off your next order.
Apart from the lack of plastic packaging, the products themselves are a sustainable alternative to the chemical-laden products you’ll find in supermarkets – and they’re fully biodegradable.
Rachel Sebastian, owner of online marketplace Zilch, hand-picks plastic-free versions of everyday household products such as toothpaste, dental floss, deodorant and shampoo. There’s just one option for each product, so not only are you getting the best version of that product Sebastian could find, you’ll also have one less decision to make when it comes to reducing your footprint.
Not only are the products plastic-free, but they all meet a set of other mandatory requirements: zero-waste, vegan-friendly, palm-oil free, cruelty-free, ethically made and Australian. Discounts are available if you buy three or more items (starting at five per cent off), with the discount increasing the more you buy (up to 15 per cent off).
Shipping is carbon neutral, and orders are delivered in fully compostable and recyclable packaging (with a sheet of seeds to plant).
While cutting down on water bottles and plastic packaging is a no-brainer, we were surprised to learn that most commercial chewing gums contain plastic and synthetic rubber. Swell Gum is dedicated to solving that problem, making gum from chicle (a kind of tree sap), which was the chewing gum of choice for the Aztecs. It also contains xylitol (a natural sweetener found in many plants), which has fewer calories than sugar and helps fight tooth decay.
While those plant-based ingredients mightn’t sound so appetising, Swell Gum tastes like any other classic peppermint chewing gum. Plus, it comes in biodegradable ziplock packaging, and 25 per cent of all profits are donated to ocean-conservation charities.