The current statistics on plastic are alarming. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. To avoid permanent and disastrous damage to our environment, we need to act, as soon as possible. But how ?
Plastic Free July – What’s that?
Plastic Free July is part of our solution. Founded by the Plastic Free July Foundation in 2011, the goal is to reduce our plastic consumption for a month, in July, mainly by avoiding products that contain plastic or plastic packaging. Most importantly, we should aim to completely avoid single-use plastic products. You can choose to focus on the “big four” – plastic bottles, plastic bags, plastic cups and plastic straws – or to boycott all types of plastic products.
What matters is that we reduce our plastic consumption and that we revisit our everyday consumption patterns step by step. And by the way, zero waste and plastic free products are not only good for the planet and our health, but also for our wallets!
Some tips and advice from the Plastic Free July Foundation
- Bring a reusable coffee cup whenever you’re out and about
- Look out for plastic free alternatives when you’re buying fruits & veggies (why not check out that weekly local market around the corner?)
- Ditch plastic straws for a reusable metal straw
- Use a tote bag instead of plastic bags (it’s also very à la mode…)
- Bring a reusable bottle to avoid plastic water bottles (we’re lucky to live in a country where tap water is safe to drink – you can put a charcoal filter in your bottle if you’re sensitive to the taste of chlorine).
Other tips from the ELEPHAS team
- Bring your own cutlery to avoid plastic cutlery when eating out
- Buy plastic free cosmetics (one bar of soap replaces a bottle of shower gel, and one shampoo bar replaces up to two bottles of shampoo – that’s a lot of bottles kept out of the landfills!)
- Use a bamboo toothbrush (they look great too)
- Buy a stainless steel razor
- Use period panties to avoid the plastic waste from tampons & pads
Here’s the positive impact you can have in just a year
Remember that’s it up to you whether you want to buy new products to reduce your plastic consumption or not. If you have empty jars at home, use these when grocery shopping. You can simply use the bags you have at home instead of purchasing a tote bag. Get creative – it will make Plastic Free July even more fun.
It’s all about growing in the choices we make as consumers. Plastic should be a thing of the past. Jane Goodall would agree. Inspiring us to act and change our consumer habits, she says that we can only move towards a better world if each and every one of us makes ethical choices. We at ELEPHAS think that what you buy is what you do, and every purchase counts. It is therefore crucial to select responsible and innovative businesses.
Although reducing your plastic consumption for a month is a step towards our greater goal, we should seize this opportunity to change our long-term habits. After all, you’ll notice that a plastic free life is actually fun and liberating! You’ll of course need some time to adapt but once you have a good list of plastic free & zero waste shops and habits, it will be way easier that you imagine.