Household items like sponges, cloths, brushes and scouring pads are usually made from non-biodegradable plastics. So, you cannot recycle them and most of them end up in landfill sites. Keep a look out for eco household items.
Of course, you should keep using the items you already have at home until they are old and make any changes only when needed. If you have an old cotton towel or a bathrobe you can make your own dishcloths, washcloths or kitchen towels.
If you need to buy some of these items there are a number of options that are more sustainable and do the same job.
Instead of traditional synthetic sponges to clean dishes, sinks or worktops Ludo recently found a new product at the supermarket that works just with water, you don’t need any chemical. You can wash it regularly in the washing machine at up to 60c. It’s important not to use bleach with it as this can be very damaging if it makes its way to the sea. Unfortunately, the product is still synthetic so it releases microfibres. There are ways of collecting these microfibres and prevent them from going into the drainage system. One option is using a Guppy Friend washing bag when washing your clothes. Ludo uses this and the producer E-Cloth also recommends it and indeed for any garment or item made from man-made fibre.
Loofah dishwashing sponge
Other eco household items she also bought, but has not yet tried, a 100% biodegradable dishwashing sponges made from the loofah plant. So, you can throw it in the compost bin after use. It is thin and hard at first sight but once soaked in water it expands and softens. The brand, Goldrick, are also a supplier for the National Trust and it says it should last 4-6 weeks.
Replace your brush to wash dishes
Instead of using a dish-washing brush, you can choose one with a wooden handle. Make sure you check if the wood comes from sustainable resources though. Alternatively, you can get a bamboo one with replaceable heads. The bristles should be from plant-based material otherwise you need to remove them before throwing the brush away in the compost bin.
Are you still using paper towels to mop up food spillages? You should switch to bamboo paper towels. These are stronger, will soak up more, they can be washed and used up to eight times before going in the compost bin.