Plastic-Free July ~ What you need to know and how to join the movement

July 14, 2015 at 11:26 pm 2 comments

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Just this morning it has been brought to my attention that this Month, July is Plastic Free July!

Thank Goodness for the Power of Social Media, that I can attempt to stay up to speed on Eco Initiatives around the world and Share them with you!

July isn’t over yet! As much as we need to aim to be Plastic Free Everyday, we challenge you for the next 18 days to be Plastic Free!

Lets Get to it!

What is Plastic Free July?

The challenge is quite simple…attempt to refuse single-use plastic during July

Here is what Plastic Free July Website has to say – Plastic Free July aims to raise awareness of the amount of single-use disposable plastic in our lives and challenges people to do something about it.

It was developed in 2011 in Perth, Western Australia and aims at raising awareness of the amount of plastic in our lives.

Through this awareness you can be motivated and inspired to eliminate the use of single-use plastic during July each year

In 2014 over 14,000 individuals, schools, businesses and organizations from 69 countries participated in the challenge!

You can sign up for a Day, a Week (or the whole Month of July!) or… FOREVER! Help spread this great movement across the World.

Your Goal

Try to say NO TO ALL single-use plastic or try to say no to the TOP 4: plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups and straws. 

The Top Four

This movement is growing at a Rapid Pace. Read the 2015 media release for the full story and hope on board!

Co-founder of the campaign and Earth Carers Coordinator at WMRC, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, says the success of Plastic Free July has taken its founders by surprise.

“Although it’s a simple concept, saying no to single-use plastic, such as shopping bags, drink bottles, disposable cups and straws can be challenging, it opens your eyes to how ubiquitous plastic is in our society and with it the many issues connected with it, not least the environmental consequences,” she says.

The Rules

  1. Attempt to refuse single-use plastic during July.
  2. Remember it’s not going to be easy! It is a challenge, not a competition so don’t worry about being perfect.
  3. Collect any unavoidable single-use plastic you buy. Keep in a dilemma bag and share it with us at the end of the challenge.
  4. It’s up to you regarding how long you participate. You might decide to go plastic-free for a day, a week, a month or longer! However long you choose will still make a contribution.

“Participants soon discover it’s not a breeze”, in fact it’s extremely hard to avoid plastic packaging, but going on the Plastic Free July challenge has resulted in many people deciding to go plastic free permanently which is really life changing.”

Bag it

Have you heard of it?

“Think about it…why would you make something that you are going to use for a few minutes out of a material that’s basically going to last forever. What’s up with that?”  – Jeb Berrier, Bag It movie.

Single-use disposables like water bottles, coffee cups, plastic utensils and take out containers make our lives more convenient. About 2,480,000 tons of plastic bottles and jars were disposed of in 2008 around the world.

Unfortunately, plastic is not disposable and the use of these items leads to environmental degradation. After being disposed, plastic containers and water bottles get placed in overflowing landfills, clogged rivers, and our ocean. And when the plastics break down, they do not biodegrade. Instead they break down into fragments that contaminate our natural resources.

The following websites offer reusable products that can help you wean off single-use disposables. Additionally, they provide valuable resources for educating yourself on the issue.

Reuse It
Thirty One
Eco Bags 
Klean Kanteen

One SmartKlean Ball is equivalent to 20-40 containers of laundry products.Why_use_all_this-225x76cm

SmartKlean replaces laundry detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets. Although some of the packaging for these products are said to be recyclable, the sad reality is that they are ‘down-cycled’ and more often sent straight to landfill.

According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, 93% of plastics are not put into recycling bins. In addition, their manufacturing processes are often toxic and consume large amounts of resources.

The clear advantage of the laundry ball is that it is reusable. Its recyclable enclosure consumes much less energy in order to be produced and once it is recycled, it can easily be reused and molded without losing much quality. Its  strong, durable material is free of BPA and PVC.

Please post in the Comments what you are already doing or plan to do to R.R.R.R.R.? I want to hear you ideas and what steps you make or plan to make to REDUCE. REUSE. REFUSE. RETHINK. REPAIR

“Since participating in Plastic Free July I am constantly thinking of ways to reduce my plastic packaging. I have used my own reusable shopping bags for years, but now I take my own containers to buy meat and cheese and I try to purchase in bulk. During last year’s challenge I cut up an old net curtain to make different sized reusable bags for fruit, nuts and vegetables.” Plastic Free July participant, Wilma van Boxtel of Swanbourne, Western Australia


Written by Sarah Harron, SmartKlean Ontario Representative

Entry filed under: Home and Health, Sustainability & Lifestyle. Tags: , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jordan  |  August 4, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Sounds like an interesting initiative! It’s so important to cut down on waste – especially plastic, which can be super harmful.

  • 2. Maria  |  July 20, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    In our household we don’t use plastic bottles, and we use all green cleaning products. Not sure how to stop using plastic bags for kitchen trash….


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