Plastic free July is a worldwide campaign encouraging everyone to be part of the solution to the growing issue of plastic waste, affecting many aspects of our natural world. It is commonly known that it takes 28 days to break a habit so this is a fab opportunity to break some plastic bad habits that can then hopefully naturally continue beyond this month.
But when plastic is so ingrained in our everyday life where do you even start?
A great place to start is to try and recognize where in your own life you are consuming the most plastic. We recommend taking this Pesky Plastic quiz - the results do feed into wider research on plastic usage, but it’s a great place to start to work out your main usage areas.
In 2021 an estimated 140 million people worldwide took part in Plastic Free July from 190 countries. The campaign organisers found these results:
Plastic Free July participants:
- Reduced their household waste and recycling by 15kg per person per year (3.5% less waste)
- Globally they reduced 2.1 billion tonnes of waste and recycling including 300 million kgs of plastic consumption
- 86% people made changes that have become habits/ a way of life
- After 11 years Plastic Free July has reduced global demand by 2.3% of all bottled water, 3.1% of all fruit and vegetable packaging, 4.0% of all plastic straws.
This impact addresses UN Sustainable Development Goals 11, 12, 14 and 15 (sustainable cities and communities, responsible production and consumption, life below water, and life on land).
"Be part of the solution to plastic pollution!"
So this Plastic Free July, UpRising challenges you to go one day, plastic free! (Aim being that once we manage one day Plastic Free, we can build up to a week, a month and eventually a plastic free life!!). We appreciate that going all in for one month can be tough so if you can just do one day and see where it goes you are still contributing to the mission of becoming plastic free.
Here are some ideas to get you started if you feel lost:
Top tips for reducing plastic:
- Download and use the REFILL app
- Avoid excess packaging on goods
- Switch to bar soap
- Take a cloth bag with you when you go shopping
- Shop at second hand stores
- Take a reusable water bottle/flask out with you
- Invest in a reusable coffee cup and use that for takeaway hot drinks (you often get a discount for bringing your own)
- Pack your lunch in reusable containers
- Say no to plastic consumables - straws, cutlery and carrier bags
If you would like to consider your shopping habits then there amazing zero waste stores that will stock some of the items listed above as well as non plastic wrapped food staples.
Here are some we know about:
- Jarfull, Leeds
- Kilo, London
- Lentils and Lather, Manchester
- Re:Store, London
- Ripple, Cardiff
- Society Zero, Glasgow
- Sustenance Refill Groceries , London
- The Clean Kilo, Birmingham
- The Dispensary, Salford
- The Good Life, Stockport
- The Refill Larder, Teddington
- The Store, Bedford
- Twenty Fifty, Colwyn Bay
- Village Greens, Manchester
- Zero Green, Bristol
We'll be sharing resources relating #PlasticFreeJuly all month on our socials - so keep an eye out and get involved too!