Thousands of people across the world this month are taking part in Plastic Free July and are taking up the challenge to refuse all single use plastic for one month.
The problem we have with plastic is that there are more than 260 million tons of plastic each year being thrown out around the world. And this plastic does not just biodegrade back into our earth’s resources, it is estimated plastic can take hundreds to thousands of years to break down into the minute pieces that we can not see by the naked eye.
The environmental impact from us using all this plastic is massive not just to human health but to wildlife and the environment. Millions of tons of plastic waste are in our world’s oceans , breaking down and releasing toxic chemicals into our sea causing devastating results to our marine life. But its not just our oceans that are affected by our plastic waste. Billions of tons of plastic waste is dumped in landfill sites across the world but this causes just as much harm to ourselves and the wildlife as it does when dumped into our oceans. As the plastic starts to break down its toxic chemicals are released into our groundwater that then feeds in to our rivers and back into our oceans. Not only does this plastic release toxic chemicals into our water but as plastic breaks down into smaller pieces wildlife and marine life digest these pieces of plastic causing hundreds of animals to choke and starve to death not to mention they also get caught in larger pieces of plastic resulting in birds, fish, turtles etc.. not being able to get to get themselves free and even drowning or starving to death.
To take part in this challenge is easy you register here that you would like to take part in Plastic Free July challenge. When you register you are given lots of handy helpful tips to help you go plastic free during the challenge. The rules of the challenge are simple.
- Attempt to refuse single-use plastic during July.
- Remember it’s not going to be easy! It is a challenge, not a competition so don’t worry about not being perfect.
- Collect any unavoidable single-use plastic you buy. Keep in a dilemma bag and share it the Plastic Free July team at the end of the challenge.
- 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.
There are some great bloggers who are taking part in this fantastic challenge who are all an inspiration to us all. Here are some of my personal favourite bloggers who are taking part and blogging about the highs and lows of going plastic free throughout July.
- Becky Annison is cutting down plastic in 5 areas of her life from snacks/crisps, toothbrushes, bottled drinks, yogurt containers and hand washing soap.
- Westy is cutting out all plastic from her life for a whole month from food wrapping, birthday presents, toilet roll, you name it she is cutting it out.
- Zoe has challenged herself to buy nothing packaged in or containing single use plastic throughout July.
I am taking part in plastic free Tuesday , although I would of liked to take part in plastic free July we have so much plastic in our house that I want to eradicate I felt that just a month was not long enough. So I have set my family to a weekly challenge of reducing our plastic in small bites each week until we have nothing in our home that contains plastic or arrives wrapped in plastic.
So each tuesday we will be looking at one element of plastic we use in our house or bring into our home and work out a sustainable way we can replace it and can carry on enjoying use this product. Then every tuesday I will be posting what we looking at this week and what alternatives we have found to replace them. I don’t for a minute imagine this new challenge is going to be easy but I am really looking forward to eradicating plastic from our day to day lives.
This week I looked at 3 things we already do but could be doing better;
- Use glass jars instead of plastic containers – We already use a lot of glass jars to store bulk buying food or for preserving food but when I go naked shopping I take plastic containers with me. So I have invested in more glass jars that are bigger than the ones we usually use to take with me to the butchers etc.. when I am out shopping. But this has left me with a pile of plastic reusable containers that are perfectly fine so I have donated these to charity instead of sending them to landfill.
- Bees Wax Paper – Although I did make quite a lot of bees wax cloth a while ago to reduce the amount of cling film we use, I did not make enough really for a family of 5. So out came the fabric scraps and the bees wax and now we have a very large pile of bees wax cloth that I don’t think we will ever run out off. But if we need more than its easy for me to make some more.
- Reusable shopping bags – We already have loads of reusable shopping bags but a large percentage of these are made from plastic. I have found the answer to this over at So creative things which has a great tutorial on how to make a quick a no sew reusable bag from an old t-shirt so I am going to be giving this ago to replace all our plastic reusable shopping bags.
What plastic could you cut out of your life and your family home?