Join millions of people in reducing the level of plastic polluting our Oceans. Plastic Free July is a global campaign which asks for you to cut your plastic consumption and switch to reusable or recyclable alternatives. The aim of the campaign is to see a World free of plastic pollution, by bringing awareness to the environmental crisis caused by plastic products and packaging. We’ve all seen the documentaries and news clips about wildlife being suffocated and the plastic tides washing up on shores across the globe. If you live in the UK you only need to take a stroll down the canal side to witness just how many plastic bottles, carrier bags and non-biodegradable rubbish there is polluting our waters. Thankfully, there are lots of practical ways that you can get involved by making small everyday changes.
Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations. That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.– National Geographic
What Is Plastic Free July?
Ten years ago, Founder Rebecca Prince-Ruiz formed the Plastic Free Foundation with a small team of local government members in Western Australia. The Plastic Free Foundation Ltd is an independent, not-for-profit organisation with a mission to see the World free of plastic. Every year since the inception millions of people across the globe take part in Plastic Free July by committing to reducing plastic pollution for the whole month and beyond.
Half of all plastics ever manufactured have been made in the last 15 years.– National Geographic
How Do I Get Involved?
Getting started is as simple as taking your own tote bag to the green grocers, packing a reusable coffee cup when you buy a drink or finding a shop that sells loose fruit and veg. Of course, there will be challenges along the way. If you buddy up with a friend or relative you can share your experiences and overcome the challenges together. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Switch to a reusable coffee cup
- Buy milk in a carton or glass bottle
- Find biodegradable or plastic-free sanitary products
- Choose non-plastic party decorations
- Switch to non-plastic dental care
- Go bulk food shopping and fill jars instead of buying food in packaging
- Take a tote bag wherever you go to avoid using a carrier bag
- Buy loose fruit and veg
Plastic production increased exponentially, from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons by 2015. Production is expected to double by 2050.– National Geographic
Share The Message
The Plastic Free July website has lots of lovely resources to help you to share the message. Perhaps you’re a School Teacher and want to encourage your pupils to take part in the campaign, there are posters and badges perfect for handing out to the children. If you are currently working in an office, then you could pop posters up around the building to promote the campaign and get people talking. If you live in an apartment building, you could print out the poster and put it up on the communal noticeboard.
I’ve been striving to reduce my plastic consumption for some time; however, it is always something that I need to monitor as it’s so easy to just pick things up in the supermarket without thinking. It takes a conscious decision-making process to make the switches to non-plastic alternatives. One thing I have done and would recommend along your plastic-free journey is when you find a product in the supermarket that is packaged in totally unnecessary packaging, don’t be scared to complain to the retailer.
Retailers respond to the demand of the customers, so make your voice heard by sharing images of unwanted plastic packaging on social media or writing directly to the company.
If we all make small changes to how we consume the impact can be huge. Change is possible.