Are you Ready for Plastic Free July?
Author: Rachel Date Posted:8 June 2019
Updated July 2022
Plastic is designed to last forever, yet we’re often using single-use plastic items for only a few minutes!
Every piece of plastic ever created still exists in some form today!
Single-use plastic is one of the biggest long-term issues our planet faces… It pollutes our waterways and oceans, it litters our environment, it’s killing our animal and birdlife and microplastics are becoming a common part of our food chain.
- Microplastics are in salt, beer, water, seafood - everywhere we look, we find it.
- Humans are consuming an average of 5g of microplastics every week! That's a credit card's worth!
- Eight million tonnes of plastic are going into the ocean each year.
- If we don’t change our habits, by 2050 we will have more plastic in the ocean than fish.
That’s why every year we encourage as many people as possible to join the Plastic Free July Challenge.
Completely plastic free? It sounds like a big ask, we know. Plastic is everywhere! But it's easier than it sounds.
STEP 1: Don’t try and do everything… start small with one or two things you can easily change now, and grow from there.
Whatever capacity you participate in, and whether it’s for a day, a week, a month or forever, you are part of the solution in reducing the damaging affects of overuse of single-use plastic.
So what are some of the everyday habits you can change to join the challenge?
- Say no to the plastic lid on your takeaway coffee cup
- Sip instead of suck when plastic straws are the only option
- Go naked with your fresh produce instead of using a plastic bag, use a paper mushroom bag or grab a box instead.
STEP 2: If you want to dig a little deeper… BYO!
- BYO coffee, juice and smoothie cups. Some cafes will even offer you a discount for this, check out Responsible Cafes for more info!
- Take your own water supply instead of buying bottled water, or use tap.
- BYO food container for your takeaway lunch or deli items.
- BYO Reusable Shopping Bags. Keep some in your handbag / manbag / glovebox so you will always have them on hand for those last minute stops at the shops.
Those are the simplest and most effective BYO swaps you can make - here’s why:
Most takeaway cups are plastic lined so they don’t leak. So they can’t be recycled in regular bins. Plus there’s the lid, maybe a stirrer, a straw with your juice, maybe 5 takeaways a week…
Multiplied by everyone in your office...
Multiplied by the office next door...
And before you know it, Aussies discard a BILLION of them every year and most don’t get recycled.
A BILLION plastic water bottles are also discarded by Aussies each year. Did you know it takes 3L of water and 250ml of oil to make 1L of bottled water?
STEP 3: Now imagine if you spent the rest of July refusing single use bottles and cups, and you got the office involved as well?
Now imagine you got in the habit and kept it up beyond July, and got the office next door onto it as well!!
That’s real change right there!
Plastic Free July has grown from a handful of participants in the challenge in Western Australia in 2011, through to millions of participants across more than 170 countries worldwide today. Head over to the Plastic Free July website for more tips and ideas, and register to get tips and help straight to your inbox during July.
Finally, if you’re not yet motivated, here’s a few more stats that might help you make the decision to join the Plastic Free July Challenge:
STEP 4: Sign up for Plastic Free July at www.plasticfreejuly.org and join a community of millions, and give yourself a pat on the back! Well done you!
Make your friends aware and share your progress on social media and use the hashtags #ChooseToRefuse #PlasticFreeJuly #ReusablePlanet and tag @ReusablePlanet and @PlasticFreeJuly
Check out our reusable On-The-Go Range with products you didn’t know existed to help you reduce your use of single-use plastic!
We recommend our Zero Waste Foodie Pack for Plastic Free July and to easily kick off your plastic-free journey.
Updated July 2022