We have been so inspired by all the great Plastic Free July stories that are circulating on social media at the moment that we thought we should bring attention to this important movement, even though the first part of July is already done and dusted. Also because we believe people should start adopting more of a plastic-free lifestyle every month.
Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution. It is heartening to see zero-waste trends escalating around the world. People are starting to see first-hand the devastating effects that plastic is having on our planet and all the life it sustains, including humans. In order to turn the tide on this environmental curse, changes need to be made NOW before it is too late.
Since its invention in the early 1900’s, the commercial industry for plastics has grown rapidly. In 2015, over 320 million tons of plastic, excluding fibres, were manufactured across the globe. In a little over a century, what was once lauded as a scientific wonder, has now become now become environmental scourge. A recent article written in The Guardian stated that “A 2017 study found that, of the 8.3bn tonnes of plastic produced since 1950, 6.3bn tonnes has been thrown away. And whether it ends up in landfill or in the sea, that plastic – thanks to the stability and durability that it is prized for – is not going anywhere fast.”
That is a helluva lot of plastic for our fragile planet to have to cope with. Want to know another scary prediction? Experts say that that if the production of plastic does not decrease drastically, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050!
Unfortunately, the versatility and convenience that plastics offer has resulted in a throw-away culture. In fact, single-use plastics account for 40 percent of the plastic produced every year. Many of the products that people use on a daily basis, such as plastic bags, food wrappers, straws, coffee cups and water bottles have a lifespan of a couple of minutes to a couple of hours. Used once and then discarded to persist in the environment for hundreds of years.
Armed with these sobering facts, it us up to us to make a difference. We can have cleaner streets, cleaner oceans if each and every one of us makes positive lifestyle changes. It is all about being mindful of our daily choices.
Below is a list of things that we can do from today to turn the tide on plastic pollution.
- Avoid plastic shopping bags – remember to always carry a reusable bag to the store.
- Ditch the plastic straws – if you really need to use a straw there are plenty of cool reusable straws on the market.
- Find plastic free alternatives when buying your fruits and vegetables. Buy reusable cloth bags to put your fresh veggies into.
- Cling wrap is a no-no. There are plenty of alternatives.
- Buy a funky water bottle and make sure you fill it up and carry it with you at all times to that you avoid buying bottle water!!
- Do you live near the ocean? Why not organise a beach clean up with your local community.
- Having a picnic or going camping? Get a set of reusable cutlery so you never have to use a plastic ones again.
- If you do happen to accumulate non-recyclable plastic, start Eco-Bricking.
- Are you a coffee addict? Buy a cool reusable coffee mug so that you avoid using single use coffee cups.
- Take your own containers to the store when you go to the butcher.
- Take your own containers to restaurants for possible leftovers. Polystyrene is awful stuff!
These are just a few ways that you can change the world! And it is easier than you think.