Every single piece of plastic created, still exists today. Being planet-lovers and ocean-admirers, we feel so blessed that our community share our eco-values. Plastic Free July is a global movement that empowers millions of people to be part of the solution to plastic pollution, so that we can have cleaner streets, oceans and beautiful communities. We want to ban plastic in July (and forevermore) as a collective community that partakes in this progressive initiative, using it as an opportunity to improve our outdated plastic habits. Join the revolution!
We know it sounds like a lot of effort, after all the supermarket is still not exactly our plastic-free friend, but let’s start together by refusing single-use plastics and asking for brands and cafes to do better. Let’s explore why we need to ban plastic in July and for good, how to be prepared for the main culprits and what else we can do to help. We also love making new friends who care about the planet, so reach out, tell us about your efforts, and snap and share your journey with us.
WHY IS PLASTIC THE ENEMY?
1. We need cleaner oceans to protect marine-life
According to the United Nations, at least 800 species worldwide are affected by marine waste, of which 80 percent is made up of plastic litter. Our fish, turtles, dolphins, whales, sharks and many other marine mammals can become entangled in or ingest plastic pollution, causing suffocation, starvation, and drowning. We also regretfully ponder upon how this potentially affects the reproduction of marine-life, posing further threat to its sustainability.
2. We need cleaner oceans to protect the ocean ecosystem itself and to combat climate change
With the ocean acting as a filter for carbon dioxide using incredible resources including kelp and seaweed for example, we actually need a healthy ocean ecosystem to draw upon natural resources that are intended to regulate carbons responsible for climate change, designed by Mother Nature herself. Given its role in maintaining the homeostasis of the environment and atmosphere, it is certainly not an asset that we can continue to mindlessly pollute.
3. We need cleaner oceans if we want to continue swimming and surfing over the next 5, 8, 10 years
We personally love surfing, but with increased toxicity and acidic marine environments and partially due to the overuse of plastic and other waste that ends up in the ocean, we are not sure that the oceans will be safe to swim in if we continue on our current track. Given climate change will take an abundance of resources to tackle, as individuals a great way to help is to start by refusing single-use plastic.
4. We need cleaner oceans because we are eating and drinking microplastics
Individuals who eat fish, including millions of innocent children who have fish as a staple in their diet, are unconsciously consuming microplastics every year which may be harmful and hazardous for their health. The truth is that most people actually consume microplastics in one way or another. Although scientists don’t know exactly what risk this poses to the human body, with some hypothesising that it may contribute to hormonal endocrine function, brain development and cancer, the toxins that we can be exposed to through eating plastic-infused substances is unhealthy for the human body.
TACKLING THE CULPRITS
1. Plastic straws
Plastic straws are humble but sneaky little guys, ending up inside our marine life and leaving their ruins all over our oceans. As they are entirely a luxury – we only need mouths to drink not straws – at least we could make it an ocean friendly luxurious sip using a reusable and biodegradable Bamboo Straw?
2. Plastic water bottles
Let’s be honest, water tastes better out of a proper drink bottle anyway. Yes – we have to be a little more prepared but as with kindergarten days – pack your bottle in your lunchbox the night before! Unless you’re in a region where drinking water is not easily accessible from a tap, when you buy plastic bottled water, remember that you are really supporting a plastic company, not a water company.
3. Take-away food
Most-things ordered on Uber eats usually comes in an abundance of plastic. This can be avoided by bringing your own reusable container when you collect, or by being aware of what our local favourite serves their food in and choosing to buy from responsible restaurants.
If you choose not to throw your dollars at an eco-unfriendly operation, kindly tell them why, as it gives them the opportunity to improve and to learn, which many people will do if they can and are educated. The reality is that customers maintain their business, so if they know they are losing customers due to being unaware or irresponsible, they will either want to, or be forced to improve.
Moving away from eating out of single-use items, plastic or not, will be better for our health and the environment. We personally opt to dine in or when we’re at a market or food truck park, we take our Coconut Bowls and Reusable Cutlery. The vendors usually take a quick snap for Instagram too.
4. Single-use coffee cups
While the cups themselves are not plastic, they do come with a little plastic companion – the lid. Take your coffee game up a notch with a fancy accessory from our friends at Joco, or the various other options, including a mug from home.
5. Grocery shopping
We need to demand for supermarkets to stop over-packaging products and our fresh produce with plastic, for health and sustainable purposes. However, we can make our own sustainable choices by choosing loose produce like greens, nuts and seeds, rather than pre-packaged. Hopefully you’re already bringing your own reusable bags, but if you’re ready to take it a step further, use produce bags similar to this Taste Without Waste collection.
For more information, visit the Plastic Free July website to learn more about the not-for-profit initiative and if you’re feeling generous, feel free to make a donation to this important cause. After all, donations are tax deductible giving you more control of the causes that you can support with your tax-dollars, plus you get to reap the feel-good effects of giving to a worthy cause.