Crush Your Plastic-Free July: From Single-use to Sustainable Lifestyle

Plastic-free July Campaign of Plantish Future
6 minutes to read
Pair of turtles with a butterfly
Plastic is everywhere and in everything: from packaging of our groceries, our clothes, gadgets, dishes, cars, and appliances. What started as an innovative material has become a growing problem with quite the messy trail but it's not impossible to go plastic-free! So let's dive right into how you can go from single use to a more sustainable lifestyle - for your health and for the planet.


Hi I’m Plastic and Here’s My Story

About 100 years ago, a game-changing invention hit the scene - Plastic. By the 1950s, this wonder material was everywhere due to its lightweight, moldable, durable, and cost-effective nature.

Plastics are made stronger with chemical additives, making them last even longer if littered. They don’t biodegrade, taking up to 1000 years to decompose. Oops, they don’t entirely decompose, instead just photodegrade, which breaks down into microplastics (half centimeter in size), tiny pieces that absorb toxins and pollute the environment.

These microplastics are found in bottled water, tap water, sea salt, soil, air and even cosmetics like toothpaste and face wash. They enter the food web at the lowest levels, getting consumed by marine life like oysters, crabs, and fish, which end up on our plates, carrying toxic chemicals like BPA, phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and others.

According to WWF, people consume about 5 grams of microplastics every week – that’s like eating a credit card and over 50% of the world's population have them in their stool!

In fact, did you know 50% of all plastics made are single-use items? They get tossed after one use, creating 300 million tons of waste each year. A lot of it ends up in landfills or oceans – about 8 million tons yearly from coastal areas.

So, what can we do about this plastic problem? 

Every July, people around the world take on a challenge to bring awareness to the plastic problem and encourage to reduce their use of plastic. But what exactly is Plastic-Free July? Why is it so important and  how it may transform your single-use to sustainable lifestyle.

Let's get into what it is and everything you need to know about this upcoming month (look at you unknowingly taking part in the movement already!).

What is Plastic-free July?

It all starts with one inspirational woman in Australia who sparked the most prominent and impactful environmental movements in the world today!

Back in 2011, deeply concerned about plastic waste in landfills, Rebecca Prince Ruiz rallied 40 people in her local community of Fremantle, Western Australia to curb their single-use plastic for the month of July.

The movement caught on quickly – growing to 400 participants and sooner after reaching a total 4,000 participants. And just like that, Plastic-Free July was born.

Plastic-Free July is now a worldwide movement that inspires millions of people, communities, organizations, and governments to make small changes that lead to a collective impact to solve plastic pollution!

The concept is simple: refuse and reduce single-use plastics for all of July while creating awareness and building momentum for an impact beyond the month.

By focusing on single-use items like plastic bags, straws, and bottles, the movement aims to cut down the plastic waste that ends up in our oceans, landfills, and natural environments. Making a big difference for a sustainable and healthy planet. Stabilizing our ecosystems and reducing pollutants that’ll lead to a healthy planet for future generations.

 Plastic-Free Foundation was established in 2017 as an Australia-based registered charity to support the growing global effort of the Plastic-free July campaign.

Why Plastic-Free July is so Important?

Plastic-Free July campaign serves as a global wake up call for the dire consequences of our reliance on plastic. From polluting land and oceans, to endangering wildlife, contributing to climate change, and disrupting the entire ecosystem.

Plastics ends up in ocean and marine life

Plastic use has blown up, and and we've lost control. It's time to take charge and change how we think about and use plastic in our daily routines.

The Plastic-Free July is a global awareness campaign that tackles simple ways to reduce plastic waste by refusing single-use plastics for the month of July. Small personal steps combined with collective efforts can make a big difference.

The Global Impacts of Plastic Free July Campaign

To support the growing global effort, the Plastic Free Foundation was established in 2017 as an Australian-based registered charity, strongly believing that “small steps, big difference. 

They offer customized programs, tools, and resources for all sorts of communities—schools, health organizations, local governments, and businesses.  the use a wide range of communication platforms and languages, to share success stories and achievements, aiming to influence consumer behavior and reduce the presence of single-use plastics.

According to the Plastic Free July Publication Report 2023, in the past five years, people worldwide have avoided 10 billion kilograms of waste, inspired 223 million changes in consumer behavior, and reduced waste and recycling by an average of 18kg per person each year. This all adds up to a 4.1% drop in wasteGlobal Impacts of Plastic-Free July

Businesses, NGOs, organizations, and governments worldwide teamed up for Plastic Free July 2023, slashing a whopping 240 million kgs of plastic consumption! An impressive feat that truly demonstrates the power of collective action and the impact we can make when we work together towards a common goal. 

