Plastic Free July 2020
Plastic Free July, a small campaign that started a mere 9 years ago, is now reaching millions of people worldwide. As a global movement, it encourages each individual person to commit to refuse single-use plastics. In this way each one of us can make a small difference to the ever-growing plastic problem.
It’s my third year participating, and I must admit, the most difficult one so far. Lockdown has locked down on many plastic-free avenues - from fresh produce being more heavily packaged to thousands of plastic bottles of sanitizer being swept off the shelves, or, in my case, life just being more chaotic and leaving less time for plastic-free alternatives.
Our small giveaway for Plastic Free July (sorry if you missed out!) gave all our followers a chance to tell us what YOU are doing this Plastic Free July and we absolutely loved reading through everyone’s responses! So much so that we decided to share some of the insights as we think it will motivate you as much as it has motivated us!
Hands-down, the winning response is using (or remembering to use ;-)) reusable shopping bags.
This is a funny one - for every article I’ve read regarding reusable shopping bags being a more eco-friendly option, I’ve read one that will argue the opposite. It’s hard to believe - I can visualise the amount of plastic bags I’ve seen flapping helplessly on barb-wired fences, or washed up along the shores of our not-so-clean waterways, or floating around aimlessly in the wind-swept park.
It comes down to this: all shopping bags have an environmental impact. To make reusable bags more durable than their single-use plastic counterparts takes more resources, resulting in a larger carbon footprint. So how do we make them more eco-friendly? By using them over and over and over again. It’s in their name after all, REUSE.
Second in line in the responses was…you guessed it…buying plastic free from us! Hand in hand with this is shopping more consciously by a) supporting businesses that allow plastic free purchases and b) choosing the eco-friendlier packaging i.e. glass or paper over plastic. There's several mentions of slowly converting plastic containers over to glass, but what we appreciate is the sentiment that using and reusing what you currently have comes foremost.
Some of you have lovely out-the-box ideas of making plarn (plastic yarn) from shopping bags to create mats, or upcycling plastic bottles as plant pots.
And lastly, I love how many people see Plastic Free July as an opportunity to educate and share information with those around them - there’s no better way to grow a conscious community than by doing that!