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Plastic Free July: Important Tips to Help You Stay Plastic-Free This Month

Aiswarya R Nair
Aiswarya R Nair

In 2011, Earth Carers Waste Education came up with an award-winning campaign to refuse single-use Plastic during the month of July. Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people to be part of the solution to plastic pollution. This can further help streets, oceans and the world get cleaner.

Plastic is present in every part of your day. This product is designed to be used briefly but stays forever. Every bottle that we have owned and every tooth brush that we have ever used still exists somewhere on this planet. Very few plastics can only be recycled, the rest all are found in landfills and ocean where it takes years to break down into smaller components.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is 1m sq km (386,000 sq miles), with the periphery spanning a further 3.5m sq km (1,351,000 sq miles), and it continues to grow.

Here are some tips to help you stay plastic-free this month:

  1. Sanitary items: These days, there are many reusable alternatives to single-use sanitary items. This includes the increasingly popular menstrual cups, which are made by numerous brands and can be purchased online and in many health stores and chemists. These cups are inserted like a tampon, and typically need to be emptied and cleaned out a couple of times a day.
  2. Dental care: More and more people are choosing toothbrushes are made from sustainable, compostable materials, such as bamboo. Be aware though, bristles are usually still made from plastic, so you’ll need to cut them off before composting or reusing your bamboo toothbrush handle. Purchasing a toothbrush with a replaceable head can eliminate the need to continually purchase a new plastic brush every few months, too. When it comes to toothpaste, many health and organic stores sell plastic-free alternatives. There are also recipes available online for making your own.
  3. Decorative items: With a little bit of creativity, you can easily plan a party that’s free from balloons and other harmful single-use plastics. Popular decorations that can be reused time and time again, include bunting, tassels, tissue pom poms, lanterns, fresh flowers, and more. Having a theme for your party can help you to draw inspiration for making your own, borrowing or buying reusable party decorations. With crafting making a comeback, many people find it easy and fun to make decorations from old fabric and scrap paper, too.
  4. Beauty products: Plastic bottles and containers hide in many corners of the bathroom or in the drawers under your sink, and they are also some of the easiest to eliminate. More and more people are choosing to make their own beauty and personal care products, it is simpler than you might think. There are numerous online recipes and tutorials for soap, shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste, scrubs and lotions.
  5. Buy food items in bulk: From produce to cereal, drinks to snacks, the shelves of grocery stores can be filled to the brim with plastic packaging. When beginning your plastic-free journey, this might have become alarmingly apparent to you. Bulk and loose foods can offer a solution to this.

Many people keep a shopping list and visit their bulk food store just once a month, to stock up on items such as flour, nuts, dishwashing liquid and more, in a way that doesn’t use single-use plastic. Most bulk food stores and many general stores have paper bags that you can fill, or you can bring your own reusable produce bags, containers, and glass jars. You, or the counter assistant can weigh your container before you fill it, so that you’re only paying for the product, not the weight of your container.

The impact of not using plastic:

  • Reduce plastic waste and the use of our natural resources in creating it
  • Prevent the chance of plastic waste entering into our natural surroundings, where it will stay forever
  • Protect our wildlife who can mistake plastic as food

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