Plastic Free July with Greenredeem

It’s that time of year again when the entire eco-community around the globe come together to target one pesky problem – plastic. Although plastic has a purpose in society, single-use, harmful and unnecessary plastic poses a problem to our environment in a number of ways. This month we’ll be shining a light on plastic you didn’t even realise was a problem and tips on how to reduce it in and around the home. But first thing’s first, let us introduce you to how we enjoy Plastic Free July at Greenredeem.

What is Plastic Free July all about? 

Eliminating plastic from your life entirely is a bit of a big step. After all, it is a useful material and it does have a role to play in our society. Plastic Free July is not about ditching plastic altogether. Like the work we do here at Greenredeem it’s about making small and sustainable steps to using plastic in an eco-friendly way.  

The problem with a lot of plastic is that it is single-use. It’s been a year since a ban was introduced on plastic products such as single-use straws and stirrers. Since then we’ve seen a dramatic reduction in plastic waste but single-use plastic is still used in many forms of packaging. This is the aim of Plastic Free July, to bring this type of plastic use down to the utter minimum. Read on to discover how we’re making steps forward this month.

Counting up the plastic and creating a new challenge 

We’ve taken it upon ourselves to count all the single-use plastic in our homes. When we come home from our weekly shop, we’re laying all of our packaging out on the table and counting. Bananas wrapped in plastic, toilet rolls wrapped in plastic, yoghurts in plastic packaging, plastic milk cartons. We’re counting every single piece of plastic and giving ourselves a total – a plastic audit. A number that throughout the month we will then aim to reduce.

Some swaps might be straight forward such as grabbing loose bananas and getting milk in a glass bottle that can be sent back and reused. Others are trickier. After all, we buy these products because we want or need them, there isn’t always a direct substitute for them which can create problems. Especially in households with kids or those with certain dietary needs. We encourage you to keep searching as new plastic-free alternatives are always popping up. 

The benefit of counting your plastic when you get home from a shop is that you can visually see how much you’re buying. For some, it may come as quite a shock. It might just be the wake-up call you needed in order to start reducing plastic.

Where you can reduce your plastic 

Your first step to reducing plastic might not need a lot of effort at all. In most supermarkets, there are more and more products being placed on shelves without plastic packaging. You only need to go to your fruit and veg section to see that. In addition to that, some supermarkets have their own refill stations or zero-waste areas. Some are straightforward ‘bring your own container and fill’ set-ups, whilst others involve putting a deposit down on a tin already containing the food item to ensure you bring it back ready for reuse.

But if your local supermarket isn’t reducing your plastic totals enough, simply Google search zero waste stores near you. No doubt you’ll come across a few which can help you significantly reduce that number. Some even deliver. So be sure to check out your local options. 

Plastic Free July at Greenredeem has only just begun but we’re already excited to see how many of our members get involved and reduce their plastic at home. We’ve got plenty of exciting activities to enjoy which can help give you more tips on reducing plastic. Check them out and be part of the solution. Share it with your friends and family members this month and get them involved in Plastic Free July.

6 Responses

  1. I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but I have a dilemma with your recommendation about replacing wet wipes in a bid to reduce single use plastic.
    I guess you mean use a moist piece of material, a flannel type of thing, but for my personal hygiene I am not sure that would be so practical for me. Having said that, I could wait until no-one was in the (public) bathroom,(obviously I could manage at home and that will be one of my pledges for July) and then rinse out the material at the sink. I’ll swallow my pride if anyone sees me, but you can imagine it’s just not as convenient. I have always bought biodegradable wipes and never put them into the toilet bowl. I might have difficulty giving up wet wipes for when I’m out but I can certainly make the change at home.

    1. Hi Viv, we completely understand! We’ve also been in your shoes. Giving up that convenience is difficult at first, but we found the feeling of ditching something so harmful to the environment was extremely rewarding. Even just reducing your wet wipe usage is a huge step so well done for giving it a go!

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