Plastic free July is well underway, here’s a look at everything you need to know. The country needs your help, as the amount of plastic waste is continuing to rise in the UK. Locals are using up and throwing away as much as five million tonnes of plastic every year. Unfortunately, these items do not decompose easily and can last as litter in landfills and natural environments for centuries. Everyone will have to live with millions of plastic waste that have outlived their grandparents!
Your participation is important, as the whole nation makes the effort to eliminate plastic usage. This year, consider taking part in the Plastic Free July campaign.
What is the Plastic Free July Movement?
Plastic Free July is a campaign that was initiated in 2011. This award-winning movement started in Australia before it became a global movement to reduce our reliance on single use plastics. After ten successful years, millions of people regularly participate to reduce plastic pollution during the month of July.
The challenge is to eliminate your plastic usage for a month. This will ease you into a sustainable lifestyle, so you can learn how to navigate your everyday life without plastics! If you want to know how you can smash the challenge, then here are some top tips for a successful plastic-free month.
Tips for a Successful Plastic-Free Lifestyle
1. Invest in Plastic-Free Hygiene Products
Do you own a lot of hygiene products that are encased in plastic?
Most of the shampoo, toothbrush, dental floss, and toothpaste products available in the market are packaged or made up of plastic. However, many companies are responding to the demand for sustainable hygiene products so that you can easily switch from using plastics to eco-friendly items!
Instead of using shampoo or conditioner products in plastic bottles, you can invest in shampoo and conditioner bars. There are also a lot of sustainable toothbrushes that are made up of bamboo. On the other hand, there are natural deodorants that are sold in refillable containers or as a bar. Women can also explore sustainable period products, like menstrual cups or pads.
2. Protect Yourself with a Cloth Face Mask
Once you’ve groomed yourself up using sustainable hygiene products, put on a mask so that you can hit the town safely. Wearing a mask is essential in defending yourself from infectious illnesses and even from pollution.
While surgical masks offer great protection, these single-use products are already littering in the natural environment and harming wildlife. You can save yourself and the environment by investing and using cloth masks. This guide to the best face masks outline that you can even invest in masks that are made for extra comfort or even for athletic activities! Just make sure to look for products that have an adjustable nose bridge wire and several layers of cloth so that you can ensure your safety.
3. Use Your Own Bag
Heading to the grocery store? Help Mother Earth by bringing a cloth bag that can fit all your purchased items. It is important for you to refuse plastic items from supermarkets, since these establishments have already sold more than two billion plastic bags.
Luckily, you can easily switch from using plastic bags to cloth bags for your groceries. There are grocery bags that were design to hold as much as 23 kilograms! You can also invest in insulated bags that can keep your frozen goods cool. Even your trusty old backpack will do as an alternative to plastic bags!
4. Consume Food and Drinks Sustainably
If you need to buy food from restaurants, try to dine in local places so that you can reduce the need for plastic cutlery and plates. However, you can save the environment and lots of your money by consuming meals and beverages that you have prepared yourself.
This practice eliminates the need for you to take out food and drinks in styrofoam or plastic packaging. This also allows you to harvest crops from your garden so that you can cook them for a fresh organic meal. You can also opt to brew your tea using strainers, instead of buying tea or using plastic tea bags.
The Plastic Free July movement encourages you to experiment with different practices so that you can ease yourself into a more sustainable lifestyle. Once you’re ready, you can even start to live plastic-free all year long!
Words by Claire Jones. Photography by Svitlana