But don’t be intimidated by these numbers! Your small steps, whether it be remembering to bring a reusable bag for your shopping trips, making plant-based kitchen swaps or getting educated all lead to these numbers.

Ways to Celebrate and Participate in Plastic Free July 2024

      1. Learn about Plastic-Free July 

By reading this blog, you’ve knowingly (or unknowingly) already begun the first integral part of the movement! You have an idea of what this month means and the community behind it, now it’s time for you to sign up and take on the challenge.
The key to true sustainability is to find what works for your lifestyle and make adjustments as you go, rather than all at once. It can be overwhelming to make too many changes at once. Let yourself find what you can handle and set a plan of action from there!

2. Take on the Challenge

A core part of Plastic-Free July is taking on the challenge to refuse and reduce your single-use plastics usage. It's much easier than you think! Start with one item and gradually expand your plastic-free choices for July. 
Plastic-Free July Challenge: Refuse Single-use plastics
But remember: it’s not always about buying new swaps! This can be the opposite of what we want when it means throwing away what you have for new items. Utilize what you have and introduce those new habits or items gradually.

3. Spread the News

Promote and encourage others to get involved by posting Plastic-Free July Posters at conducive places like schools, community centers, workplaces, and all over social media. 
You may share your small steps to reduce and refuse single-use plastic items by downloading and posting your Plastic Free July Pledge together with opting for durable, reusable and biodegradable items. 

Plastic-Free July Success Story
Sharing your Plastic-Free July story in the form of a blog or video is another great way to inspire others and show the impact of small changes. 

4.  Participate or Host an Event

Ready to make a tangible difference this July?

Joining or hosting events is a fantastic way to ramp up your impact during Plastic-Free July! Whether you’re showing up or planning something yourself, you’ll find endless opportunities to inspire, educate, and connect with others.

Kick things off by joining the global online launch event, which features inspiring talks and practical workshops. You can also participate in local clean-ups at beaches, parks, and other areas organized by environmental groups, communities, and local government units.

Beach Clean-up

Find like-minded people in your community by joining or creating a group during the event. Collaborate with them to grow your impact.  

Additionally, visit sustainable goods markets, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores in your area. 

Support Eco-friendly Brands and Products

5. Support Through Donations

Support the cause by donating to organizations dedicated to reducing plastic pollution, like the Plastic Free Foundation.
Donations enable the foundation to develop resources, provide tools and encourage people around the world to reduce their use of single-use plastics. 
Your contributions also enable the foundation to expand its global reach, influencing policies and encouraging corporate responsibility. Every dollar donated brings us one step closer to a plastic-free future.

6. Be a Partner or a  Member

Become an Impact Member and Partners with Plastic Free Foundation. With support from like-minded partners, from businesses, non-profit origination, local government and communities, we can lead the way to a world free from plastic waste.

7. Explore More

If you want to dive deeper into reducing plastic use and living more sustainably, you may read zero-waste blogs, articles and books about plastic-free pollution and sustainable living.    
Zero-Waste Blogs
Get updated with latest news and press releases on expert’s insights, issues, stories, solutions and legislations about Plastic pollution. 
It’s great to watch documentary films like "A Plastic Ocean" or "The Story of Plastic" to understand the impact of plastic pollution.
Tune into webinars that provide insights and tips on living a plastic-free life, DIY tutorials, and including kid’s materials and activities in teaching kids about plastic pollution. Collaborate with online environmental groups through podcasts, online meet and forums.
Plastic-free July Webinars and Online Events

Level Up Your Plastic-Free Journey! Let Sustainable Home Upgrades Calendar be your Guide

Taking the first steps towards a plastic-free lifestyle is a commendable start for July, but why stop there? If you're ready to elevate your commitment to sustainability and make a big impact, we've got just the guide for you. 

Our Sustainable Home Upgrades Calendar is designed to guide you through a series of simple, yet effective changes you can implement throughout the year.

From reducing single-use plastics to embracing eco-friendly alternatives, this calendar is packed with practical tips and actionable steps to help you create a greener, more sustainable home. 

Download it now

Want to do more? Stay tuned and watch out for blogs as we go into sustainable home upgrades that you can do throughout the year.

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