Plastic Free July is a challenge initiated by the Plastic Free Foundation each year, it allows people to take manageable steps towards their vision of a “world free of plastic waste”. When you sign up to the challenge, you can pledge to all, some or just one of the following:
What is single-use plastic?
What are examples of single-use plastics?
- Plastic forks and knives
- Cigarette butts
- Plastic lids and bottle caps
- Food wrappers
- Foam take-away containers
- Plastic bags
- Plastic beverage bottles
- Disposable gloves
- Cotton buds
- Wet wipes
… to name just a few!
Why is single-use plastic bad?
If we don’t change our relationship with plastics, and in particular single-use plastics, then it is estimated that by 2050 there will be 12 million metric tonnes of plastic waste polluting our planet.
Environmentally, plastic pollution is disastrous. Did you know the average person ingests a minimum of 50,000 particles of micro-plastic each year!!!??
How do single-use plastics affect the environment?
Plastic takes hundreds or even thousands of years to decompose, so all the plastic sitting in landfills or littered around the environment is going to be causing trouble for a long time. Over time they breakdown into tiny particles called micro-plastics which are spread across the globe and further broken down into microfibers.
Litter, micro-plastics, and microfibers are then eaten by all sorts of wildlife, such as mussels which is how they find their way on to our dinner tables or larger pieces of plastic can be choked on by elephants ,which can in some cases cause death or cell damage.
Tips for reducing your single-use plastic consumption for plastic free july
Identifying where we consume single-use plastics in our life and understanding why they are bad is just the first part. At the end of the day, we have become unknowingly reliant on these types of plastics, so the real challenge is finding alternatives.
Here are 8 simple ways to get those pesky plastics out of your life for Plastic Free July:
1. Take a reusable bottle
Greenpeace’s number 1 top tip to reduce plastic use is to “carry a reusable water bottle”. According to them, we use more than 35 million plastic bottles each day in the UK! A great hack to not only cut down on plastic but also to save you money as well.
2. Refuse Plastic Straws
As of April 2020, the UK banned the sale of plastic straws due to overwhelming public support. However, these single-use pesky plastics keep cropping up. If you’re offered a plastic straw when you eventually get to go on holiday again, just say no!
If you miss having a straw, then relax, there are a couple of plastic-free alternatives. You can now buy biodegradable straws or reusable ones that you can keep in your pocket or attach to your keys.
3. Take a reusable coffee cup
4. Buy loose fruit and veg!
The amount of plastic wrap found in supermarkets is almost overwhelming, and in so many cases it’s just not needed – a personal pet peeve of mine is the three-pack of bell peppers. Buying loose fruit and vegetables means not buying the plastic you were just going to throw away anyway. I will certainly be buying loose peppers during Plastic Free July.
BONUS TIP: local markets generally don’t use plastic wrap. Shop there and support small businesses whilst buying local produce which has a much smaller carbon footprint than it’s supermarket counterparts.
5. Carry a bag for life
Our tote bags are made of 100% recycled materials and perfect for taking to the shops, beach, or even to the gym! Cut down on those pesky carrier bags.
6. Try using Beeswax wraps instead of cling-film and tinfoil
7. Make your own snack and nutrition bars
Yes, Nakd Bars are super tasty and vegan-approved but don’t forget they’re individually wrapped with plastic. It’s okay, it is sad but giving up plastic doesn’t mean you have to give up your favourite nutrition bar.
The internet is bursting with delicious recipes to make your own snacks, you’ll know exactly what goes in these and you can spend just a few minutes of your day making them! Check out these delicious Cashew Cookie Bars, made with just two ingredients in under 5 minutes!
8. Use brown paper for wrapping presents
All our products are sent in 100% plastic-free packaging. Our paper mailing bags which are used for the majority of our products are even compostable and degradable so they are super easy to recycle!
Sadly, that shiny “Happy Birthday” wrapping paper is not recyclable at all. Instead, go all out Scandi-style by using recycled brown paper to wrap your gifts this year.
I hope reading this blog has given you some ideas to have a Plastic Free July. Best of luck in taking the challenge! Do you have any other tips to share? Let me know in the comments below!
‘Til next time!