What is Plastic Free July and Why Should You Care?
You may have seen lots of people (including us!) chatting about Plastic Free July online. But what is actually all about and why should you care?
Plastic Free July was set up in 2011 by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, the founder of the Plastic Free Foundation and a small team in local government in Western Australia. Since then, it's grown to become one of the most influential environmental campaigns in the world. The campaign encourages millions of people around the world to reduce their plastic use for July, with many committing to reducing their plastic consumption far beyond the month.
In 2018, Plastic Free July participants:
- reduced their household waste and recycling by 21kg per person per year (almost 5%)
- contributed to a total saving of 940 million kg of plastic waste each year
- 8.5 out of 10 people made changes that have become habits/ a way of life
The campaign encourages people to be more mindful when it comes to single-use plastic and encourages you to make small, simple changes that can make a huge difference to the planet. Being more mindful of how you use plastic doesn't need to be a drastic lifestyle change and can start with simple changes like bringing a reusable water bottle with you, switching to a shampoo bar or choosing loose fruit and veg on your weekly shop.
Single-use plastic products are used once, or for a short period of time, before being thrown away. The 10 most commonly found single-use plastic items represent 70% of all marine litter in the EU, and up to 85% of all marine litter in the EU is plastic, which isn't a good time! Thankfully, at the start of the month, the EU has made moves to reduce single-use plastic and has banned the sale of cotton bud sticks, plastic cutlery, plates, stirrers, chopsticks, straws, expanded polystyrene single use food and beverage containers and all oxo-degradable plastic products. The reason being "to prevent and reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, in particular the aquatic environment, and on human health, as well as to promote the transition to a circular economy with innovative and sustainable business models, products and materials”. So now it's up to us to do our part!
Every day this month, we're sharing simple, actionable tips on our Instagram to inspire you to explore different plastic free swaps you can try out in your day-to-day.
For more information on Plastic-Free July and to see how you can get involved, check out their website here.