Plastic bottle floating in the sea
Image by Brian Yurasits on unsplash

How to take part in Plastic Free July

July is already upon us. But have you heard of Plastic Free July? It’s a worldwide project created by the Plastic Free Foundation. Each year, 140 million people from 190 countries act together to clear up the plastic in our streets, oceans and communities. Wondering how to take part in Plastic Free July? Read on.

The movement is certainly having an impact. In the 11 years since the movement started, demand for bottled water has fallen by 2.3%. And we’re also using 3.1% less fruit and vegetable packaging and 4% fewer plastic straws.

Not only that. Households have reduced their waste and recycling by 15kg per person. There’s been a 2.1 billion ton reduction in waste and recycling globally. And the world is using 300 million kg less plastic. We can thank Plastic July for these figures: eighty-six percent of people who participated in 2021 changed their habits permanently.

Want to take part in Plastic Free July? You’ll be happy to hear there are loads of things you can do. 

Period products

According to City to Sea, as many as two billion period products are flushed down the UK’s toilets each year. Period products are now the fifth most common product found washed up on European beaches. And they’re full of plastic.

Those that don’t land in the sea end up in landfills. In the UK, around 200,000 tons of period products go to landfill every year. Thankfully there are lots of sustainable alternatives. Get yourself a menstrual cup, opt for reusable pads or tampon applicators, or grab yourself a cool pair of period pants.

Beauty products

Beaty products are great. But they usually come in plastic bottles. Why not avoid them this month by making your own products? If that’s not your style, there are also plenty of companies producing sustainable products. Another option is to refill the bottles you already have. 

Community clean up

You can make an instant difference by organising an action in your neighbourhood. Whether you live near a beach or a park, the chances are your community could do with a clean-up. So get in touch with your local council, spread the word and grab yourself some bags!

Decorations and balloons

Holding summer birthday parties? Rather than using single-use plastic bunting and lanterns, go for products that can be used again and again. Choose compostable plates and cups or make your own decorations out of salvaged materials.

Tea bags

Weirdly, drinking hot tea can cool you down. But lots of tea bags contain plastic. Avoid contributing to the problem by buying leaf tea, filling your own container at a refill station, or opting for plastic-free drinks instead this summer.    

These five ideas are simply scratching the surface. If you want to get involved in Plastic Free July, visit the website and get your creative juices flowing.