Originally published in July 2020.
With today marking the last day of July, I wanted to reflect back on Plastic-Free July; a movement I spoke about earlier in the month, which aims to challenge people to go as plastic-free as possible throughout the whole of July. Having signed up for the challenge, with me personally aiming to be more aware and genuinely be as plastic-free as I can, the movement provided excellent resources, with tips and trick regularly arriving in my inbox.
Of course, as I’ve previously spoken about, being completely plastic-free is near impossible in the world we’re in today, but what I found great about this was the organisation who created the campaign, acknowledge that too. Meaning, you are given pointers of how to swap a plastic item for an alternative, whilst explaining other areas may not be as easy… the Plastic-Free July movement really got it right, with every month needing to follow suit to combat our plastic pollution crisis we have currently..
Some positives to come from the month were that it definitely made me even more aware of the plastic I consume (or actively try and avoid consuming) For example, as I went home to my family for 10 days, during that time we had an Indian takeaway. I was very aware of the packaging it came in and was pleasantly surprised that non of the food arrived in plastic! It was all in aluminium containers which I was able to wash a recycle.
With this too, I made a couple more eco swaps that I’ll be able to use for the foreseeable, including more washable dish sponges, some makeup remover from a zero waste shop as well as a reusable Face Mask (top right of the pictures above – cute isn’t it!) These swaps and purchases were all made on Etsy and all arrived in eco packaging, therefore no plastic being involved, which is fabulous (as well as allowing me to help small businesses!) Finally, I refreshed my Beeswax wraps as their stickiness had started to go. I simply pop them in the oven for 3 minutes on 80 degrees and they’re back to being sticky; they’re such a great alternative to cling film.
Some cons, or rather areas I struggled to avoid plastic, were in my food shop, which I acknowledged in an earlier post, would be all but impossible to walk out that shop completely sustainable. At my local Aldi, they aren’t the best for even having loose vegetables, but I attempted to shop as plastic-free as possible, and am recycling all plastic that is possible from it. Finally, was train tickets. As I said, with the Welsh borders reopening, I was able to take the train and go home. But, the problem with being from North Wales is, this area of the UK is always about 10 years behind in developing anything, meaning E-Tickets back to my little Bangor train station just aren’t a thing (ticket barriers?! never heard of them) so it was those annoying orange tickets that aren’t recyclable I had, which were unfortunately binned…
And so there we have it, the amazing Plastic-Free July concludes. As I’ve said previously, I find it a vital campaign that needs to become a constant if we are truly going to tackle the climate crisis. This I can only hope for. But, overall I am happy with how I adapted the challenge to my everyday, and made me even more aware – so here’s to plastic-free August, September, October…