MAKE A CHANGE FOR PLASTIC FREE JULY

July 1 , 2023

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There has been no shortage of evidence and reporting on the impact that plastic has on our planet. But, while the damage caused cannot be swept under the carpet, or hidden in landfill, it’s also essential to find solutions to the problem.

There has been no shortage of evidence and reporting on the impact that plastic has on our planet. But, while the damage caused cannot be swept under the carpet, or hidden in landfill, it’s also essential to find solutions to the problem.


That’s why we are urging people to support Plastic Free July this month and beyond by taking the challenge - helping the planet and earning 50 Planet Earth Games points. Now into it's 13th year, Plastic Free July continues to raise awareness of the issues but also to help people find everyday solutions and alternatives to this ultra common material. So let’s look at the reasons why it’s important to go plastic free this July, what alternative materials we can use and the changes we can make in our lives.




Plastic’s Impact on the Natural Environment

Plastics have become one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time, exemplified by the fact that 99% of all plastics are made from petrochemicals derived from fossil fuels. And every year, millions of tons of plastic waste end up in our precious waters, causing irreparable harm.


Not only is it unsightly but more importantly, plastic debris poses a threat to marine life, as creatures marine wildlife commonly mistake it for food or become entangled in it. The consequences are devastating. Furthermore, plastic pollution disrupts ecosystems, affecting the delicate balance of marine and terrestrial habitats.


Plastic waste also contributes to climate change as the production and incineration of plastics release greenhouse gases, causing further global warming.

What are the Plastic Alternatives?

Plastic Free July encourages us to explore sustainable alternatives to traditional plastic. Fortunately, there are eco-friendly substitutes and materials that can help us reduce our dependence on plastic.


Perhaps one of the best plastic alternatives is bamboo, a fast-growing plant that can be used to create a wide range of products. From bamboo toothbrushes and cutlery to bamboo-based packaging, this rapidly-renewable resource offers a planet-friendly alternative to plastic. Bamboo products are not only biodegradable but also lightweight and durable, making them an excellent choice for everyday use.


Another promising alternative is sugar cane-based plastics. Derived from sugarcane, these bio-based plastics have a significantly lower carbon footprint than plastics. By choosing products made from sugar cane plastics, we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Plastic Changes We Can Make in Our Lives

Reducing our plastic consumption requires making conscious choices in our daily lives and by implementing simple yet impactful changes we can make a difference. Here are some practical steps we can take:


Embrace reusable alternatives – Invest in reusable items such as shopping bags, opt for stainless steel water bottles and refillable containers when you’re doing something sporty or working. These small changes can have a big impact on reducing single-use plastics while helping to change industry standards as the demand for these single-use items falls.


Choose plastic-free packaging – Look for products with minimal or plastic-free packaging. Support brands that prioritise sustainable packaging materials, such as paper or compostable materials to not only reduce the use of plastic but also to ensure you avoid the leaching effect found in certain types of plastic packaging.


Say no to straws and cutlery – Refuse plastic straws and cutlery when dining out or ordering takeaways. Carry your own reusable alternatives like metal straws and bamboo cutlery for a more sustainable option and when getting a takeaway delivered be sure to opt out of receiving any single-use forks, knives or spoons.


Bulk buying and refilling – Opt for buying in bulk or use refilling stations to reduce packaging waste. Many dedicated stores now offer refillable options for products like cleaning supplies, toiletries and cupboard staples, while some larger brands are now beginning to offer refills and plastic-free packaging as the demand increases.


Spread awareness – It is important to continue to raise awareness of the harmful impact plastic can have. Share your plastic-free journey with friends, family and colleagues and encourage them to join the movement or challenge themselves to a Plastic-Free month.

Reducing Waste in Businesses

Businesses have a vital role to play in reducing plastic waste and promoting sustainable practices. One place to start is to do a green audit of company operations, picking out any unsustainable activities and questioning whether a more eco-friendly, alternative method can be used.


This could be through product design that removes the use of plastic or it could be other green initiatives like going paperless and process automation techniques. Digital files are not only more eco-friendly but also provide streamlined accessibility, making it easier to organise, search and share information.


Furthermore, businesses can encourage their employees to adopt eco-friendly practices, such as reducing, reusing and recycling as part of Plastic Free July. By fostering a culture of sustainability, companies create an environment where every individual feels empowered to contribute to a plastic-free future.

The Problem with Single-Use Plastics

Single-use plastics are a significant contributor to the global plastic pollution crisis and despite their convenience, they have severe implications for our environment.


One of the major issues with single-use plastics is their short lifespan. These items are often used for mere minutes before being discarded, yet they can persist in the environment for hundreds of years. Their slow degradation rate means that even a single plastic bag or straw can have a lasting impact on our ecosystems.


Furthermore, the production of single-use plastics requires significant amounts of fossil fuels and energy, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. From extraction to manufacturing and transportation, each stage of their life cycle has a detrimental environmental footprint.

Make a difference with Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July is an event created by the Plastic Free Foundation, acting as a global movement to help millions of people be a part of the solution to this pollution problem.


Its goal is to not only help give the planet some much needed assistance but to also clean up our waterways, countryside, beaches and streets to transform them into places we are proud to spend time without the distraction of litter and debris at every turn.


By joining the Plastic Free July challenge, you can refuse single-use plastics throughout the month, finding great alternatives and new habits that you can keep with you for the rest of your life.

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