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  • Writer's pictureThe Refill Pantry

Plastic-Free July: Week 1

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Welcome to the first blog of Plastic-Free July. This week we will be focusing on the subject of household cleaning, and how you can make your cleaning routine plastic-free!

Cleaning the house is a task that should be quick, effective and easy; for this reason, there are so many products out there that advertise themselves based on these key qualities. However, this comes at a cost: whilst it might be easy to pick up a bottle of fairy liquid and a sponge from the supermarket, these products are damaging to the environment. At the end of its life, the empty bottle of fairy liquid might make its way into landfill, never to be used again, and the sponge might be worn down to microplastics, and will make its way into our oceans.

The upshot is that at The Refill Pantry we can offer you alternatives to these products and more, that do not have these damaging consequences. Let’s get right into it!

1. Switch up your cleaning products

Washing up dishes after a meal can be a laborious task- but it might have just gotten easier!

  • Lemon Dish Bars, found in a simple paper sleeve at The Refill Pantry, can sit right by your sink much like a bottle.

  • Simply lather up some soap using your sponge, and get along with washing your pots and pans.

  • Give a washing up bar a go for Plastic-Free July, and pair with one of our Ecoliving Dish Brushes for a fully plastic-free cleaning routine!

Scrap your bottle of bleach and pick up some Lemon Toilet Bombs!

  • Simply drop one of these into the toilet bowl, let it dissolve, and then clean your toilet.

  • Quick and easy, these can be kept right by your toilet, and will make your toilet fresh and clean in a matter of seconds.

  • Toilet bombs come packaging-free at The Refill Pantry, so just bring along a container of your own, and reduce your plastic footprint for the month of July!

Used to laundry pods? Try out Laundry Sheets - they work in the same way!

  • Just like a laundry pod, these go in the machine with your laundry load, except without the plastic packaging and harsh chemicals.

  • These come in a compact cardboard box with 60 sheets for 60 washes: buy one of these and you are sorted for ages!

2. Reuse your bottles, contribute to a circular economy

If the swaps so far have looked a little daunting, and the familiarity of liquid cleaning products is important to you, then look no further.

  • At The Refill Pantry, we offer SESI liquid refills of Washing-up Liquid, Laundry Liquid, Toilet Cleaner, so you can still go plastic-free, but without changing your routine entirely.

  • For Plastic-Free July, you can bring along your old, empty bottles of cleaning products, or even an old water bottle, and refill all your cleaning products.

  • By buying unpackaged products in this way, your previously single-use bottles now become reusable, and you have already reduced your plastic usage for the month!

  • Reusing bottles reduces the amount of plastic waste and saves the energy from manufacturing or recycling.

Using SESI refills also contributes to a circular economy. How does this work?

1. Suppliers deliver to us in reusable dispenser tubs

2. Customers bring their own containers and fill up

3. We return our empties to the supplier

4. The containers are commercially washed and filled to be sent out again!

So by refilling your products with SESI, you are greatly reducing your plastic footprint and contributing towards a circular economy, the sustainable and effective model of the future!

3. Plastic in surprising places

Did you know that nearly all sponges contain plastic? And those colourful cleaning cloths in your cupboard probably contain microfibres that are entering our ecosystem and slowly destroying the planet.

  • So make the switch to one of these fully compostable alternatives – cleaning cloths, sponges and loofah scourers – and at the end of their life you can put them in your garden waste bin (yes you can as they are made of PLANTS!)

4. A clever way to go plastic-free

At The Refill Pantry we are always looking for products that have minimal packaging and that also have the lowest impact on the environment.

  • Iron & Velvet have created one of the best Zero Waste products there is – water soluble cleaning sachets.

  • Their simple ‘drop and dissolve’ cleaning pods mean you can reuse the same bottle over and over again.

  • These sachets can be used to create solutions like Glass Cleaner, Floor Cleaner, Glass Cleaner and more.

  • Reuse your old spray bottles by dropping in an Iron & Velvet sachet, and top up with water!

  • Plastic free, cruelty free, plant derived and sustainably sourced. Use these alongside our compostable sponges and cleaning cloths for a truly zero waste cleaning regime for the whole house for plastic-free July!

And that sums up our first week of recommendations for Plastic-Free July. Check back here next week where we will be exploring plastic-free food recommendations!


1. Lemon Dish Bar 100g - Little Fox Soapery £6.00

Ecoliving Dish Brush Grey/Turquoise £5.50

2. Lemon Toilet Bombs £2.50 per 100g

3. Laundry Detergent Sheets - 60 £12.00

Laundry Detergent Sheets Sample - 10 £3.00

4. SESI Spiced Ginger Washing Up Liquid £0.29 per 100g

Laundry Liquid Non Bio SESI £0.34

Laundry Liquid Bio SESI £0.48

Laundry Liquid Delicate SESI £0.60

Fabric Conditioner SESI £0.25

All Purpose Cleaner Concentrate SESI £0.25

Rinse Aid SESI £0.30

Toilet Cleaner SESI £0.30

5. Linen Chest House Cloths £5.00

Two Compostable Sponges £5.00

Washing up Loofah Twin Pack £4.20

6. Iron & Velvet Floor Cleaner £2.25

Iron & Velvet Bathroom Cleanser £2.25

Iron & Velvet Kitchen Cleaner £2.25

Iron & Velvet Glass & Mirror Cleaner £2.25

Iron & Velvet Selection Box - 5 Pack £10.00


Plastic in cleaning sponges:


Zero-waste shopping, St Albans, Sandridge, Plastic-Free, Whole Foods, Organic, Healthy

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