How You Can Cut Down on Plastics During Plastic Free July

SUSTAINABILITY

How to Reduce Your Plastic Usage During Plastic Free July

A call for cutting down on waste and environmental damage, July has been dubbed by the Plastic Free Foundation as the month for taking on the challenge of going plastic free. Don’t underestimate the effects that you could have on our environment, as simply refusing single-use plastics for just these couple of weeks is enough to hamper plastic waste and curb overreliance on unnecessary packaging. Here are our top tips for a Plastic Free July that you can also integrate into your everyday life beyond this Plastic Free month.



Ditch the Disposables

The worst plastic pollution comes in the form of single-use plastic, usually in the shape of containers or utensils that have become undivorceable from the takeaway industry. A significant amount of plastic use can be slashed by telling restaurants beforehand to skip on providing flimsy single-use utensil packets. Bring along reusable containers if you arrange for a made-to-order delivery! Most cafés even advertise a discount for people who show up with their own coffee tumblers, which also keeps your cup of joe warmer for much longer than an unrecyclable disposable plastic cup.

Buy Smart

Planning for grocery shopping ahead can not only save you some money but can also put a damper on the potential unnecessary excess plastic. Opting for bulk options can help skirt the need for extra layers of plastic packaging (many of which were never needed in the first place) and prevent a cheaper alternative to recurring purchases. In the case of certain ingredients, these products are presented as dried goods, which means the items are preserved for longer periods of time, reducing the amount of food that goes to waste from going bad.

There is the option of package-free goods that you can find at wet markets or open-plan supermarkets. This comes as an additional hack as the type of food that is available tends to be fruits and vegetables, translating to extra nutrients and fresh vitamins in your diet. It also allows you to cut down on excess purchases, because you only grab what you need.

Refill, Don’t Re-purchase

When it comes to cutting out unnecessary packaging, opt for refill packs of household chemicals or beauty products instead of buying a new bottle entirely. Though it might not seem like much, the gap between what it takes to produce a range of the typical packaging and what it takes to manufacture the version for a refill slowly adds up, lending to growing amounts of plastic under your belt.

Spruce Up the Way You Store Things

Get creative with the way you store food. Despite the popularity of cling film in kitchens everywhere, there are other alternative materials that can keep your meals and ingredients just as fresh. As a replacement, beeswax and soywax wraps share many similar properties, being just as malleable whilst also boasting a longer shelf-life but shorter decomposition time than the thin slips of plastic many are used to. Turning to air-tight glass containers can lower your plastic waste output all whilst upgrading your aesthetic where you get to curate your own assortment of cute jars.

Go Au-Naturale

Plastic is ubiquitous for its versatility, though you’d be surprised to discover the wealth of natural and biodegradable materials that can imperceptibly take its place without having to force changes to your habits and existing ways. Easy switches you can begin with include turning to bamboo toothbrushes and loofah bath sponges made from dried gourds instead of their plastic counterparts. Ditch plastic kitchen sponges or scouring pads for wooden brushes with plant-based bristles, or scrubbers made using dried plant fibres gleaned from nut shells, coconut husks, and other materials.

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