If there’s ever a time to get started with the zero-waste movement, it’s now! This July, we want to encourage you to be part of a global movement to reduce single-use plastic waste every day – at home, work, school, and even at your local café. If you want to participate but don’t know where to start, we’ll be sharing some tips for reducing and reusing single-use plastics this July, and from now on!

Plastic Free July was created in 2011 in an to raise awareness around reducing single-use plastics. The movement has grown from strength to strength and in 2019, there were over 250 million participants. On the Plastic Free July website, you can pledge to participate in many ways:

- Choose to observe the challenge for a day, a week, a month or beyond

- Avoid single-use packaging or choose to go completely plastic-free

- Make changes on a personal level, at work, at school, in your community or anywhere else you are involved.

Now, avoiding plastic for an entire month may seem difficult or maybe near impossible, but it’s important to remember that Plastic Free July is not about being perfect, it’s about reducing plastic waste in a way that fits into your lifestyle. With the world still facing the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be difficult to find the substitutions you’re looking for, so don’t be hard on yourself. Remember, the health and safety of you and your loved ones come first and foremost. If the month can help open your eyes to the plastic pollution epidemic, then you can consider it a success. There’s no better time to get involved.

But, where do I start?

1. Say no to the “Big Four”

Replace single-use plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups and straws with reusables. Most of us can simply say no to straws but for the others, think shopping bags made from organic fibres, metal or glass water bottles and a ceramic mug or metal thermos for your daily grind.  

2. Start Building Up Your Reusable Collection

Take things a step further by reducing more single-use plastics like produce bags. You can easily make your own or buy them from your local supermarket. Better still, if you only need a couple of onions or lemons, try skipping the bag entirely. Another idea is to stash a set of metal utensils - a knife, fork and spoon - in your bag and use a reusable container for lunches, storage, takeaways, and shopping. You can also start hoarding glass jars; use these for everything; storing and shopping for bulk foods and making food (like fermented sauerkraut). Lastly, invest in some beeswax wraps to avoid that sticky plastic film we’ve become all too familiar with.

3. Eat the Real Stuff

There are many ways to cut out processed foods that are most commonly purchased in plastic packaging. We’d recommend sticking to natural, simple foods. For recipe inspiration, take a look at our recipes for homemade versions of your favourite foods. We bet they'll even taste better than their packaged, processed counterparts. Or, get your hands on one of our kits and start fermenting yoghurt, making cheese, brewing kombucha and more. We even have something for our vegan friends too!

4. Ask, Ask and Ask Some More

Not sure if your local takeaway fills reusable containers? Just ask! Most places won’t know what you’re talking about, so hand over your container and ask the server to put food in it. Maybe even throw in why you’re doing this to raise awareness. 

5. Do It With a Friend

By taking the challenge with a friend, partner or colleague, you'll be able to enjoy the support of other like-minded individuals – and have fun while doing it. There is power in numbers!

6. Google It

If you can’t think of an alternative to your regular single-use plastic item, ask Google for a ‘life hack’. There is tons of information out there; it’s up to us to find it!

By making a small change, you can be part of the solution to plastic pollution. Help play your part towards cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. Best of all, this Plastic Free July will help you find alternatives that can become new habits forever. How will you be taking part this July?