Plastic Free July - How to get involved
As a worldwide movement to help people find simple solutions to plastic pollution, Plastic Free July has rightfully gained popularity over the years. It allows us to look at how we can help by keeping our streets clean, clearing the beaches and parks of litter and helping to raise awareness in the community. In addition, we can all try our best to help the planet by looking at our use of single-use plastics.
Clothing created with natural fibres rather than synthetic materials means less plastic pollution. Organic cotton clothing is not only kinder to the environment but longer-lasting and can be re-loved for years to come. By purchasing and wearing sustainably created garments, you are helping to drive the trend towards slow fashion and away from the lousy throw-away fashion. Changing your buying habits and lifestyle can be challenging, but moving away from single-use products is an excellent step towards helping the Earth. Disposable products have a huge impact, so adapting to reusable, sustainable and ethical items is the perfect way to start.
So, what can we all do to help?
- Join the Plastic Free July Challenge
- Refuse plastic bags. Bring your bag or use a box
- Refuse single-use cups. Bring your reusable cup or dine in
- Refuse plastic straws. Use a paper straw or no straw at all
- Refuse plastic packaging. Make your snacks and use reusable packaging
- Avoid plastic wrap. Store leftovers in a reusable container
- Avoid pre-packed fruit & veg. Go for loose produce and use a reusable bag
- Avoid pre-packed meat or fish. Take your reusable container
- Avoid takeaway utensils and containers. Take your own, or use bamboo or card alternatives.
- Avoid bottled water. Fill up a reusable bottle from the tap
- Avoid littering. Also, use the bins provided or take home your litter.
How to get started
- Sign up for the Plastic Free July Challenge. You will be sent tips via email during July on how to help motivate for the challenge. In addition, the community's stories and ideas to learn and improve. Finally, you have the opportunity to encourage others to take part via email or social media and spread the word to your friends and family.
- Take the Pesky Plastics Quiz to find out what changes you can make. This quiz will help you discover ways to help and allow researchers to track common household plastic usage trends. It is also tremendous and highlights where plastic is hiding that you may have never considered previously. You can also measure your success during the challenge.
- Find a Plastic Free July event near you. Check out the interactive map to see if there are any community-based events you are participating in this month. From beach and park clean-ups, fetes and festivals to awareness days - You are sure to find something to get stuck into.
- Download a Plastic Free July Poster to promote at work or school. There is a selection of posters to choose from, including joining the challenge, refusing plastic bags, stopping single-use cup use, and avoiding plastic wrap.
- Check out Plastic Free July's Action Picker. Choose from a list of easy-to-start challenges that show you have to avoid them and what your impact will be on the ocean, landfills and global warming.
- Follow Plastic Free July on social media for more hints & tips. With day-by-day stories, facts, quotes and advice, there are plenty of ideas to get your family started, from skipping the straw, ditching disposable coffee cups and choosing reusable drink bottles.
Get the kids involved!
Organise a beach/park clean-up. This idea is perfect for a weekend or during the school holidays when you are already enjoying the great outdoors. It's an excellent way to teach little ones how important it is to look after their environment and build a sense of community by getting everyone involved.
All you need is:
- Litter picking tongs
Don't forget the sunscreen and water - plus remember to take breaks to enjoy nature.
Organise a plastic-free picnic
- Bake your goodies and store them in reusable containers
- Use a fizzy drinks maker to create your soft drinks
- Make your sandwiches and savoury treats and put them in beeswax wraps
- Buy snacks from your local refill store
- Bring reusable cutlery as well as plates and glasses
There's always more that we can all do. Let us know if you have any great ideas for reducing plastic use this July! Please share your thoughts on social media, and let's get everyone helping the planet.