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  • Writer's pictureJeanine Sinclair

What is Plastic Free July?

What is Plastic Free July and Why It's Beneficial to Your Community to Participate


Plastic Free July is a global movement that challenges individuals to refuse single-use plastics for the entire month of July. Initiated in 2011 by the Plastic Free Foundation, this campaign aims to raise awareness about the environmental impact of plastic pollution and encourage sustainable practices that reduce plastic waste.


Plastic Free July is more than just a month-long challenge; it’s a catalyst for long-term change. Participants commit to reducing their plastic consumption by avoiding single-use plastics such as plastic bags, straws, bottles, and packaging. The movement provides resources, tips, and community support to help individuals, schools, businesses, and organizations to find alternatives to plastic and adopt sustainable habits. The ultamite goal is to encourage indivudals to want a sustainable community, which pushes businesses, industry and lawmakers to support a sustainable future in all capacities.


Why is Plastic Free July Beneficial?


1. Reduces Environmental Impact

One of the most significant benefits of participating in Plastic Free July is the reduction of plastic pollution! Single-use plastics often end up in our oceans and landfills, causing harm to marine life and ecosystems. By refusing these plastics, we are actively reducing the amount of plastics that clutter our communities, get into our water systems and ultamitely end up on our beaches and in our oceans. It is important to note, that although it can feel as though these small actions won't make a difference, every action counts. Every action can be turned into a conversation, which is an opportunity to discuss larger societal or political issues. The more we talk to each other, the more we bring this to our political leaders, the further we can push for change.


2. Promotes Sustainable Communities

Plastic Free July encourages communities to want a sustainable future. This month is an opportunity to observe our daily living and current communities, and see what could be done better and more sustainably. As individuals, we can choose zero waste alternatives, reduce our energy consumption and ride bikes to work. But it's also an opportunity to observe what we can't swap, and why. Maybe this is an opportunity to request an organics/composting bin for the office, or recommend to the local grocer to bring in a plastic-free, bulk option for fruits and vegetables. Perhaps this is an opportunity to write a letter to your local MP or the Minister of Enviornment to express your concerns on climate change.


3. Possibility to Save Money

Going plastic free can be beneficial to your wallet, but this is extremely dependent on the person, community and situation. For example, investing in reusable towels has an upfront cost, but over time, you don't need to continually purchase disposable paper towels. For some people, this could be hugely beneficial and worth the purchase. It is important to acknowledge that not everyone can afford to purchase reusable towels, or containers or other zero waste swaps upfront, and this is completely valid and understandable.


4. Raises Awareness and Education

Participating in Plastic Free July raises awareness about the issues surrounding plastic pollution. It brings attention to the plastic pollution crisis, the latest news with microplastics and what policies are being considered in the space. Not only is this month an opportunity to educate individuals about the impact of their choices on the environment, it's a call to businesses, industry and government to step up and do better as well. This increased awareness can lead to more informed decisions and a greater commitment to sustainability, from everybody.


How to Take the Plastic Free July Challenge


Ready to take the Plastic Free July challenge? Participants can sign up on www.plasticfreejuly.org to receive weekly emails filled with tips and tricks to stay informed! These emails also include inspiring stories from other participants and updates from the global movement. Plastic Free July is an opportunity to make a tangible difference in the fight against plastic pollution, and spread the message about a sustainable future for all. By participating, you contribute to a cleaner environment, promote sustainable living, save money, raise awareness, and join a global community of like-minded individuals. Together, we can make a difference and be part of the solution to plastic pollution.

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