The month of July is designated to raising awareness of the problems with plastic and global movement to reduce the use of single use plastics. Plastic Free July is a call to be part of the solution to plastic pollution. According to a recent BBC news article:
An estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of plastic is destined for our environment – both on land and in the ocean – by 2040, unless worldwide action is taken.
Plastics that are thrown away take hundreds of years to degrade and decompose, ending up clogging up landfill. When plastic breaks down it doesn’t disappear, it gets smaller creating tiny particles called microplastics that end up in our rivers streams and oceans. These tiny particles are then ingested by animals like sea turtles and sea birds who can also get trapped in discarded plastic waste. It is a huge global problem with it estimated that a truckload of plastic enters the ocean every single minute.
Being part of the solution is about taking action to do what we can to reduce plastic consumption. Here are some ideas to consider. Even if we only take on one idea, it all contributing to helping preserve our planet for future generations.
No #1 Buy loose fruit and vegetables where you can.
Single use packaging from supermarkets is one of the biggest contributes to plastic waste. Research from Greenpeace estimates:
UK supermarkets produce 800,000 tonnes every year
Take a mesh bag to the supermarket for loose items or choose products in renewable packaging like cardboard. Price permitting, you can also consider buying from local places too that are fresher without the need for transportation and plastic wrap.
No #2– Swap clingfilm for a BeesWax wrap
An alternative to using non- recyclable plastic film in to switch to using a food safe BeesWax wrap for sandwiches and sealing containers of leftover foods.
No#3 Switch to a reusable stainless steel water bottle.
A few weeks ago it was World Refill Day, encouraging people to use a refillable water bottle and to ditch single use plastic bottes. Using a water bottle from places like Chilly’s reduces the amount of plastic bottles before they even get to the recycling stage.
No#4– Swap to a bamboo toothbrush
A Hitchin-based eco shop, Bambuubrush has pledged to offer everyone a bamboo tooth brush completely free of charge. They advertised this in the local newspaper, The Comet as part of Plastic Free July.
Since launching @BambuuBrush, 34,000 kilos of plastic toothbrushes have been stopped from entering commercial circulationThe Comet, Newspaper
This represents 34,000 kilos of plastic that ultimately ends up in landfill. Bamboo is highly renewable natural material that has antibacterial properties making it ideal to use for eco friendly toothbrushes.
No#5– Use plastic-free Smol for laundry
We recently swapped our laundry products to Smol. This eco alternative comes directly through our door and is completely plastic free. You might also want to consider using an Eco Egg for another plastic-free eco friendly option.
No#6– Use Soap bars
Soap was one of the first eco products that I wrote about in my post about Soaper Heroes. It is one of the best ways to reduce plastic bottles in the bathroom. I can also recommend using shampoo bars that are completely plastic free. Each bar is equivalent to 2 plastic bottles that would have been used otherwise.
No#7 Reusable face scrubbies
If you want to learn to crochet, then these little reusable face scrubbie crochet kits are a reusable alternative to plastic containing make-up wipes.
No#8 Switch to plastic-free coffee pods.
Fathers day, I was donated some plastic- free coffee bags by percol coffee which we sold at a pop-up stall to raise money for the school. Their Fairtrade coffee is packaged in a home compostable material. Supporting companies that have made a pledge to be plastic-free is a great way to support the plastic free mission. Companies like Pact are also making recyclable alternatives to coffee pods.
No #9 Use an un-sponge
When I wrote up a blog post about washing up sponges, there were a few laughs about how excited one can get about something so everyday, even better if they are plastic-free! They also come in a 2 pack with simple idea of passing one on to get others switching to eco friendly products.
No #10 Use plastic- free tape
Finally, its got to that time of year again when there are loads of gift wrapping to do for various events and for all those end of year teacher gifts. For some eco inspired gifts, you could make some reusable face scrubbies, some jam, a macramé pot hanger or a mindfulness kit. Also to wrap in recyclable paper and use Eco friendly plastic free Sellotape.