PLASTIC Free July is a campaign that started in 2011 in WA with a simple aim – to refuse single-use plastic during the month of July.
Since then, the campaign has spread around Australia and gone worldwide.
Just this month, both Woolworths and Coles have announced that they will be phasing out single-use plastic bags over the next 12 months.
The tide is turning as people become more aware of the damage plastic is doing to our environment and that it can not continue unchecked.
All plastic that has ever been made, is still in existence today.
Australians on average use 100kg of plastic packaging a year per household.
Local family, the Smiths, have made a commitment for the month of July not to use any single-use plastic.
The family were already using their own shopping bags but the campaign really made them aware of how much plastic we buy on a daily basis.
Food storage, especially when out and about, made the Smiths get creative.
Jess told News Of The Area, “The challenge has seen us make huge changes. We now take our own mugs to coffee shops; we have reusable cutlery with us; take our own containers to the butchers and use reusable storage or beeswax wraps for our food.”
The family also purchase their pantry foods and fresh produce through a local food co-operative in a further effort to reduce packaging waste.
Jess also explained that they no longer use plastic bin liners or use a plastic bag but instead use the bin and wash it out daily or line it with newspaper.
Beeswax wraps can be quite a large initial expense but other alternatives can be utilised, such as steel lunch boxes or silicone sandwich wraps.
The website www.plasticfreejuly.org offers lots of ideas and suggestions of alternatives to plastic for cleaning, cooking, food storage, personal care, pet care and shopping.
Plastic Free July can become plastic free all year round.
Choose to re-use!
By Sarah STOKES