Have you ever wondered what to do about plastic pollution? Thankfully, you’re not alone. Today, 91% of the population support policies and action to reduce plastic waste and now all Australian States are implementing single-use plastic restrictions. With so many people on the same page, fighting against the consumption of single-use plastic is as easy as making changes to your everyday habits. This is what Plastic Free July is all about: bringing awareness to everyday Australians and asking us to think about the small changes in our daily lives that can make a big impact. With assistance from this hugely successful campaign, you can take steps towards minimising your plastic waste starting today.
Plastic Free July is an annual event each July where millions of people around the world dedicate themselves to raising awareness of the impact that plastic is having on our oceans, landfill, animals and even our food. The movement, which started in 2011 with just 40 people in Perth, Australia, is now a globally recognised and award-winning behaviour change campaign. Plastic Free July provides resources to help citizens, businesses and governments to “choose to refuse” single-use plastics everyday. Whether you are looking to make a change within your home, workplace, school or wider community, Plastic Free July can guide you on your journey.
Globally, around 380 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year, with 90% of it becoming waste. This plastic waste ends up in landfill, in our oceans or on our streets, having dire consequences to the planet at large. With 10 million tonnes of plastic dumped in our oceans every year, it is estimated that there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050. We are already killing 1 million marine animals every year as a result of plastic pollution. But there is hope! Plastic Free July gives individuals, groups and communities the tools and incentive to help reduce this waste and improve the state of the environment.
In 2021 alone, 140 million people participated in Plastic Free July and refused 301 million plastic items. This combined effort reduced waste by 2.1 million tonnes. After 11 years of operation, Plastic Free July has successfully reduced the demand for bottled water by 2.3%, fruit and vegetable packaging by 3.1%, and plastic straws by 4.0%. The campaign continues to spread awareness of plastic pollution and offer realistic alternatives to single-use plastic. Plastic Free July has a global potential media reach of 4.1 billion people.
If you want to participate in Plastic Free July, you can sign up for informative emails or simply explore the website to learn more. Being a part of this movement is about finding plastic alternatives and engaging in practices that elicit and promote sustainability. Currently, 50% of all plastic produced is for single-use products. This means that of the 380 million tonnes of plastic that is manufactured every year, half of it is used for only a few minutes before being thrown away. On top of this, less than 9% of all plastic gets recycled. Thankfully, you can take steps to combat this issue by choosing recycled and reusable products over single-use items.
Plus, you can get many of them at IOco Gift Designers! One of the simplest and most effective things you can do is purchase a reusable coffee cup. Takeaway coffee cups are rarely recycled, and when so many people enjoy coffee on a daily basis, the amount of plastic waste adds up very quickly. Using an eco-friendly coffee cup, such as our IOco glass keep cups, means you don’t have to feel guilty about your morning coffee. Even better, you can enjoy your coffee without that icky plastic taste many reusable coffee cups have. Similarly, reusable water bottles are incredibly important for minimising waste. Why not check out our water bottle ranges including our glass, stainless steel and reusable varieties, in a range of sizes, our reusable bottles suit every preference. These are perfect for staying hydrated on the go, and you’ll never have to buy a single-use water bottle again.
Speaking of when you’re out and about, you should also consider keeping our reusable straws and travel cutlery sets on your person, just in case you ever need them. Whether you’re out on a picnic or grabbing lunch on the go, these reusable items really come into their own. It is also helpful to rethink your choice in household items, kitchen tools and decorations. Recycled wall art and organisers make for excellent gifts and can be a great addition to an office space. At IOco Gift Designers, we have a huge range to choose from to suit any style. When it comes to everyday chores and tasks, there’s plenty of changes to be made. At IOco Gift Designers, we can help you make the switch. For instance, items such as stainless steel pegs are highly functional permanent additions to any home or replacing your glad wrap with IOco’s Fresh Food Covers. Then, you can avoid accumulating plastic waste in the kitchen and around your home by utilising reusable variations of products, such as sandwich wraps, food bags, straws and tea infusers.
When it comes to groceries, it is recommended that you avoid pre-packaged foods, and buy your food in bulk. In the bathroom, switch to plastic-free toothbrushes, reusable sanitary products and bar soaps. Even your regular beauty routine can be more sustainable. Try our reusable face pads and bamboo beauty buds to eliminate the need for single-use face wipes and cotton buds. Once you’ve started adjusting your own behaviours and consumption habits, you might be interested in enacting change on a larger scale. For this task, it can be useful to consider your workplace. Does this space have a compost bin and a recycling bin? Does your work kitchen utilise reusable products? Do your coworkers or peers create unnecessary waste?
Inviting others to participate in Plastic Free July can be enormously helpful in spreading the message and giving you a team within which to work. If you have your own business, you could encourage your staff and customers to join the cause while transitioning to plastic-free packaging and signage. You might even like to grab a few bits and pieces from IOco Gift Designers to get them started finding plastic alternatives at work and at home. If there are fellow participants within your local community, get together with them and conduct a park or beach clean up. You could even organise plastic-free events to spread awareness or just connect with like-minded people. The possibilities are endless!
By choosing to participate in Plastic Free July, you are making a substantial and positive difference. Reports indicate that previous participants in this campaign experienced a heightened sense of well-being and that 87% of them found their habits to be permanently changed for the better. Get involved today and jumpstart your Plastic Free July goals by checking out our huge range of sustainable and reusable products!