Plastic Free July is a global movement to raise awareness and inspire people to cut out plastic. Here are 17 ways you can cut out plastic ASAP.
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Today, roughly 40% of the ocean's surface is covered with plastic with plastic expected to outweigh marine life by 2050, a mere 28 years from the time of this article.
Started in 2011, Plastic-Free July is an initiative of the Plastic Free Foundation working towards creating a world without plastic waste.
What is Plastic-Free July
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Plastic-Free July came about in Western Australia by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz in 2011. After touring a recycling facility, she saw:
- How much waste recycling produced
- How it eventually was shipped to other countries
- How recycling wasn’t much better than sending trash to a landfill.
She knew she wanted to make a change but was fighting an uphill battle. So she started small, a team of 40 people in the government finding ways to reduce plastic. From there it has grown into a campaign that millions of people participate in and changed lives — and the amount of plastic used — across the world.
Rebecca knows that making a change needs to come from more than just behavioral changes. Change will come through a combination of behavioral changes, legislature, policy, and regulation. She believes, “Now it’s about creating new habits and new social norms, and I think we’re ready for that.”
Plastic-Free July has grown since its inception in 2011 and it looks to continue growing. The mission is to create a world without plastic and that cannot happen without the involvement of businesses, government, and the actions of everyday people.
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Why July? Why not plastic free January to line up with New Years’ Resolutions? While that’s certainly an excellent resolution worth pursuing, July is the perfect month for a plastic-free campaign! Do you spend more time outside, enjoying nature in July?
During these summer months you’re most exposed to all the beauty and wonders nature has so it’s the perfect month to learn how to protect Mother Nature and all that she offers you.
As we all know, change happens slowly. The Plastic-Free July campaign hosts a challenge for the month of July as well as other events year round.
The goal of Plastic-Free July is to help you spend the month observing and reducing the amount of plastic you consume and use with the hopes that it spreads to more months of the year and to more places in your life!
This is where ZeroWasteStore comes in! We’re always sharing ways to cut out plastic or be more sustainable in different areas of your life.
The Message Behind the Movement
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You’re already on our website reading a blog about Plastic Free July so you know reducing your plastic consumption is important. Wherever you are right now, look around you. How much plastic do you see?
In 2021, global plastic production was around 380 million tonnes. To give some perspective to that number, each one of these things individually weighs one ton: an Adult Male Moose, a Saltwater Crocodile, a Great White Shark, and a 1979 Volkswagen Beetle.
Plastic Free July and subsequently the Plastic Free Foundation, have moved far beyond raising awareness for one month of the year. They are working to amplify their message across businesses and governments to continue to spread the plastic-free social message and continue to make a difference around the world.
As a business that operates plastic-free and partners with other small businesses that operate plastic-free we not only want to participate in Plastic-Free July every year but help them amplify their message. We want to encourage you to participate and spread the message to your community, friends, family, workplaces, and schools.
You never know what difference you can make until you try it!
Plastic-Free July Is More Than a One Month Campaign
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With participation of 140 million people in 2021, it’s safe to say the Plastic Free July message has been amplified! In 2021, global participants reduced a staggering 2.1 million tonnes of waste and recycling.
These individuals have taken the message to schools, workplaces, local government, event spaces, and so much more!
It has led to big chances like Sydney, London, and Florida installing drinking water stations to refill bottles. Eliminating plastic packaging from the Heineken Company in Europe, and Mt. Barney Lodge in Queensland reduced waste by 95% after banning single-use plastic water bottles.
But the best impact of all? Even better than Sir David Attenborough (big statement), is that 87% of participants have made at least one lasting change after participating.
And that’s what ZeroWasteStore stands for. Imperfect attempts at living zero waste, imperfect steps towards sustainability, one imperfect call to your local government for more sustainable policies. One imperfect life of working to reduce plastic waste.
How to Participate in Plastic-Free July
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ZeroWasteStore and everyone on staff will participate in Plastic-Free July forever into infinity. Make sure you’re following us on Instagram and subscribe to our email list to see what kinds of activities and challenges we have going on, not just in July but all year!
See here for events hosted by the official Plastic-Free Foundation for Plastic Free July.
Take the Plastic Free Foundation’s Pesky Plastic’s Quiz if you want to start reducing your plastic waste but don't know how! Take Me To The Quiz!
And if you’re ready to start shopping for sustainable, plastic-free products head over to our homepage!
Where To Get Started Removing Plastic
Here are some common items you can start swapping out to kick plastic out of your life!
- Coffee Cups → Most coffee shops will let you bring your own!
- Plastic Produce Bags → Replace with Reusable Produce Bags
- Plastic Grocery Bags → Replace with Reusable Grocery Bags
- Plastic Straws → Replace with Reusable Straws
- Plastic Water Bottle → Replace with a Reusable Bottle
- Plastic Snack Baggies → Replace with Stasher Reusable Baggies
- Plastic Cling Wrap → Replace with Beeswax Wrap
- Plastic Toothbrush → Replace with a Bamboo Toothbrush
- Plastic Shampoo Bottle → Replace with a Shampoo Bar
- Plastic Conditioner Bottle → Replace with a Conditioner Bar
- Plastic Soap Bottle → Replace with a Soap Bar
- Plastic Tampons (the applicator) → Replace with a Menstrual Cup
- Plastic Pads (the lining) → Replace with Reusable Pads
- Plastic Dish Brush → Replace with Plant Fiber Dish Brushes
- Plastic Laundry Detergent → Replace with Laundry Sheets
- Plastic Wrapped Makeup Wipes → Replace with Reusable Cotton Rounds
- Plastic Dish Soap → Replace with Dish Washing Block
Ready for something bigger? These are just a handful of changes that need to be pursued at a higher level to make a lasting impact.
- Is your office recycling correctly? Can they start?
- Can plastic and one time use plastic be removed from common areas?
- Are more water stations needed at the workplace and in schools?
- Can local events source vendors that don’t use plastic?
- Can you organize a beach, highway, or park cleanup and raise awareness?
- Can you host or organize a screening event?
- Can you work with the local government to encourage more sustainable policies and awareness?
- Can you encourage a bulk store to come to your area?
- Can you work with local delis or big chain grocery stores to remove Styrofoam from the meat and poultry packing?
The options are endless! Pursue something that lights you up and take it one imperfect step at a time. We’re always here for you!
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