Plastic-free July, which began in 2011, is a worldwide movement to lessen plastic use during the month of July. Rebecca Prince-Ruiz is the inspiration behind this extraordinary movement. It has since grown into a global drive that encourages people to limit their plastic use. Many individuals across the world have pledged to reduce plastic waste in their everyday lives, whether by taking small steps or fully eliminating plastic.
The Threats Of Plastic Pollution
Plastic being environmentally damaging is no surprise. But how serious is plastic pollution? Every year, plastic chokes the planet with around 300 million tonnes, equivalent to the weight of the entire world population. And, only a portion (9% approx) of that amount is recycled. Studies also reveal that an average human consumes 70,000 microplastics per year. Further, plastics that enter the water bodies are extremely difficult to recover. They pile up in marine zones and brutalize aquatic wildlife. What's more alarming is that plastic breaks down into smaller pieces, making remediation exceedingly hard. Microplastics have now been discovered from the Pacific Ocean's deepest point to Antarctic snow. Annually, 32% percent of all plastic packaging ends up in our oceans, equating to a release of one plastic trash truck into the waters every minute. Plastic is evidently present in almost every aspect of our lives, including the food and water we consume, the clothes we wear, and the oxygen we breathe. It has already reached the human bloodstream. Sadly, plastic production is only expected to skyrocket in the foreseeable future— 756 million tons by 2050.
Plastic pollution is one of the most prevalent, noticeable, and persistent threats to our planet. To mitigate the problem, every transaction that supports the human lifestyle needs to be reformed. Rather than ruining the environment, we have to implement changes that allow us to live in harmony with nature. As the custodians of the natural world, we are the ones who must take action.
Plastic-free July 2022 is an amazing opportunity to do just that. So, here are some tips to help you engage in this incredible movement!
5 Plastic-Free July Tips
- Minimize and even stop using single-use plastic bags
A great way to ensure single-use plastic bags never blindside you is to always carry a reusable tote made with natural fiber like organic cotton with you when you go shopping. Many convenience and grocery stores are now encouraging their customers to bring their bags. But is that the case for fashion stores? Not as much. What we can do is proactively carry canvas bags with us regardless of the items we intend to purchase. This will give plastic zero chance to invade our lives. Check out Terra thread's organic cotton tote bags— they are ethical and chic, and perfect for any errands.
- Invest in plastic-free items
Push your efforts to another level by being more conscious of the things you buy frequently. Avoid the ones that generally come wrapped in plastic. It can be any house essentials, from laundry soap to condiments, personal care products, and even e-commerce items. There are plastic-free, organic alternatives for almost everything. While at it, you also want to consume less fish to avoid indirect plastic consumption. Studies show that 386 marine fish species, including 210 commercially important species, ingest plastic debris. Instead, opt for plant-based foods, which have a smaller environmental footprint and also contribute less to ocean plastic.
- Consume organically grown produce
Consuming nutritious meals made with organic ingredients can help cut plastic usage. Buying fresh produce will eliminate packaged, processed foods that come in plastic wraps, cans, or bottles. Plus, fresh vegetables and fruits also taste better and smell more delicious than processed items. Invest in a cotton mesh grocery bag, and take it with you to the farmers' market, supermarket, or wherever you go for food shopping.
- Practice the five Rs
The modern zero-waste lifestyle movement involves the 5 Rs – refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, repair and even rot. It is a set of guidelines to decrease waste generation. While implementing all the Rs is crucial, you want to prioritize the first 'R' (refuse), as it is integral to the success of all the Rs. They say a stitch in time saves nine— not getting plastic from the get-go will mean no mess to clean up.
- Get the word out - #PlasticFreeJuly
Tell everyone around you how excited you are to be curbing your plastic consumption habits this month and beyond. Raise awareness through social networking sites using hashtags #PlasticFreeJuly and through word of mouth as well. Tell your colleagues, friends, and family about Plastic Free July. While your single contribution highly matters, encouraging the people in your life to participate in the movement will result in a substantial reduction in plastic footprint.
Plastic pollution is a major issue that has a significant impact on climate change. The current climate change situation calls for urgent action, which will be unachievable if the rise in plastic pollution continues to increase. It will take dedicated efforts to eliminate plastic waste, and can only be overcome through collective and collaborative contribution. Call on your favorite brands to eliminate plastic from their supply chain. Make 2022 plastic-free July count by doing your part!
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