Plastic Free July: The half-way point…

 

In a world struck by a global pandemic, it seems that COVID-19 has seen a rise in single-use plastic.

From a ban of reusable cups across multiple coffee shops nationwide, to DEFRA pushing back their single-use plastic ban until October 2020, it seems like Plastic Free July should be another event to be overturned in the turmoil of 2020.

Instead, as we reach the halfway point of Plastic Free July, we have collected some of our favourite schemes to give you that push to complete this challenge in a world gone mad.

What is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July started back in 2011. It was headed by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz and saw a small team of the Western Australian Government pledge to strive toward their goal of a world free of plastic waste.

The campaign has grown to become an award-winning international campaign, which saw the founding of the non-profit, Plastic-Free Foundation, back in 2017.

The campaign runs on the key values, as outlined in their website:

  • Honesty and integrity
  • Inclusivity of people, ideas, visions, and approaches
  • A focus on providing solutions
  • Authenticity and collaboration
  • The belief that small changes add up to a big difference

How can it help?

Plastic Free July has become an international success. In 2019, the campaign saw people partake in the campaign from 177 countries. The campaign has an estimated 250 million people pledging to go plastic-free for the entire month of July.

Some of the amazing feats that individuals can contribute include:

  • reduce their household waste and recycling by 23kg per person per year (almost 5%)
  • contribute to a total saving of 825 million kg of plastic waste each year
  • 9 out of 10 people made changes that have become habits and a way of life

 

Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, Founder of a Plastic Free July

What’s going on?

First of all, there is still time to sign up to pledge to a plastic-free July! The fight against plastic is certainly not limited to one month. You can sign up on the Plastic Free website, where you will find updates and support for your own journey.

Community Screenings: Hosted screenings are a great way to educate yourself and your friends about the plastic issue at a wider platform and help to promote conversation around this issue. Our flagship film, A Plastic Oceanis available on Netflix and Hulu. Moreover, ‘A Story of Plastic‘, has information on how to host your own screening and discussion panels. Our founder, Jo Ruxton, has been sparking discussions with her own panels. Her appearance at the Asia Dive Expo is available here.

Out in the community: Surfers Against Sewage have launched the ‘Return to Offender’ campaign. This sees local communities out in force in their local environment. Taking photos of plastic waste found and tagging their owner; the big brand companies. The campaign focuses on the accountability of corporations to look at how their products are disposed of and their life after use.

In local government: Greenpeace has been putting pressure onto corporations such as Coca-Cola to take responsibility for their packaging. They have recently released a white paper condemning big corporations for their actions surrounding plastic in the time of COVID-19. You can read it here.

For the kids: We strongly believe that is through the education and empowerment of youth voices that we shall be able to complete our mission of stopping plastic from reaching the ocean within a generation. We have released a Treasure Hunt activity sheet for all those budding Plastic Pirates, to teach them all about the plastic in their own lives so they can grow to become more plastic intelligent. For further inspiration, you can see our Plastic Hero, Isla, who has been completing her own challenge to collect 100 bags of rubbish.

 

These are just a few of the campaigns and events happening across Plastic Free July. Whilst living in the paused world of COVID-19, we have an opportunity to reflect on our own lives and uses of plastic in daily lives. Take the time this July to make your own pledges for a more plastic-free life from now on.

 

If you would like to sign up for Plastic Free July, then you can find all the information here. We love hearing about all of your stories from Plastic Free July. If you would like to tell us about any particular community projects, then please email hello@plasticoceans.uk