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Plastic Free July – make single use plastic a thing of the past

Join me this month for the Plastic Free July challenge – to reflect on ways to remove single use plastics from your life and make a concerted effort to change*.

12 things to consider about single use plastic

Here’s a dozen fact to keep in mind when we’re making decisions about what to buy:

  1. 6% of the world’s fossil fuels are used to make plastic
  2. from 2000-2010 1 billion tonnes of plastic was made – same amount as between 1950-2000
  3. half the world’s plastics are used once before going to landfill
  4. 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans every year – that’s like putting five bags of plastic trash on every foot of coastline in the world.
  5. Almost 75% of the plastic found in the oceans is single-use (food wrappers, food containers, caps and lids, plastic bags, polystyrene…)
  6. 90% of sea birds have eaten plastic, 50% of turtles have too
  7. 1 million sea bird and 100,000 turtles die from eating plastic and becoming entangled each year.
  8. 5 billion plastic lined coffee cups are used each year
  9. 4.7 billion toothbrushes are made each year. They’ll last around 1000 years.
  10. each person on the planet uses around 700 plastic bags a year each
  11. it takes around 5 litres of water and a litre of oil to make a litre of bottled water
  12. In Australia, we use almost 120,000 tonnes of plastic drink bottles each year.



What will it take to dramatically cut down on throw-away plastic?

  • Personal commitment to change – educating ourselves, planning well, persevering
  • Corporate responsibility
  • New government legislation and taxes

Simple steps

We can impact change in our sphere of influence, and that is different for us all. Out and about, in our home, at work, at school, in our community …


Single use plastic is a massive problem in the world, and while many of us are aware consumers, we still manage to come home with more single-use plastic than we’d hoped because it is just everywhere!

Some simple steps to reduce single-use plastic waste:

  1. Grow more food
  2. Choose to shop at farmers markets and CSAs (community supported agriculture programs), and bulk food stores.
  3. Store leftovers in jars or reusable lidded containers
  4. Make more things from scratch and pack food to take out with you.
  5. Choose biodegradable options
  6. Take our own cups and bottles or slow down and have a cuppa in a ceramic cup.
  7. Pick up rubbish we see around.
Plastic free veggies and herbs from my garden – freshly harvested for dinner.

Choose to Refuse

Choose to Refuse is the theme of Plastic Free July.  The idea really is that we use this time to change habits and then continue on with less plastic in our lives. Since signing on last July with my family, there are lots of things I no longer buy such as: plastic wrapped toilet paper, shampoo or conditioner, hand soap, laundry liquid, dishwashing liquid, take away coffee cups, plastic straws, microfibre clothing… and more.


Find out ways to reduce single-use plastic

Follow this LINK to the Plastic Free July website for lots of ideas of ways to change habits and radically alter the amount of unnecessary waste is month, share this with others, and keep going after this monthlong campaign is over.

Sign the challenge

Sign on to accept the challenge to reduce your single use plastic throughout July. Show your support. Pledge your commitment. Make a positive change.

Share your successes

Make being plastic free your new normal. What does that take? I’d love to hear.

Share your challenges

What are your challenges and how are you overcoming those? Please share this too.

Note: *I understand that there are a number of medical and other applications of single use plastics that are important for health and wellbeing. If we focus on releasing our dependence on non-essential single-use plastics we can make a huge difference.