The Plastic Free July initiative first began in 2011, and since then the campaign has grown so much that in 2017, the founder of the movement, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, set up the Plastic Free Foundation Ltd. This foundation is an independent non-profit charity striving for a future that is free of plastic waste, not just during the month of July but far beyond.
Today, Plastic Free July is one of the most influential environmental campaigns in the world. If you want to take part in Plastic Free July this year, here are seven useful tips.
Use reusable cups and bottles
The main single-use items we use in our everyday lives are takeaway disposable coffee cups and plastic bottles. Luckily, there are plenty of cute and trendy reusable cups and bottles that you can invest in. Plus, many cafés also offer discounts to those who come in with their own reusable beverage receptacles.
Ditch plastic bags
While many grocery stores promote reusable tote bags and have even banned plastic bags completely, clothing stores, in general, haven’t really caught up in this department. For many people set on clothes shopping, grabbing a reusable bag on the way out the door is easily forgotten. To avoid this problem, make sure to keep a couple of compact bags hidden away in your favorite handbags or in the pockets of your coats.
Reduce plastic in your beauty routine
Many common beauty products are actually laden with plastic. From single-use cotton swabs and make-up removing pads to the microbes found in many body and face scrubs, plastic is sneakily making its way into our beauty routines.
To shift toward plastic-free beauty, try swapping out your cotton swabs and pads for ones made of paper or bamboo. If you’re feeling crafty, you can even make your own fabric make-up pads!
Also, stores like Lush offer ranges of plastic-free hair and skin care, or you can check out your nearest bulk store or refillable shop to see if they have good alternatives for whatever you’re using now.
Wrap your food in fabric
Alternatively, you can forgo wrapping altogether by opting to throw leftovers into a reusable container.
While we are all for dental hygiene, toothbrushes are unfortunately big contributors to plastic pollution.
Make the switch to a biodegradable or wooden toothbrush, or try a sustainable electric toothbrush that will last for many years.
While we’re out and about in the world, we tend to accept plastic in many forms without even realizing it. Instead of just taking what’s offered, be intentional about saying no thank you to every shop attendant, bartender, or server before they even get a chance to give you any plastic cutlery, straws, or bags.
Plastic is so prevalent because it offers us convenience. It’s easier to rely on disposable coffee cups when you’re in a rush to get to work in the morning, and it’s a lot more efficient to grab plastic-wrapped snacks on the go when you’re hungry on your way to class. However, with just a little bit more planning (like making sure to keep your reusable coffee cup ready and waiting for you in your bag before heading to sleep) then avoiding plastic becomes much easier.