What is Plastic Free July and how to take part

plastic in a field

Plastic Free July has become a phrase that is being used more and more within the last few years, but what is Plastic Free July?  Plastic Free July is an important campaign created as a key component to support the Plastic Free Foundation.  

The Plastic Free July campaign was founded by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz in 2011 in Western Australia.  It has since become an award winning campaign and one of the most influential environmental movements in the world.  Millions of people around the globe take positive action towards a plastic free future thanks to Plastic Free July.  Many of which carry these new habits into their daily lives, leaving single use plastics behind.


How has Plastic Free July created positive change?

The Plastic Free July organisation conducted a comprehensive report with inspiring findings. The month-long campaign is not only helping to reduce plastic consumption, but providing a positive sense of well-being for its participants. 

  • 8.5 out of 10 participants made changes that have become habits and a way of life with many sharing stories with others*
  • 900 Million kg of plastic waste avoided including millions of single-use drink bottles, coffee cups, packaging, straws and plastic bags*
  • Participants say they have a positive sense of well-being and maintain it better during COVID-19 than non-participants*
  • 92% support action to reduce plastic waste by consumers, producers, retailers and government (an increase of 12% from 2019)*
  • *Source

 plastic free july cover art

How can you participate in the Plastic Free July challenge?

The Plastic Free July challenge makes it simple for you to take part, by breaking it down into manageable amounts of time.  This is great because you can be realistic with your commitment, and only go a day, week, or more as you see fit.  It’s also broken down into 3 categories to make it even more realistically achievable, they are:

  1. Avoid single-use plastic packaging - this means you will not purchase items that come in plastic like groceries, bathroom and other beauty products that come in plastic containers, plastic party supplies, or any item that is packaged within plastic.  
  2. Target takeaway items - This means you will refuse to use single use plastic bags, bottles, coffee cups, straws, cutlery, and any other takeaway plastic item. 
  3. Go completely plastic-free - If you opt for going completely plastic-free, this means you will refuse to purchase any plastic item for a specific amount of time during the month.

 eco friendly bar soap

Not sure where to start? Here’s 5 simple plastic free swaps you can try this Plastic Free July

  1. Switch to bar soap & bar shampoo - Getting rid of the common liquid body washes, shampoos, and conditioners can save thousands of plastic bottles from going to the landfill or worse, polluting the planet. Not to mentioned, most of which are sustainable made with nutrient rich ingredients.
  2. Visit a bulk grocery story - Bulk grocery stores are becoming more popular and it makes us incredibly excited! A bulk grocery store offers packaging free and/or plastic free options, so you can fill your own container, purchasing only what you need, while ditching the plastic and reducing food waste.
  3. Use a reusable travel container for your drinks and meals - Switching to a reusable travel cup or container for your lunch can eliminate thousands of tons of single-use plastics from polluting our eco-systems and clogging our landfills.
  4. Try reusable period products - Reusable pads or menstrual cups can be a positive and transformative swap to single-use plastic options.  With a growing range on the market, now is a great time to try the swap.
  5. Ditch the tea bag - most tea bags contain plastic and don’t break down as easily as we may think. Switching to a traditional reusable tea strainer with loose tea can simply help reduce plastic and packaging waste.

We hoped you liked our article and learned how Plastic Free July is helping transform the planet into a more sustainable place.  WIll you be taking part in this year's Plastic Free July challenge?

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