Plastic Free July

You may have seen me posting on the I Spy Plum Pie facebook page over the last few days about Plastic Free July, so today I thought I would talk in a little more detail about what it is, and how you can get involved!

Plastic Free July is about raising awareness around the amount of single-use plastic we all use in our day-to-day lives, and helping people to make changes and do something about it. By signing up to the challenge you can commit to giving up plastic for a day, a week or the whole month, and you can also choose to focus on just the Top 4 (plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups & plastic straws) or all single-use plastics. It’s a challenge, not a competition, so focus on whatever changes you think you can make, push yourself a little and see how you go! Every single-use plastic that can be avoided makes a difference, so no matter how small a change you think you’re making it is most definitely worth it.

plastic free july

The Plastic Free July website is full of advice and resources to help you along the way, as well as sending weekly emails with tips and inspiration to keep you on track. You don’t have to sign up to the official challenge though, there are lots of small changes everyone can make to get involved both throughout July and into the future. It does take a little forward planning but it definitely does get easier once you’re in the habit, I promise!

If you want to focus on the Top 4 single-use plastic culprits, here are my tips!

Plastic Bags

To avoid using plastic bags at the supermarket or anywhere else you shop, pick yourself up some reusable shopping bags and pop them in the boot of your car and in the bottom of your handbag so you have them on hand whenever you need them. These days you can find reusable bags in all kinds of shapes, sizes, patterns and materials, so you’re sure to find something that works for you! Biome have a great selection to get you started.

Water Bottles

The number of water bottles being used and thrown away in Australia every month is frightening, so even focussing on this alone would be a huge benefit to the planet. Staying hydrated is obviously still important though, so if you need a bottle for when you’re out and about then go for a stainless steel, glass or even a reusable plastic version which are not only better for the environment, but generally much nicer to drink out of as well!

Takeaway Coffee Cups

Much like water bottles, the number of coffee cups we’re throwing away at present is huge, which is probably not surprisingly given our love of coffee in this country! We collected them up at my work over the course of a week once and in my office alone it came out at well over a thousand which was incredibly eye-opening (and a bit smelly by the end to be honest!). The best way to avoid this is obviously to just sit down and enjoy your coffee in the cafe but we can’t always do that, and that’s where a reusable coffee cup comes into play! The glass versions that have hit the market in recent years are really lovely, but there are plenty of great ceramic and reusable plastic versions as well!

Plastic Straws

The best way to reduce the impact of plastic straws is to just say no! There are very few drinks that we really need to drink with a straw, and if you do prefer drinking out of a straw then go for a reusable option in glass or stainless steel. I personally have a glass straw which I use at home for drinking smoothies (well, not so much in this weather!) and I really love it, so I highly recommend getting your hands on one!

There are lots of other easy changes you can make too, here are some of my recommendations:

  • Switch from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo option. I changed a few months back and I will definitely not be going back!
  • Make your own cleaning products which not only reduces plastic from the packaging of the store bought cleaners, but also reduces the chemicals in your home and saves you money. Win-win-win!
  • Switch to bar soap (packaged in cardboard or unpackaged from markets) instead of liquid soap
  • Shop at bulk food stores or choose products packaged in cardboard to avoid plastic packaging
  • Take your lunch to work in a reusable container (I particularly love my stainless steel lunchbox) to avoid using gladwrap and sandwich bags
  • Pick up some reusable food wraps to cover leftovers in your fridge to again avoid gladwrap

There’s a bunch more tips in a post I did last year on reducing plastic use at home, which you can find right here! There are plenty more tips and ideas on the Plastic Free July website as well, covering everything from gardening to personal care and everything in between! It really isn’t as hard as it may seem to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in your life, and it’s definitely something you can ease into over time, so now is an excellent time to give it a try! I’ll be sharing more Plastic Free July tips and learnings in my weekly newsletter as well, so now is an excellent time to pop yourself on the mailing list!

Are you going to take part in Plastic Free July? What single-use plastics do you think you can give up?

Disclosure: Links to Biome are affiliate links which means I make a small commission on any purchases made, but it doesn’t cost you any extra to shop there. I personally love the range of products & ease of shopping at Biome, so I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t!
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6 Comments on Plastic Free July

  1. merilyn
    July 4, 2015 at 8:54 am (4 years ago)

    a good post liz! … plastics are my pet hate!
    every time we go for a walk, especially on the beach we take a bag and pick up heaps! I also make art stuff with flotsam and jetsam!
    fortunately in SA we are plastic bag free at the supermarket!
    good on you hun! love m:)X

    Reply
    • I Spy Plum Pie (admin)
      July 10, 2015 at 5:36 pm (4 years ago)

      I wish we would go plastic bag free here in Victoria, it would make SUCH a difference!

      Reply
  2. Amanda
    July 4, 2015 at 2:19 pm (4 years ago)

    What a great initiative! I once read about a couple that limited their entire waste for a year to just one rubbish bag seemed like hard work but so worth it!
    Amanda recently posted…Love comes in small boxes

    Reply
    • I Spy Plum Pie (admin)
      July 10, 2015 at 5:37 pm (4 years ago)

      I think it’s one of those things that you can chip away at and make changes over time which definitely helps make it more achievable! And every little bit counts!

      Reply
  3. Trish
    July 4, 2015 at 4:29 pm (4 years ago)

    It is on my to do list – I remembered my own bags today – that’s a win (i don’t always)
    I have stainless steel straws or paper ones and I want buy plastic anymore.
    We love our stainless steel drink bottles from Eccococoon.
    I have asked a few coffee vans to use my stainless steel cup and haven’t had a no.
    Trish recently posted…Wordless Wednesday : Mission complete – Two Times Nine

    Reply
    • I Spy Plum Pie (admin)
      July 10, 2015 at 5:38 pm (4 years ago)

      Sounds like lots of wins to me Trish!

      Reply

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