The Problem with Hand Sanitizer that NO ONE is Talking About

Before every meal, after arriving home, before and after grocery shopping… it’s hand cleaning non-stop. Soap and hand sanitizer are flying off the shelves, but there’s a problem with hand sanitizer that no one is talking about.

The data is just starting to come in, but in the UK, 10 million hand sanitizer bottles are already headed to the landfills due to the pandemic. Extrapolate that for population and we can estimate that the US has already sent 50 million hand sanitizer bottles to the landfill during the pandemic and growing. Add to that the sanitizing wipes (that are typically made of polyester and therefore not biodegradable) and you’ve got a whole new pandemic on your hands… a plastic pandemic.

I’m sure by now you’ve read about the differences between hand washing and using hand sanitizer -- Soap and water is our most effective weapon against the virus because soap dissolves the outer lipid layer of the virus and then you wash it all away. Hand sanitizer dissolves the outer lipid layer, but the microbes are not fully removed from the skin because you’re not rinsing with water. It’s also a lot easier to avoid plastic when using soap compared to hand sanitizer.

When you’re out and about, take a soap-on-the-go kit with you and a reusable water bottle so you can stay safe and avoid plastic at the same time.

Keep on washing for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, keep your distance, and wear a mask. Teach your friends and family that soap and water is more effective so they can dial down their plastic consumption. We’re all in this together.

Just launched:

Foaming Hand Soap Concentrate

Rich and creamy, foaming, hand soap for frequent hand washing.
Packaged in handmade organic beeswax pods - it performs as well as the name brands, but without the plastic.

More hand soap:

Liquid Hand Soap Concentrate
Hand & Body Bars
Soap-on-the-Go Kits


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  • Thank you for this message! I wish more people would realize the impact this is having on the environment. It physically makes me sick when I think about all the trash we’re creating. Thank you ETEE for making going plastic free so easy and affordable!!!!

    Heidi on
  • Ridiculous! Try walking a dog, walking with a child, grocery shopping – basically any activity and using soap plus a water bottle! Where are you supposed to do this in a store? Wash your hands in an aisle and leave pools of water for people to slip on?

    gina on

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