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Why Is Plastic Free July a Big Deal?

Plastic Free July is the biggest zero waste event of the year, so it's likely you've heard it mentioned before. But why is it such a big deal?

What is ‘The Plastic Crisis’?

If you look around you, it’s scary to see how many things we use in our day-to-day lives that are packed in some form of plastic. It’s even more terrifying to think that less than 9% of plastics actually get recycled, so even when you think you’re doing the right thing by putting your rubbish in the green bin, it’s always better to try and reduce and reuse first.

In 2020 alone, it was estimated that 24-34 million tonnes of plastic waste entered the world's lakes, rivers and oceans, killing around 1 million marine animals. This is what is now known as the plastic crisis – we are literally drowning in our own waste! Hence, Plastic Free July was born!

Some other scary facts:

  • 1 million marine animals are killed by plastic pollution every year.

  • Humans eat up to 40 pounds of plastic in their lifetime

  • There will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050

What is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July is is a global movement that helps millions of people come together to be part of the solution to end plastic pollution. The idea of the campaign is to avoid single-use items where possible and to encourage people to set goals for reducing their plastic waste.

How to Get Started

Firstly, start in one of the main rooms in the house – maybe the kitchen or the bathroom and write a list of all the things you can see in that room that contain or are packaged in plastic. Then slowly work your way through the list, swapping each thing to a more sustainable alternative as you run out.

Start with the easy things that aren’t a change from the norm like your kitchen sponge or a dish brush for example. This is a straight up swap and requires no change of habit. Don’t forget to use up what you have first! It defeats the object to throw away all your plastic bits and bobs that still have life in them and replace them with sustainable alternatives.

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