What is Plastic Free July?
Plastic Free July grew from the Plastic Free Foundation which was founded by a woman named Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, and a small team in Western Australia. From its start in 2011 to where it is now, the Plastic Free July movement has won awards such as the 2018 Infinity Award: Avoid Recover Protect – Community Waste Award, and the 2018 Environmental Action Award, United Nations Association of Australia WA Division. Now over 250 million people in 177 countries participate in reducing single-use plastic in their homes, at work, school, and even local businesses.
Why Should I Participate?
Plastic is derived from fossil fuels, making the material a nonrenewable and unsustainable resource. The amount of energy and resources it takes to produce plastic are creating huge quantities of carbon emissions, and contributing to global warming.
On top of that, plastic is taking up space in our landfills, which are already reaching their limits, and plastic is not biodegradable. There are some states and companies that are working to downcycle it into new plastic (which is definitely helpful), but even with that, only 9 percent of plastic actually gets recycled. The rest of it just sits in the landfills emitting methane, or gets broken down by the sun and turned into microplastics which are contaminating our waters and being found in the stomachs of animals.
The worst part is, about 40% of the plastic waste found in the landfills is single-use plastic. Something you rip off an item, take your food out of, wash your hair with, and then just throw away. Things that can easily be swapped out for more eco-friendly options that you can use over and over again, and many times even be biodegradable and therefore not contribute to the waste sitting in our landfills.
Ways to Cut Down on Plastic Use
1. Preserve your meals in wax wrap or silicone bags.
2. Wrap your gifts in newspaper or brown paper.
3. Refuse balloons and single-use party decorations.
4. Get a permanent coffee filter and take your own mug.
5. Wash and clean with bars of soap
6. Join the challenge and share with your friends and family.
By joining the Plastic Free July Challenge, you get to join the millions of others around the world and receive access to more resources and ideas to help you reduce single-use plastic in every aspect of your life. After you do that, meet us at our Wildlife Guardians Facebook page to join our community of support! We want to hear how your plastic free journey is going for you. What you find the hardest, easy hack and ways you have been able to remove plastic sources from your day to day, and everything in between. We are there to provide a community of conversation where we can all ask questions and share what we love. Join here.
Plastic Free July gives us the opportunity to challenge ourselves to do better on the individual level and see if the lifestyle changes are something we can commit to long term. It can be overwhelming to think about living completely plastic free, and when you look at the items in your home and what you purchase at the store you can not feel the best about what you are doing for the planet. But it is about progress, not perfection. You making a small change will collectively make a massive difference to our world. You can choose to refuse single-use plastics in July, and hopefully long after. Best of all, being part of Plastic Free July will help you to find great alternatives that can become new habits forever. (They say it only takes 28 days to create a habit!)
Good luck! And don't forget to join our Wildlife Guardians community on Facebook to share how it is going and comment below with ways you are reducing your single use plastic.
Aloha! This is such a wonderful posting/newsletter – thank you so much! My name is Lisa Jeffers-Fabro and I am not only one of your customers, but I am also the Plastic Free Hawaiʻi Program Manager at Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation. We celebrate Plastic Free July and are so happy to see that Wildlife Tree does too!! Our Wildlife Tree green sea turtles are always a “hit” with the children at our community outreach tables and classroom presentations. Mahalo for supporting Plastic Free July (every month is Plastic Free month) and for all you do!