This post is part of our 'This Is Fire' series, where our editors and writers tell you about the products they can't live without in the kitchen.
It is the little things that add up. And it is the little things that make a difference.
Single-use plastic made an entry into my life in the form of milk sold in plastic pouches. Before that, my mom would get raw milk from a local farmer and carried it home in a stainless steel milk jug. Then, we got milk in glass bottles that we had to wash and return. At some point, due to the fuss of sanitizing and the heavy costs, someone decided packing the milk in bags was cheap and convenient. After staying wildly popular for decades in the rest of the world, single-use plastic finally entered our homes in the remote mountains in Kashmir, India.
Before we knew it, the convenience of plastic had altered our way of life. Those little changes had added up. Instead of using a bar of soap, I now used shower gels and shampoos that came in colorful plastic bottles, and because the grocery store had plastic carry bags, I didn’t have to bring a bag from home. I could throw a party and not have to wash dishes, because disposable dinnerware and cutlery was too easy. And it was all good, until it wasn’t.
Full Circle Bubble Up & Stash Caddy
Great for organization
Helps keep sponges dry
Uses less water and less soap to clean
You’ll want to gift it to everyone
If we look around our daily lives today, the amount of single-use plastics is staggering. It is everywhere! We are collecting mountains of plastic waste at a very fast rate, and it is contaminating our environment. With every coffee lid, plastic straw, bottle of water, takeout container, dishwashing soap, and laundry detergent, we add to that waste. We might feel better for a fleeting moment about recycling some of our plastic but not all the plastic gets recycled. Millions of tons of single use plastic just gets dumped or burned, and multi-million tons of plastic is created worldwide each year, further adding pollution to the environment.
It can get overwhelming when you start to notice the ravages of plastic around you.
It can get overwhelming when you start to notice the ravages of plastic around you. Wrappers and discarded bottles at the summit of Mount Everest, plastic bags in oceans and rivers, beaches strewn with bottles, plastic waste clogging drains and around the world, plastic is part of the landscape. And these are things we can see. The plastic breaks down into microplastics and is already in the fish we eat, in our glaciers, and has been found in our bodies.
A few years ago, I decided to make some changes in my habits around plastic. I knew that I couldn’t be a zero plastic user on day one, but I could start by reducing my single-use plastic footprint. It was going to be difficult to do it all at once. I started with taking the reusable bag to the grocery store and then shopping mostly from CSA and nearby farming communities. Instead of buying water at the airport, we now carry our bottle to fill up after security. We changed our laundry detergent to powder or dry pods and made sure those come in compostable packaging without any plastic whatsoever.
It took me longer to switch the dish-cleaning set-up. I knew I could use a kitchen detergent bar, but it wasn’t appealing. Powdered dish soap was another option but how to comfortably dispense it? Sacrificing comfort, I used a silicone dispensing container for the powdered soap, placed the entire set up with scrubber on an old ceramic tray and tried to move on with my life. Functional? Yes. Convenient, organized, and smart looking? No and No! and No.
I don’t have to choose between sustainable, smart, convenient, and functional for my sink caddy.
But one look at the Bubble Up & Stash from Full Circle and I knew I had found my organizing solution. I don’t have to choose between sustainable, smart, convenient, and functional for my sink caddy. What’s more is that they are a plastic-neutral company, which means that for every ounce of plastic they use, they recover and recycle an ounce of plastic that would otherwise go into landfills. And Full Circle is a B-Corp certified company, meaning it passes rigorous standards showing its commitment to the environment.
The Stash caddy is made from ceramic, bamboo, and recycled plastic. The base acts as a soap dispenser and you can use liquid or powder soap. It is spring-loaded to create extra suds but surprisingly I end up using less soap than ever, an added bonus since I now use less water to clean up. The design of the caddy is sleek and functional, and I can let my scrubber air dry between uses. Goodbye, dingy scrubber! The tool holder compartments can also house other things like brushes, cast-iron cleaning tools, and food scrapers.
It helps me clean up the kitchen mess and when it’s time to clean it up, I put the entire caddy in the dishwasher and hand wash the brush. The super sleek and smart design looks beautiful, and the ceramic has not chipped even after many months of daily (ab)use.
I was only looking for something that would help me with my goal of reducing single use plastic, instead I found much more. It is the little things that make a difference. It is the little things that add up.
Brush Dimensions: 3.25 x 4.5 inches | Caddy Dimensions: 8 x 4.25 x 4.25 inches | Material: Ceramic, bamboo, recycled plastic
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Renu Dhar is a personal chef and Instructor with a keen focus on sustainability and zero-waste solutions. She’s passionate about making cooking approachable, developing easy and nutritious recipes, and finding tools that help make cooking fun and easy for everyone. She integrates her professional kitchen expertise, knowledge of ingredients and world cuisine to research and write for The Spruce Eats.
da Costa JP, Santos PSM, Duarte AC, Rocha-Santos T. (Nano)Plastics in the environment – sources, fates and effects. Science of The Total Environment. 2016;566-567:15-26.
Chappell B, Pramanik A, Basak AK, et al. Processing household plastics for recycling – A review. Cleaner Materials. 2022;6:100158.
Modoono M. Microplastics are everywhere, but their dangers largely remain a mystery, experts say. Northeastern Global News.