What is Plastic Free July?
Plastic Free July is an initiative to minimize and cut out single-use plastic consumption within our daily lives. The global initiative originated in Australia in 2011, and aims to encourage individuals to lessen their consumption of plastic.
How to get involved
To register for the Plastic Free July challenge, visit plasticfreejuly.org. Pledge to avoid single use plastics packaging, takeaway items, or to go completely plastic-free. You can pledge for as long as one day, a week, a month, or forever.
Single-use plastics are extremely harmful to the environment. Almost half of all plastic produced is used for only single-use purposes. Annually, around 400 tons of plastic waste is generated, which is only expected to increase. Plastics pollute our soil, and waterways, and can leach dangerous chemicals into the environment.
Is this a difficult task?
A lot of single-use plastic products can easily be replaced with reusable and sustainable products. Reusable products are far better for the environment, proving to have lower emissions, use less water in production, and generate less waste and pollution. Adjusting our daily habits slowly can help us use fewer plastic products in our daily life.
What to stay away from this month
When you go out:
- Takeaway coffee cups
- Takeout containers
- Disposable utensils
- Plastic straws
- Plastic water bottles
- Plastic bags
Keeping some items like reusable coffee cups, straws, and bags on you before going out can keep you prepared for situations where you might need to use single-use plastics. If you have the time to dine in at a coffee shop or restaurant, you can save the plastic from takeout boxes, coffee cups, utensils, and bags.
In your home:
- Plastic cups
- Cleaning products
- Plastic decorations like balloons, gift bags etc.
In your bathroom:
- Cotton buds
- Plastic toothbrushes
- Sanitary items
- Liquid soap
Getting into the habit of replacing some of these items with more sustainable options can help offset emissions and if done so on the global scale, can create a large impact on the environment. Some of these options are easier while others will take some time to adjust to, but slowly doing so will be better for the environment and your wallet.
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