8 simple ways to use less single-use plastic for Plastic Free July

Decomposable packaging | 8 SIMPLE WAYS TO USE LESS SINGLE-USE PLASTIC FOR PLASTIC FREE JULY

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:

I’ve personally pledged to avoid single-use plastics, read on to discover more about why and how you can do the same. Together, we can cultivate a happier planet!

What is single-use plastic?

Single-use plastic is plastic that is created to be used just once before it is thrown away, or, in a few cases, recycled. What is worse, is that you probably only use it for a matter of minutes before it becomes redundant. We are surrounded by these plastics: they’re in our home, at the office, and even at your favourite restaurant.

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
  • Balloons
  • Cotton buds
  • Floss
  • 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.

This breeds a magnitude of costs. Economically, the tourism, fishing, and shipping industries will suffer and governments will face the costs of wide-spread litter removal. Health-wise, plastic blocking sewage systems creates a hotbed for life-threatening diseases such as Malaria, and air quality will continue to drop as the toxic chemicals are released into the air from burning plastic.

Environmentally, plastic pollution is disastrous. Did you know the average person ingests a minimum of 50,000 particles of micro-plastic each year!!!?? 

Via Giphy
So how does this plastic get into our digestive system? Well, it’s all part of the circle of life…

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.

All this havoc is why we need to change our plastic-habits.

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.

Our Reusable 500ml Orca Water Bottle will keep your drink chilled for hours whilst you’re on the go! No plastic needed here.

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

Although coffee chains may say their disposable cups are recyclable, their plastic lining makes them difficult to recycle. Instead, when treating yourself to a takeaway coffee, bring your own reusable cup. Lots of Cafés now offer discounts to customers that bring their own cups, another money-saving hack! See, saying goodbye to plastic doesn’t have to be expensive.
Our Reusable 500ml Orca Water Bottle is made of 100% stainless steel so it is suitable for hot liquids as well as cold. Next time you grab a coffee on the go, don’t forget your trusty water bottle!
Orca Bottle and Print | 8 SIMPLE WAYS TO USE LESS SINGLE-USE PLASTIC FOR PLASTIC FREE JULY

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.

Support small businesses

5. Carry a bag for life

Bags are for life and not just for Christmas. I always keep a Bag for Life in the boot of my car just in case I need to grab a few bits. Yes, they cost a little bit more than the 5p plastic carrier bag, but you’ll save more than that in the long run.
Giant Panda Tote Bag | Watercolour Art Print |Pigments by Liv

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

How pretty would your fridge look if it were filled with food secure in these Beeswax Wraps rather than tinfoil and cling-film?
Beeswax wraps | 8 SIMPLE WAYS TO USE LESS SINGLE-USE PLASTIC FOR PLASTIC FREE JULY
Via Beeswax Wraps
They’re 100% natural, keep your food fresh and sealed tight but most importantly, unlike tinfoil and clingfilm, they’re reusable. Use them once, give them a quick wash, and use them again. Now, this is the future!

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.

Decomposable packaging | 8 SIMPLE WAYS TO USE LESS SINGLE-USE PLASTIC FOR PLASTIC FREE JULY
Recycled brown wraping paper | 8 SIMPLE WAYS TO USE LESS SINGLE-USE PLASTIC FOR PLASTIC FREE JULY
I’ve used recycled brown paper for a long time, putting in the extra time and love to find a pretty ball of yarn to tie my hand-made labels to presents makes giving that gift all the more special. You can get really creative by adding all sorts of special touches to your presents!

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!

Liv

xxx

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