Today is the start of Plastic Free July, being organised is the best way to succeed in refusing ALL single-use plastic for the whole month of July (and hopefully beyond!).

Plastic is everywhere, it’s unavoidable but single-use plastic is the worst culprit, being made solely for one use only before being discarded, using precious resources in its production and then highly likely to end up in landfill or floating in the ocean.

Plastic Free July aims to raise awareness of the problems with single-use disposable plastic and challenges people to do something about it.

Originating in Western Australia, the Plastic Free July campaign now has people taking part all over the world, raising awareness of the problem of plastic pollution. Once you start the challenge, your eyes will be opened to just how much single-use disposable plastic we actually come across on a day to day basis. If you haven’t already done so, I urge you to sign up and take part.

Sticking to the challenge will be a whole lot easier if you are properly prepared, so here’s our top 10 tips for staying plastic free throughout July.

10 Tips for succeeding during Plastic Free July

Shopping bags

I know it’s an obvious one, but don’t get caught out without a shopping bag! Having a reusable shopping bag which is small enough to carry around in your handbag is the best option, and for this we love the Chicobag.

Shop in bulk, take your own containers/bags

The term shopping in bulk isn’t a well-known one in the UK, but to those already trying to minimise their waste they know this means shopping loose produce. Taking your own reusable cloth produce bags and visiting health food shops which have dry loose food in bulk (hence the term shopping in bulk!), means you can purchase the exact amount you need, with no packaging waste at all.

Invest in reusable coffee cup and water bottle

A reusable coffee cup is really useful for your coffee on-the-go, but limit its use to coffee alone! It can also be used as a glass for water, juice or any drink while you’re out but also a handy container if you need one. (Olive anyone?)

Carry containers with you

To really succeed for Plastic Free July, carrying stainless steel lunchboxes with you is a great way to succeed. You never know when you might need them; use them for leftovers when eating out, food purchased from a deli counter or even some lunch from a food stall.

    

Straws and cutlery

I always carry stainless steel straws and cutlery around with me, refusing throwaway plastic straws and cutlery is easy when you whip out your own and you might inspire others to do the same, everyone always comments on our lovely stainless steel straws!

Sign up for a milk delivery

Look up your local milk delivery service and have your milk delivered in reusable glass bottles, the milk is slightly more expensive admittedly, but fresher and is the only milk available in glass that we’ve found in the UK. They have organic or non-organic options, and usually deliver 2-3 times a week so you will never get caught out with no milk.

Buy shampoo and conditioner bars

Once you make the switch to shampoo bars, you’ll never look back! There are more coming onto the market but Lush do some interesting ‘flavours’. We love the Soapnuts shampoo bars though, and also enjoy supporting small online business like ourselves :)

Support local farmers market

Farmers markets are popping up all over the place these days, as more awareness is growing on where our food comes from. There’s nothing better than chatting directly to the producer, showing interest in their food and asking questions about its production. It also means that, as long as you are prepared with your reusable produce bags and reusable containers there is no need for packaging waste!

 

Make your own food

So it’s houmous you love? Make your own! Yogurt is your thing? Make your own! Honestly, you’ll be really quite surprised at how easy many things are to make yourself and it also means you can choose the best possible ingredients to go into them.

Take a break from consumerism

Ok, I thought I’d put this one in here as the final point. For the month of July, see if you can refrain from buying anything other than essentials (food) for the entire month. If you’re a shopaholic who loves buying new clothes, shoes, things for the home, kids toys etc etc then see if you can completely stop for this month. Questioning every possible purchase we make is a great habit to get into, and if it is a new dress you need then hit the second hand shops! At least then you can purchase something with no packaging, and support the second hand market at the same time.

July 01, 2017 by Jyoti Shaw