We all know how much of an issue plastic waste is.
Whether that's the plastic pollution that is threatening marine life, or the microplastics that can end up in our bodies because of what we eat or drink, single use plastic is something that we all need to do our bit to try and avoid.
That's why we want you to join us in taking on the Plastic Free July challenge - whether that's from the comfort of your home or bathroom, at work or in life in general.
We've put together a few ideas on how you can make a start at going plastic free.
What exactly is Plastic Free July?
Plastic Free July is all about helping and encouraging millions of people around the world to become part of the solution to plastic pollution.
The initiative, by the Plastic Free Foundation, has the aim of getting all of us to refuse single use plastics so that we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.
Starting in 2011, the campaign has grown in awareness and popularity and has already shown significant results.
According to their 2021 impact report, those that took part in Plastic Free July see the following benefits:
- Reduce their household waste and recycling by 15kg per person per year (3.5% less waste).
Globally 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 of hard work, Plastic Free July has reduced global demand by 2.3% of all bottled water, 3.1% of all fruit and vegetable packaging and 4.0% of all plastic straws. A fantastic achievement!
Taking on Plastic Free July in the bathroom
Incredibly, on average, a single clothes wash can release 700,000 microplastic fibres.
These microfibres track through domestic wastewater into sewage treatment plants where some of the tiny plastic fragments are captured as part of sewage sludge. The rest pass through into rivers and eventually, oceans.
That's why we are proud that all of our products do not contain any of our plastic or synthetic materials - meaning that they can be part of the solution.
We use organic materials, like GOTS certified Organic Cotton to craft our ribbed bath mats and towels.
It is our aim to be completely plastic free by 2025; only our Diatomite Bath Mat comes with plastic packaging and we are constantly looking for a viable alternative that ensures the mat arrives in one piece.
However, with this mat not requiring machine washing at all, it always has its benefits in terms of water and energy saving.
As well as this, through the use of superior-performing materials from bamboo to diatomaceous earth, our products are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and odour free.
This guarantees they will stay fresh and can last even longer in between washes, significantly limiting your water consumption.
You can also reduce plastic waste in your bathroom by opting for shampoo and soap bars.
They are just as effective as the normal shampoo and soaps that you buy and you save a lot of plastic bottles that could end up in the ocean.
However, if you do have plastic bottles filling up your bathroom, make sure that you reduce, reuse and recycle them. You can take an empty plastic bottle and refill it at a bulk goods store.
Cotton buds with plastic stems create an alarming amount of plastic waste.
But there are some great eco-friendly cotton buds made with bamboo that you can use instead.
You should also consider replacing old toothbrushes with a a bamboo-handled alternative with a replaceable head.
Taking on Plastic Free July in the home
There are a number of small changes that you can make around the home that will all add up to make a big difference.
Plastic bin liners have a devastating impact on the environment, but there are alternatives we can all try.
You could try lining your bin with a few sheets of newspaper, or using certified compostable bin liner bags.
You can also carry out something called a Bin Audit, which will help you to see what waste you could be avoiding, and improve your composting and recycling habits.
Whether it's at home, school or in your workplace, bin audits are a great way to understand waste you’re creating.
For example, if your bin audit shows that family members, classmates or co-workers are putting cardboard in the landfill bin, you can check to see if there is a service for it to be recycled as well as making sure that all the plastic waste ends up in the recycling bin!
Plastic cling film is also a common staple in most homes. However, alternatives exist that are both just as effective and more sustainable.
For example, simply storing your food in your own containers that are reusable, would be the obvious option.
You can also purchase reusable washable cloth bags to store and pack food in, as a better option to zip up plastic bags.
Other ways you can go plastic free
There are plenty of other changes that we can make to help us say goodbye to single use plastics altogether.
Many of us will already be making these switches, not just for Plastic Free July, but its worth reminding ourselves nonetheless that they can have an impact.
Make sure that you bring a reusable coffee cup, or indeed dine in at your favourite café, to help reduce plastic use and the prevalence of disposable coffee cups.
Many people choose socially and environmentally-friendly reusables made of ceramic, glass, plastic or stainless steel as their reusable coffee cup of choice.
The same applies to water bottles. Use a reusable bottle that you can easily refill rather than a single use plastic bottle.
Also, making sure to reuse or use a reusable shopping bag when you pop to the shop.
Shopping bags are extremely dangerous to our environment and our wildlife, so reusable bags or a bag for life is the way to go, whether that's for grocery shopping or indeed any shopping trip!
Whilst we are talking about shopping, try to avoid groceries that use single use packaging.
Bulk and loose foods can offer a solution to this.
Many people keep a shopping list and visit their local bulk food store just once a month, so that they can stock up on items such as flour, nuts, dishwashing liquid and even more, in a way that doesn’t use single use plastic.
Together, we can make a massive difference
By starting out now on our plastic free journey, we can all make a difference.
Whether you use a reusable mug for your coffee, reusable bottles, or reusable container, all the small changes that we make add up and hopefully slow down plastic production and in turn reduce single use plastic.
So, what are you waiting for? Join us today and take part in Plastic Free July.
Are you interested in getting involved a Plastic Free July 2022 event in your community? Click here to see if there's an event near you!