• Culture

How to succeed at Plastic Free July

Go plastic-free one simple change at a time

With mind boggling stats about how much plastic is sold every minute around the globe – about 1 million single-use plastic bottles which equates to 20,000 every second – tackling plastic pollution begins to seem like a mammoth task. However the good news is we can all make a difference, just by making one change at a time.

Founder of the Plastic Free July Foundation, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz assured us it’s not as daunting as it seems.

“Look at the plastics in your life (and your bin) and notice the common items you use and try to look for alternatives,” she says.

“This will be different for everyone. Set up systems to make it easy for you – put your reusable bags in the car or by the door when you unpack your shopping, keep reusable utensils, coffee cups or water bottles in your bag for work or the gym. After all – they are only reusable if you have them with you!”

Rebecca points out that plastic can be a useful material, it’s the way we dispose of it that is the problem.

“An informed consumer can reduce their plastic footprint every time they refuse to buy single-use plastic, small daily actions by millions of people will make a difference,” she says.

Rebecca’s top 10

1. Just make one swap at a time, if you try and change everything at once it’s too overwhelming

2. Use an eco-friendly coffee cup to get your caffeine fix, or just BYO a mug from home

3. Avoid plastic packed fruit and vege

4. Bring reuseable bags to do your grocery shopping

5. Bulk buy or get re-fills where possible, even some bigger supermarkets have bulk buy options for dried fruits, nuts and seeds

6. Swap bin liners for layers of newspaper you can wrap up and place in your outside bin

7. Use beeswax wraps, or a reusable container, instead of plastic wrap to keep your produce fresh

8. Look for paper packaging rather than plastic – for example choose toilet paper made from recycled paper, wrapped in paper

9. Swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo option

10. Look out for skincare and personal care products like deodorant in recyclable glass jars or bottles

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