Saturday, 1 July 2017

Plastic Free July: Our Pledge

Following on from Switch for Six, we have been looking at other ways to reduce our non-recyclable waste. My own plastic footprint hit home especially hard when I took the Greenpeace Plastics Calculator. Using nearly 1600 pieces of plastic per year, mostly in packaging and cotton buds, seemed shocking to me.

While searching for ways to become plastic free, I came across Plastic Free July, an Australian challenge to refuse single use plastics for July. There are three main tiers:

  • avoid single-use plastic packaging
  • target takeaway items (top 4: bags, bottles, straws and coffee cups)
  • go completely plastic free
While we're not ready to go completely plastic-free yet, there are some changes we will make from today:
  • Avoid lightweight plastic bags, by always carrying reusable shopping bags in the front of the changing bag
  • Avoid skincare products containing microbeads, by looking out for polyethylene, polypropylene, polymethylmethacrylate, PET, PTFE and PMMA.
  • Avoid buying new cleaning product bottles, either by refilling at a local shop that offers refills or by making our own cleaners where possible.
  • Avoid using takeaway plastic straws, by opting not to use a straw or bringing a reusable straw with us.
  • Avoid using takeaway coffee cups, by bringing a reusable cup or sitting down and drinking from a real cup in the cafe
  • Avoid using takeaway utensils and containers, by ordering less takeaway food, bringing our own containers or dining in
  • Avoid using one-use plastic bottles, by no longer buying soft drinks and carrying a reusable water bottle
  • Avoid using plastic food wrap, by storing leftovers in containers and making my own beeswax wraps
  • Avoid buying plastic toys, by opting for sustainable wooden toys
  • Avoid using plastic cotton buds, by buying cotton buds with cardboard tubes
These might seem like some of the smaller changes, I suppose, but they're the easiest to make without a complete lifestyle change. Going plastic free, or as close as possible, is a change I want to make, but it is a change that has to be gradual for us.

Are you planning on going plastic free? What changes will you make first?

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