Throughout July millions of people took up the challenge to reduce their plastic use. This movement is called Plastic Free July® - a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.
Plastic is everywhere! It is an unfortunate fact that our planet is polluted with plastic. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans. This should encourage you to rethink your plastic consumption.
No more plastic shopping bags
This was my first step into sustainable living. I started by carrying a tote bag on every shopping trip.
While many supermarkets and grocery stores now encourage shoppers to bring their own bags, remember that reusable bags go beyond just grocery shopping – bring them along for all shopping trips! There are even purse/pocket-sized reusable bags that you can keep on hand for emergencies.
Avoid or reuse bottles and cups
You can enjoy your favourite beverages and also cut out the plastic use. Bringing a reusable cup and bottle can simultaneously serve as trendy accessories and get you a discount at some cafés. There are many environmentally friendly (made of ceramic, glass or stainless steel) reusable coffee cups available on the market. Alternatively, you can bring a mug or jar from home or look for local independent cafés that offer biodegradable cups.
You can avoid buying single-use plastic water bottles by simply carrying a reusable alternative. You can go further by encouraging your local businesses or local government to provide refillable water stations.
Remove plastics from your bathroom
Our essential hygiene rituals unfortunately come with a lot of plastic. But there are options to avoid more plastic items in another room of the house. You can invest in biodegradable bamboo or wooden toothbrushes as well as organic, plastic-free toothpaste which can be found in many stores.
Our skincare products use a heavy amount of plastic in the form of containers and microbeads in body and face scrubs.
You can switch to various palm oil-free bars of soap to replace your body and face wash and hair shampoo. Many soap manufacturers supply their products without packaging or in cardboard boxes that can be composted. You may also consider using longer-lasting, reusable items in your bathroom.
Buy your food in other materials
Your local grocer or farmer’s market is likely to offer the option to buy your fruits and vegetables loose rather than contained in plastic wrapping. If the options are available, you could choose lightweight, reusable bags or repurposed netting. Many supermarkets are now offering various packaging options in vegetable aisles but you can always take your own plastic-free containers on your shopping trips.
You can also use beeswax fabric to wrap your food. Here’s an easy way to make your own beeswax wraps.
Plastic bags break up into tiny microplastics and remain indefinitely in the environment. Identify the areas where you use plastic the most and find sustainable alternatives. Because your actions can:
- Reduce unnecessary waste and saves manufacturing resources.
- Prevent plastic waste from entering our oceans and natural surroundings.
- Protect the wildlife
- You can save around 500 plastic bags per year from entering our oceans and landfill