Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.
Plastic Pollution – What is it?
Every day, the equivalent of 2,000 garbage trucks full of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans, rivers, and lakes.
Plastic pollution can alter habitats and natural processes, reducing ecosystems’ ability to adapt to climate change, directly affecting millions of people’s livelihoods, food production capabilities and social well-being.
UNEP’s body of work demonstrates that the problem of plastic pollution doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The environmental, social, economic and health risks of plastics need to be assessed alongside other environmental stressors, like climate change, ecosystem degradation and resource use.
Most people are aware of the problems that plastic can cause for the environment. It can take centuries for plastic to decompose. In that time, it can release harmful toxins into the ground and water. Marine animals are especially susceptible to the effects of plastic pollution, as they can mistake it for food and ingest it. This can cause them to starve or become entangled and drown.
While many people try to avoid using plastic as much as possible, it’s still a significant part of our lives. It’s used in everything from packaging to construction materials. So what can we do to reduce the harmful effects of plastic on the environment?
What is Plastic Free July?
Plastic Free July is a holiday dedicated to teaching people about the dangers of plastic and challenges people to avoid plastic for a month.
History of Plastic Free July
Beginning with just a handful of participants in Western Australia back in 2011, the holiday idea has since grown into its own independent, non-profit organization and an annual event in over 150 countries. They originally began through the organization Earth Carers, a community that focuses on a wide range of environmental issues in the world and educates people about the consequences of hurting the environment. Their vision, after separating and becoming their own organization, is all about a world without plastic waste, and many people caught on to the message they sent out because of their concerns for plastic waste across the globe.
Hence, Plastic Free July is all about encouraging people to be more aware of their plastic use and creating a cleaner world as a result. People can participate in this holiday by avoiding all products that use plastic products in them throughout the whole month of July. This holiday also helps educate people about the different types of plastics out there and what happens in the recycling system when plastic is introduced. This initiative aims to challenge the material system the world has in place when it comes to its economy, focusing its efforts on a global span as well as a personal one. By reducing how much a person uses, they can make a small difference and help others do the same.
How to celebrate Plastic Free July
Begin by avoiding single-use plastic such as straws, water bottles, and plastic produce bags. Use more reusable products such as glass jars, metal utensils, and use metal tin lunch boxes and containers for storage. Avoid highly processed foods and begin using homemade recipes. Learn how to make your products like toothpaste, deodorant, and mouthwash. Share this holiday to your friends online by using the hashtag #plasticfreejuly and see if you can convince them to join you in your efforts to stop using plastic.
Some of the ways to observe International Plastic Bag Free Day are shared below.
Raise Awareness on Plastic Bag Free Day
- Plastic Bag Free Day is the perfect time to share information about the impact of plastic bags on the environment.
- People also organise talks in schools, colleges, and offices to educate others about the negative impact of plastic bags.
- One of the best ways to participate in the International Plastic Bag Free Day celebration is to encourage friends and family to switch to reusable bags.
Join Events on International Plastic Bag Free Day
- The aim of International Plastic Bag Free Day is to encourage more and more people to stop using single-use plastic.
- By organising events such as community clean-up drives, workshops, etc., on plastic pollution, people can spread the message of reducing plastic bag usage.
- One great idea to celebrate Plastic Bag Free Day is to distribute reusable bags among people.
Do Your Part on Plastic Bag Free Day
- Many people join the celebration of Plastic Bag Free Day by raising awareness about the same on social media.
- Use relevant hashtags to spread the message about reducing the use of plastic bags to save the environment.
- On International Plastic Bag Free Day, you can also advocate for policies that promote the reduction of plastic bag usage. Some of these policies can be implementing bans on single-use plastic bags.
Support People who make a Difference
- There are many activists around the world who are voicing concerns about increasing plastic pollution in the world.
- International Plastic Bag Free Day is the right time to show your support for such people.
- Try to engage in volunteer work to support the change-makers to ensure a better tomorrow for future generations.