Begin the Shift

Plastic Free July: Your individual contribution matters

2 Mins read

You’d probably resonate with this headline. Some try to make changes that last a couple weeks, maybe even days, others entirely ignore all propaganda about single-use plastic. Let’s just say, I have been there and done that too ignoring all the campaigns, allowing ignorance to cloud my ability to make life-changing decisions and be an instrument of change in my community. The most common phrase I used to justify my actions was “it’s just one plastic bottle”, looking back at these one-time plastic bottles accumulated for many years, many times, and to think that everyone in my circle was assuming it’s just one plastic bottle for them as well.

Let’s account for it. If I consume 12 plastic water bottles a month, that’s almost 144 plastic bottles a year! So do the math on the multiple plastic grocery bags, takeaway coffee cups and the results will be glaring. Something we use for a few minutes, lands up in our landfills & oceans for over 450 years.

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Enters Plastic Free July. First things first, it would be important that you do not think of this as an initiative that will only last through July. The purpose of Plastic Free July is to initiate meaningful conversations and lifestyle changes that will benefit our planet. Secondly, it is okay if you forget sometimes, it is okay that your life does not necessarily take a 360 degree turn this July, however, you should always remember to hold yourself accountable.

Here are a few simple SHIFTS you can make this Plastic Free July:

  • Carry your reusables when on the go: Carry your reusable grocery bag, bottle, or reusable cup and cutlery.
  • In the bathroom: Swap liquid soap for bar soaps, invest in reusable razors, and plastic free options like a bamboo toothbrushes and bamboo earbuds.
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  • Shop in Bulk: Avoid pre-packed food by opting to buy in bulk or loose.
  • Sanitary items: Choose alternatives to plastic disposables like menstrual cups & reusable pads
  • In the Kitchen: Say no to cling film, and other disposables. Try beeswax wraps to or silicone lids to cover your containers.
  • DIY: Try your hand at making your own kitchen and personal care products! There’s simpler than you think!
  • Buy Less: Choose to buy only what’s necessary. Make a list before going to the supermarket, so you don’t get swayed by the plethora of products available
  • Avoid Takeaway Cutlery and Containers: Choose to refuse plastic cutlery, straws and takeaway containers.
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Last but not least, you need to see yourself as someone that could influence those around you and start having these conversations.

Don’t beat yourself up if you fall short. I see lots of confessions on social media from zero-wasters feeling terribly guilty when they slip up (and have posted them myself). You can only do your best. Just keep trying. It’s called a challenge for a reason. However, cutting the plastic is easier than most people realize.

Happy Plastic Free July!

You’re not alone. Share your experiences, tips, tricks; post your questions or even challenge what we’ve written! Let’s build an eco-conscious community together!

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