Plastic-Free July: All You Need to Know
Our environment is suffering from humanity’s selfish ways.
For example, while being useful and reliable, plastic has a significant effect on the world around us.
Millions of people worldwide are taking part in a challenge in support of Plastic-Free July, aiming to reduce the amount of single-use plastic being thrown into either landfill or recycling bins every second of every day.
This global movement aims to result in cleaner streets, communities and oceans, eradicating plastic pollution, making the world a better place for everyone.
How can you get involved?
Head over to plasticfreejuly.org to sign up to the challenge, enabling emails to be sent weekly, which will help you to maintain motivation and gain valuable hints and tips from other people.
How can you reduce your plastic use?
While plastics that can be reused are tolerated, single-use plastics really need to be eliminated from society in order to show a greater level of respect and consideration for our world and the animals and people within it. Remember to get your kids involved with the mission, too – after all, they will see the impact more than anyone of the continued abuse of our planet.
Here are just a few ways in which you can make a difference:
- Bake and make – instead of heading to a café for lunch, buying plastic-wrapped sandwiches and cakes, make your own and take it to work. Don’t even think about using cling film (or even foil – we know this isn’t plastic, but it is still a waste!). Reusable beeswax (or the vegan version) wraps are a super alternative to single-use plastic. You can even make your own. Alternatively, reusable sandwich boxes or tubs can be great to put into children’s lunchboxes or your own for work.
- Buy loose – pre-packaged fruits and vegetables may offer an element of convenience, but they are likely to be wrapped in single-use plastic. Instead of simply grabbing a bag, select your own loose produce and place in either a paper bag or the reusable bags that many supermarkets now offer.
- Reconsider your baby/toddler items – grabbing a pack of disposable nappies and a packet of baby wipes might be convenient, but they really are doing no good for our environment. If you are able, think about reusable nappies. While they might cost a little to start with, you could end up saving money and the planet in the long-run. Look at alternatives to baby wipes, too – they could be better for your baby’s skin in addition to being eco-friendly.
- Reuse your bags or boxes – when heading to the supermarket, it is so easy to revert to days gone by when you would just grab as many carrier bags as you needed. However, nowadays, they cost at least 10p, and they are much more robust, so reusable. We have a healthy supply in our car boots, but we still manage to forget to take them in with us nearly every single time, not remembering until we get to the tills. Rather than buying another bag, pop back out to the car if possible or grab a cardboard box. Most supermarkets are happy for you to use theirs as it reduces the vast amount of recycling they need to do.
- Reconsider your periods – period products contain a significant amount of plastic, and the average woman will use 11,000 of these during their lifetime, with the UK getting through 4.3 billion items per year. Reusable menstrual hygiene products have grown in popularity of late, with period pants being the latest product on the market to take off.
- Change your toiletries – it’s easy to get through plastic bottle after plastic bottle of toiletries in the bathroom each month. Rather than relying on the usual shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, why not try using soap or shampoo bars instead? Many people swear by them, and they certainly reduce plastic usage significantly.
There are many more simple swaps that you can make to impact positively on the environment. We’d love to hear what you have pledged to do during Plastic Free July and how you’re getting on.