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Australians are being forced to lock down once again as COVID-19 is detected across the country. As consumer confidence and spending plummets, Australian businesses are bracing themselves for the financial impact. To encourage eco-conscious Aussies to patronise and support small businesses to help them navigate yet another setback, we’ve curated this list of plastic-free beauty products and zero waste essentials that are made in Australia. For those undertaking the Plastic Free July challenge, this list will also come in handy.
1. Shampoo and conditioner bars
Family-owned Australian small business Shampoo With A Purpose produces a range of 2-in-1 vegan shampoo and conditioner bars that will help you ditch plastic bottles. The zero waste hair care product contains no sulphates, synthetic fragrances, palm oil, parabens and is completely cruelty-free. Whether your hair is dry or damaged, colour treated or needs volumising, you’ll find an Australian-made Shampoo With A Purpose shampoo and conditioning bar to suit your hair type.
Priced at $16. Shop here.
2. Body and lotion bars
Australian social enterprise Thankyou was founded 12 years ago with the mission to end global poverty. To achieve this goal, the organisation produces a range of consumer products to help fund sustainable development programs. It recently launched an affordable range of plastic-free vegan personal care products including solid body bars, lotion bars and hair soap that feature sustainably sourced and naturally derived ingredients such as organic Australian oats, hemp seed oil, green and red clay, chamomile and coconut oil. The range is manufactured in Melbourne and Sydney and comes in recyclable packaging.
Prices start at $3.50. Available at Chemist Warehouse and selected products can be purchased at Coles, Big W, IGA and Woolworths.
3. Face wash bar
Plastic-free face cleansers are finally here, and NueBar Face Wash bars are the cream of the crop, winning an Editor’s Choice award in the International Beauty Shortlist Awards. Formulated for the skin’s pH balance, this Australian made face wash bar contains certified organic oils and botanical ingredients that removes makeup easily without stripping the skin out of oils and leaving it dry. There is a range of face wash bars to choose from: normal skin, fragrance free, acne prone/oily skin and dry/mature skin.
Price starts at $16. Purchase here.
4. Zero waste deodorant
There are now a growing number of natural deodorants that don’t come in plastic bottles for those looking to curb their single-use plastic consumption. Good + Clean ($22), a PETA-certified vegan deodorant made on Australia’s Gold Coast and packaged in recyclable aluminium tin, is made from macadamia nut oil, magnesium salt, tapioca starch and diatomaceous earth and features honey myrtle, rose and jasmine essential oils. Two Winged Fruit ($16.95), another Australian-made all-natural vegan deodorant, comes in 100% biodegradable plastic-free convenient applicator packaging and is certified palm oil free.
5. Food wraps
Say no to plastic cling wrap and opt for reusable food wraps instead. WRAPPA self-sticking vegan food wraps are handmade in Australia using 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, jojoba oil and two plant-based waxes, candelilla and non-GMO soy. The brand produces its food wrap range in cute prints and patterns that will make half-eaten fruit and veggies, sandwiches or cheeses even more appetising.
Priced from $49. for a 5-pack sandwich set. Buy it now.
6. Reusable coffee cups
People use the word KeepCup and reusable coffee cups interchangeably and while the Australia company urges people not to, it’s easy to understand why. Founded in 2009 in Melbourne before the ‘zero waste’ concept became mainstream, KeepCup was the world’s first barista standard reusable coffee cup. The original KeepCup was manufactured from plastic in Australia and local manufacturing continues today for its plastic cups and plastic components such as lids and plugs. And while other components are manufactured in China (such as silicone bands, blow-molded tempered glass tumblers and vacuum sealed stainless steel cups) and Portugal (cork bands) KeepCup products are still assembled in Australia, though local production has commenced in the UK to reduce its transport footprint in the European market.
Price starts from $11 for KeepCup Original Plastic 4oz. Browse the range here.
7. Plastic-free toothpaste
Australian natural beauty company Love Beauty Foods create natural and organic personal care products without the use of any preservatives, synthetic chemicals and other toxic ingredients. The 100% natural, palm-oil free, vegan toothpaste range is made in Australia and comes plastic-free, packaged in a recyclable and reusable glass jar. According to the business, one toothpaste jar replaces two plastic toothpaste tubes.
Priced at $17.95. Shop here.
8. Dish and laundry soap
The Australian Natural Soap Company produces vegan-friendly soaps and other lifestyle products in Australia. Make the switch to their plastic-free dish and laundry soap that features natural oils such as lemongrass and peppermint oil and doesn’t contain synthetic chemicals or toxic ingredients such as parabens and sulphates. Used to bottled detergents and not sure how this would work? Here’s how: For washing clothes just grate the soap and add a tablespoon to your washing machine. When washing dishes, create a dishwashing liquid by combining a tablespoon of grated soap with a tablespoon of hot water and stir to dissolve. It can also be transformed into multipurpose cleaning paste by adding boiling water.
Price on sale $11.21 (originally $14.95) at Nourished Life. Buy it now.
9. Organic cotton handkerchief
Ditch the single-use paper tissues and go ‘old school’ by carrying around a handkerchief. Amy Jade Creations produces a delightful range of hand sewn and machine stitched organic cotton handkerchiefs made in Central Victoria. There’s a range of beautiful prints and patterns to choose from and since all collections are produced in small batches, products are limited-runs only which means customers who are first in really are best dressed.
Priced from $11.95. Purchase from Etsy shop here.
10. Natural lip balm
Handcrafted in a solar-powered studio in Melbourne, Bon Lux produces small batches of vegan and cruelty-free lip balms in recyclable and reusable aluminium tin. Featuring plant and essential oils such as avocado oil and sweet almond oil, flower waters and dried herbs, these Australian-made lip balms are also palm-oil free.
Priced at $8.95 comes in four fruity scents including vanilla, lemon and rose. Shop here.
11. Plastic-free milk
If you don’t have the time to make organic nut milk from scratch but still want to reduce your single-use waste, a clever alternative is Ulu Hye, a concentrated nut paste that comes in reusable jars. You can make homemade, creamy nut mylk by just adding water and blending, easy peasy. Made from Australian Certified Organic ingredients, Ulu Hye is Australian made, 100% vegan and free from refined sugar and soy. Makes about 10 litres thus saving unnecessary waste of 10 cartons with plastic spouts.
Priced at $29.95. Available in hazelnut, hemp, almond and base. Purchase here.
12. Loose-leaf tea
Nerada‘s single origin black tea is 100% Australian grown, pesticide-free and cultivated in the pristine World Heritage environment of the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland. Not only does the tea travel a shorter distance to get to your cup than other teas (helping to reduce your foodprint!) its loose-leaf black tea comes in a recycled cardboard box with a pop-out pour spot which is 100% free of plastic liner.
The tea is stocked at all major supermarkets across Australia. You can also purchase 3x 250g boxes for $9 via the Nerada website.
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Disclosure: This curated list does not fully take into account all ethical considerations that are unique to each individual. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to do your own research paying particular attention to the supply chain and your own particular set of ethics. Prices are correct at time of publishing. For more information, click here. Cover image via Thankyou.