Originally published in July 2020.
Hello there & happy July! Slightly scary how fast this year has gone and we’ve spent most of it indoors… probably not a good idea to dwell on that too much right now is it?! As it’s July, it marks the start of ‘Plastic-Free July’ a movement to prompt people to refuse single-use plastic for the entirety of the month. I find these kinds of movements so incredibly important, with plastic being something I so dearly despise.
Today, I wanted to both talk about how great Plastic-Free July, talk a little more about plastic pollution but at the same time question slightly if it is completely possible. For me, a recent university graduate with not a lot of money, things like my food shop at Sainsbury’s is 100% impossible to shop completely plastic free for the budget I have. Therefore, without dismantling its greatness, I simply want to question what I can do personally throughout the month to at least be most of the way towards Plastic-Free too..
As I said, I find this to be such an incredibly important movement to at least ~try~ to be a part of, as we’ve all seen the stats of the never-ending amounts of plastic pollution taking over our oceans; with it being estimated there will be more plastic than fish in our waters by 2050, being just one of them. Statistics like this truly scare me to my core and only hope more of a grip will be had on this crisis. A good recommendation, if you’re someone wanted to educated yourselves more on this topic, is a Netflix documentary series ‘History 101’ with the 30 minute episode ‘Plastic’ giving you more of an insight into how revolutionary it is yet how damaging it has become too – definitely worth a watch!
Plastic-Free July for me, in terms of living sustainably (weekly food-shop aside), I try and avoid plastic as much as possible. I have made countless eco-swaps over the past few years, with my latest swap being a washable dish sponge by a Etsy shop is discovered ‘Whale & Co‘ (worth checking out as my little sponge is so so cute by my sink) In terms of purchases I know I need to make in July, makeup remover is one I know for definite. Previously, I have simply bought the cheapest, cruelty-free one I can find in Wilko but, they do come in a plastic bottle. Therefore, as I have saved quite a lot since lockdown, I can afford to push my budget ever so slightly. I will be ordering from a small Zero Waste Etsy shop, The Zero Waste Maker, as they produce glass bottled makeup remover, made naturally and completely recyclable.
Aside from the odd purchase, I have to say my overall consumption has dramatically declined. I usually never buy myself clothes anymore, with my last purchase being a second-hand dress off Ebay, so I’m certain I won’t have many purchases in July which contain plastics!
What is great about the Movement is you can sign up to attempt to go plastic-free for 1 day, 1 week or the entirety of the month. Therefore, it really does consider everyone and allows us all to try the challenge!
The only doubt I have, is my weekly food shop and the lack of accessible low waste options there really is for someone who doesn’t have the money to be spending on higher price points, which are package free. Of course, I never buy fruit or veg that are in plastic, always opting for my own cotton bags. But when it comes to other things such as meat-free meats – these comes in plastic bags that sometimes are not recyclable, therefore when I consider my whole food shops, it’s almost impossible to avoid plastic packaging.
With travel restrictions in place, my local Zero Waste shop is inaccessible for me currently and Supermarkets still have very far to go in terms of reducing unnecessary plastics – which does make me mad! This is, of course, not to discredit the movement, as I am going to pledge to try my absolute best to take part as well as spread the message. If the movement were ‘Lower Waste July’ I’d be able to be 100% on board, as generally I do live a low waste lifestyle, just not zero waste.. hence my use of ‘low’ waste on my blog not ‘zero’!!
To sign up & read more into Plastic Free July, their website is: https://www.plasticfreejuly.org!