Join me for Plastic-Free July!

June 30th, 2013 by Kate Griffin Leave a reply »

It’s official: disposable plastic is now seriously uncool. Making it in the first place takes a toll on the planet because of the oil required, then the plastic does further damage after we’ve finished with it. Marine scientists have known for decades that plastic rubbish finds its way into our oceans, killing sea life.

A seahorse under the sea near a plastic bag

A seahorse tries to camouflage itself inside a plastic bag. Photo credit: Greenpeace UK

So how do we reduce the amount of plastic we consume in our daily lives? How can we become more mindful about a substance that’s practically everywhere and makes our lives a lot more convenient? More to the point, how do we separate the convenient from the truly essential?

My sister Esther, currently living in Melbourne, has sent me details of an Australian scheme known as Plastic-Free July. The challenge is simple: you attempt to get through July while using as little single-use plastic as possible. By “single-use plastics”, they mean plastic items that are actually designed to be used once before being thrown away: plastic cups, straws, plastic bags and so on.

I’ve decided to give it a go, along with Esther, her partner and a couple of other family members. We start tomorrow (Monday 1st July) and I’ll be blogging about how it goes. Does anybody else want to join in? I’ll be happy to hear about your experiences and share them on the Sustainable Witney blog!

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3 comments

  1. Kevin says:

    I think the major part of my plastic habit comes in the form of half litre fizzy water bottles. When I’m out and about active travelling and I run out of water I’ll pick one up when I’m getting a coffee and pain au raison, or getting one of those jolly nice Wensleydale and Chutney sarnies from M&S. (I’ve come a long way from the days when my regular habit was a DC comic, a bag of Victory Vs, a bottle of Lucozade (glass) and ten Number 6 :o)

    They tend to get refilled several times from the Sodastream at home so aren’t strictly single use, and looking at the label it says 100% recyclable. Now you’ve got me wondering – recycled into what? Where does it end up? How much energy does that require? How many times will it get recycled? Do the bottle top and the bottle end up in the same place?

    I’ll see if I can find some answers…

  2. Dale Hoyland says:

    Kate,
    You may count me in. I think it’ll make me think and be aware of just what plastic I’m using (and abusing if it’s something that I’m not re-using time and again). As a start, I’ll go through my recycling boxes that I forgot to put out last Thursday, and take a second look at what I had intended passing on…

    Will feedback to SW as to how the month goes!
    Dale.

  3. Brigitte says:

    Already failed so will have to do a week in August as well! Some very interesting suggestions of re-using the plastic receptacles were shared at Carbon Conversations last night.

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