What is Plastic Free July?
ECO EM’S BLOG
WHAT IS PLASTIC FREE JULY?
I hope you saw my social posts throughout July, everyday I shared my eco swaps on Facebook & Instagram to inspire others to make simple swaps to their everyday lives.
But what is Plastic Free July? I’m glad you asked, it’s a month dedicated to inspiring millions of people to participate in making small changes which collectively make a huge difference. I often get asked, how can swapping to a shampoo bar make a difference? But if you think that everyone in the UK has the power to make those swaps, think of what a fantastic difference that would make.
Choosing to refuse single use plastics and changing habits is the focus of the initiative, you can find more information on their website www.plasticfreejuly.org. They started in 2011 and since then have grown a huge following, of which participants of the challenge have
PLASTIC FREE JULY
- 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% of people made changes that have become habits and a new 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
These are some of the fantastic results they’ve seen, alongside a big emphasis on refusing plastic waste, they are realistic and sometimes we need to reuse and recycle.
However, since taking part in the Big Plastic Count earlier in the year, I’ve learnt recycling isn’t enough. In the UK less than 12% of our plastic waste gets recycled, most of our rubbish is now shipped overseas, as we don’t have the capacity to deal with it in the UK any longer. Landfills are filing up; recycling plants don’t have the capacity to sort everything thoroughly and a lot of our household waste ends up heading to incineration.
We can do better, but where do you start? Pick loose fruit and vegetables, choose to shop at refill stations/shops or buy in bulk, buy glass/tin rather than plastic, stop and think about what happens to the packaging when the products finished with and ask yourself do you really need it?
It is overwhelming, as a nation we have been taught to consume. With many products being manufactured with built in obsolescence meaning they all have an expiry date. And although we’ve heard it many times by older generations, they really don’t make things like they used to. One is never enough and with plastic being a much cheaper alternative its often used as the main component.
But don’t feel overwhelmed, I have some simple swaps in the bathroom which I hope will help if you’re feeling stuck.
HERE ARE MY TOP 10
- Shampoo bar rather than a bottle
- Bamboo toothbrush rather than plastic
- Soap bar rather than soap dispenser
- Body lotion bar rather than body butter in a tub
- Toothpaste tablets rather than toothpaste in a tube
- Bamboo cotton buds rather than plastic
- Natural loofahs rather than plastic scrubs
- Safety razor rather than a disposable
- Bicarbonate of soda, citric acid, white vinegar rather than bleach
- Cotton tooth floss rather than plastic
These are a few things I’ve changed over the years, and they have helped me save hundreds of plastic bottles from ending up in the bin. If you’re interested in learning more, please visit Eco Em’s Gifts on Instagram or Facebook for 30 days of inspiration.
We also have the Essentials Gift Set which is a fantastic way to go plastic free and get started with your eco swaps. Only £20.00 on the website https://eco-em.co.uk/green-gift-sets/ saving over 32 pieces of plastic from landfill in every box!
As always, I welcome your questions and conversation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the website or socials to talk more on the subject.
Peace and love
Eco Em xx