Plastic free July in simple words is a global challenge to reduce personal consumption of single-use plastic where companies and individuals pledge their intentions to be more aware of their choices regarding the daily use of this material.
Plastic Free July first began in Australia in 2011. In 2017, the campaign's founder Rebecca Prince-Ruiz and a group of people from her local government formed a non-profit called The Plastic Free Foundation, which is the official organization that runs Plastic Free July. 2018 brought together 120 million people who prevented 490 million kilos of avoidable plastic waste and 2019 was even better with 250 million participants and 825 million kilos of plastic waste avoided (millions of single use drink cups, water bottles, coffee cups, packaging, straws and plastic bags).
Although the aim is to reduce the usage, the final goal is to stop producing it. If you still have plastic items at home don’t throw them away just yet, use them until you cannot do it anymore and then recycle them and try to switch the item with a sustainable version of it.
Here are some easy swaps, for your branded merchandise, that will get you right into it:
- Stop the classic plastic shopping bags with organic cotton bags: better looking, stronger hold, reusable – carry them in your purse and have them on hand whenever you need to carry the groceries. Also a long term carrier for your brand or message.
- Single use plastic water bottles with reusable/refillable ones: Right on trend, easy washing and lifelong companion – better for your wallet as well as the environment. With so many options on materials, features and price points there is no excuse for any brand not to have their own bottles for employees and clients. Stainless steel, glass, single wall or double, with infusers or not, even smart bottles that tell you how much water you have consumed. Choose yours!
- Plastic straws with metal or glass ones: yes it needs a bit of extra effort to clean your re-usable straw, but doesn’t it feel so much better knowing you are doing something good? With branding and different materials available, your brand will be visible for a long time.
- Plastic toothbrushes with bamboo ones: can you think of an item you’ve never spent a day in your life without using? Neither can we. This is such a easy switch to make since it has the exact same use and properties like the one you’re trying to avoid but with the soft nylon bristles and the bamboo body it becomes 100% recyclable, biodegradable and nature friendly.
Get in contact and let us know what your brand is doing to reduce plastic consumption, or if you need some extra help to choose the right products.
PS: Here are some stats you didn’t know about plastic:
- Global production of plastics has increased from 2 million metric tons in 1950 to over 400 million metric tons in 2015. (Science Daily 2017)
- A million plastic bottles are bought every single minute. (The Guardian 2017)
- 500 billion disposable cups are consumed every year. (Earth Day 2018 )
- Roughly 3.5 billion toothbrushes are sold worldwide each year, most of which end up in landfill or as plastic pollution in the natural environment. (WWF 2018)
- Every day more than a billion plastic straws are used for 20 minutes or less and then tossed in the rubbish bin. (Orb Media 2017)
- Over 90% of seabirds have swallowed plastics. (Science Daily 2016 )
- Every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans. (World Economic Forum 2016)