How quickly time goes, doesn't it? We are already in August. This means that Plastic Free July is already over. Plastic Free July is a global initiative that encourages people to use less single-use plastic. Reducing your plastic consumption, that can't be very complicated, can it? Did you participate in this challenge?
Plastic Free July
Plastic Free July began in 2011 in Australia. Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, like many others, was left with this question: 'How come we have so much plastic in our house?' It should and can be done differently, right? People with the same questions joined together and Plastic Free July was born.
Because every little bit helps, we think participating in Plastic Free July is a good idea. All positive movements, no matter how small, ultimately have an impact on the bigger picture. Everyone who participates wants to contribute something and that is a very good sign. It is hoped that eventually all their friends, relatives and colleagues will do the same.
What are single use plastics?
Single use plastics (SUP) or disposable plastics, are plastics that are usually used once before being thrown away. Lids on your coffee, a bowl of French fries, a straw, a bottle of water, a foil around your organic broccoli; it is usually quite unnecessary and at the same time very harmful.
These plastics are, next to fishing nets, without a doubt one of the major contributors to the plastic soup in the ocean, which is a worldwide problem. As a human being, you can hardly avoid using plastic in the modern world. But there are things you can do to reduce your use. And that's where the philosophy of Plastic Free July comes in. Because unfortunately, with the current state of affairs, it's not enough to just watch our plastic usage for 1 month a year. Especially as we hear more and more reports that the recycling of plastic is really only a very small part of the global plastic production.
Not mugs? Yes, we do have mugs! From now on, bring your own mug to work, the gym, the park, or on a trip. More and more coffee shops and cafes give you a small discount if you bring your own cup or mug. Away with those plastic cups!
Most menstrual products contain plastic, but they don't have to at all. There are plenty of brands that do not use plastics, just Google them! You can find these products at the better drugstores and supermarkets, such as Etos and Holland & Barrett. And you could even opt for menstrual underwear. This is washable and comfortable too!
From now on, get plastic-free party decorations. Don't use balloons or plastic garlands, but buy 'tissue pom poms', fabric tassels, and paper lanterns. Plenty to choose from!
Besides the packaging itself, 9 out of 10 cosmetics products themselves unfortunately contain microplastics. Try looking closely at plastic-free packaging in stores and use the Beat the Microbead app to avoid microplastics.
When buying your daily groceries, don't ask for a new plastic bag every time. There are plenty of alternatives, so why choose plastic when you can do it differently? There really are plenty of cute, funny, or beautiful totes or shopping bags available.
Don't use plastic straws anymore! Instead, use bamboo, metal, glass or paper straws. There are certainly plenty of alternatives for these as well! And if you're an adult and don't drink a milkshake or syrupy cocktail, you might want to ask yourself if you actually need a straw?
Last but not least
Avoid toothpastes with plastic containers and caps, which are also full of microplastics. We are biassed, of course, but brushing with Smyle really is a lot healthier for you and the planet!
Shall we all try to make Plastic Free July last 12 months every year?
And be sure to try this Plastic Free July Quiz.