The equivalent of a truckload of plastics is dumped into the ocean every minute (that’s 8 million tons of plastics per year). Even with strides in developing sustainable materials, a Yale University study found that the amount of plastic waste being produced is set to triple by 2047and that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our seas. Something needs to be done to stop the production of single-use plastic and that’s where Plastic Free July came about.
You may have heard of Plastic Free July (or seen our posts on Instagram) but if you’re new to this idea, let us give you a brief overview.
The notion of living completely plastic-free has gained traction thanks to social media and the #PlasticFreeJuly campaign that takes place every year in July. Participants avoid purchasing plastic products for the entire month of July and on average, save an average of 21 kg of waste per person.
Going plastic free may seem daunting at first… and can be. Plastic is everywhere, it’s in shampoo bottles, grocery store produce, plastic coffee pods, even dog toys. Once you start to notice the amount of plastic around it can become overwhelming -- but we’re here to show you that you can make a positive impact for this to change!
Living sustainably doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing lifestyle; choose something that you can commit to and avoid eco-burnout. No one can do everything, but we all can do something.
Here are a few ways to ease yourself into cultivating plastic-free habits for Plastic Free July:
- BYOB: Rule number 1 is Bring-Your-Own-Bag! Bring the bags you already own down to your car or put them by the front door so you don’t forget them at home to reuse or recycle them. Many stores offer easy bag recycling drop off points. Avoid buying new plastic bags and keep a canvas bag in your car or bike for quick trips to the store.
- Plastic Free Zones: Think of a room in your house and decide to go “plastic free” in that room (But please remember to reuse the plastic you already have if you can. We don’t need another Marie Kondo Effect landfill...)
- Online Shopping: Many retailers offer less packaging options at checkout where you can request to omit packaging items like bubble wrap, stickers etc.
- Coffee Habits: If you must go out for a coffee, here’s a trick to stay covid-safe and plastic free. Ask the barista to brew your order as usual but have them pour it directly into your reusable coffee cup. And of course, when brewing coffee at home, switch to paper-based coffee pods and ditch the plastic and bioplastic ones since they contribute to the lasting negative effects on the environment.
- Grocery Shopping: If you have access to a bulk foods store, this is a great place to purchase grocery items sans packaging (just remember to BYOB.) And if you are lucky enough to have access to a farmer’s market, buy your produce there and skip the containers and wrapping altogether. If Saturday spent at the famer’s market isn't your vibe, find a “Produce Box Subscription”online and arrange for a plastic-free delivery of produce to be sent to your home.
- Single-Use Eating and Drinking: Say no to plastic straws, forks, knives, spoons, to-go cups, cup lids, water bottles, soda bottles, to-go containers, cups at the water cooler, and plates. Instead carry your own set of reusable or compostable cutlery, cups and containers.
Consumers vote for the future of plastic with each purchase. This reason is why Plastic Free July is out to make an impact on the plastic industries and corporations who continue to produce single-use plastic products. Join the 326 million Plastic Free July participants and make a commitment to go #plasticfree for July 2021.