Yesterday was the first of the month and with it came the start of Plastic Free July. Living up to it’s name, Plastic Free July is an annual global event which challenges individuals to give up single use plastic throughout the entire month.
The Plastic Free Foundation was founded by WMRC Earth Carers in Perth, Australia and has gone on to become a not-for-profit foundation in its own right. Since 2011 the foundation has campaigned to dramatically reduce plastic use and encourage recycling; with the ultimate aim of a world without plastic waste.
Each July the Plastic Free Foundation call on consumers around the world to address one of the world’s greatest environmental challenges (plastic waste) and be part of their Plastic Free July challenge.The campaign is designed to raise awareness of the worlds growing waste problem and aid and support consumers in finding alternatives and changing long held habits. This year over two million people from 159 countries have signed up for the challenge.
Although many of us have been aware of the plastic problem for some time it is only relatively recently that the issue of plastic pollution and waste has become headline news time after time; if only as a result of the horrifying and appalling scenes in the Blue Planet II series – if you haven’t watched this then do!!
According to the Plastic Free Foundation more than 6 out of 10 of us are regularly refusing plastic shopping bags, avoiding pre-packed fruit and veg, picking up other people’s litter and avoiding buying bottled water. Of course just stopping using plastic straws, disposable coffee cups for a month (or with any luck longer, if the challenge has caused you to changed your ways) won’t solve the worlds plastic pollution crisis, but its a start and to coin a phrase every little helps.
There are various ways you can get involved and you can take the challenge to whatever level works for you; cutting out just the plastic bags or absolutely everything! I think whatever you choose to do throughout July, the most important thing to remember is that we are only human and ocassionly you will forget/mess-up but don’t beat yourself up over it! Just start again.
To support you throughout the month you can get hints and tips delivered to your inbox and also gain additional insights via the Foundation’s twitter feed @plasticfreejuly. Their website is full of handy suggestions and resources to help you go plastic free. Look for the hashtags #choosetorefuse and #plasticfreejuly on social media for more information.
If you are interested in signing up then there is still time – you can do so here.
Images: (1) Plastic Free Foundation;