Join Plastic Free July for a Greener Planet

Join Plastic Free July for a Greener Planet

Time to stick a fork in another bad habit — as long as it’s not a plastic fork. Whether bottles, straws, bags, or utensils, the global addiction to single-use plastic has become a planet-wide scourge and a threat to human life. That’s because these plastics, which take hundreds of years to degrade, end up in oceans, rivers, and other waterways where they threaten wildlife and destroy water quality. One bleak statistic: By 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the sea.

Which brings us to Plastic Free July — the global and fast-growing annual challenge started in 2011 by the Plastic Free Foundation that encourages people to ditch the single-use plastic in their daily routines for the next four weeks. The hope being that by showing how easy it is for people to reduce their plastic waste, they will keep it up. So, let’s make sustainability a lasting habit, and appreciate our planet just a little bit more. Read on if you’re curious about what the Plastic Free July is all about, why it matters, and how you can participate.

What is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July  can be traced back more than a decade when a small team of government representatives in Western Australia dreamed up a small but significant initiative. Small because it didn’t require much of people. Significant because it swiftly took root and attracted millions of people from dozens of countries. It’s now among the most influential environmental campaigns on the planet. Ready to get involved? Accept the Plastic Free July Challenge to get started.

Why is Plastic Free July Important?

Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental issues of today. Here’s why:

The severe environmental impact: Every year, roughly eight million tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans, causing irreparable harm to fragile ecosystems. Since plastic takes so long to decompose, this leads to long-term environmental damage, overflowing landfills, and dirty oceans. For example, scientists suggest that it would take 1,000 years for every single plastic water bottle to decompose. Toothbrushes, disposable diapers, and Styrofoam all take about 500 years to decompose.   

The numerous health concerns: Microplastics have been found in our food, water, bodies, and even the air we breathe. These tiny plastic particles can carry harmful chemicals, posing health risks to humans, wildlife, and our food supply. Read more about the impact of microplastics here.

The contribution to climate change: The production and disposal of plastics contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn speeds up the warming of the planet. If we can reduce our reliance, manufacturers will produce less plastic — and less carbon.

How to Go Plastic Free in July

Nobody expects you to eliminate all the plastic from your life overnight. After all, part of the appeal of Plastic Free July is that it only lasts 31 days. With this in mind, here are some practical steps to help you reduce your plastic consumption and embrace a more sustainable life this July.

Start Small

Begin by identifying single-use plastics that are currently part of your daily routine. These may be plastic bags, straws, water bottles, and packaging. Start by putting a special focus on replacing these items with sustainable alternatives like reusable shopping bags, coffee cups, and stainless-steel straws.

Switch to Reusable Bags and Containers

Available online or at most grocery stores, it’s simple to switch to reusable shopping bags. For an even more sustainable approach, shop at grocery stores that support zero waste initiatives by bringing in your own containers to fill up. This might be anything from peanut butter and nuts to candy and oats.

And instead of asking for a to-go box this July, bring your own containers to cut down on Styrofoam — one of the worst single-use plastics as they never break down. Keep your reusable items handy for grocery trips and dining out to avoid single-use plastic bags and takeout containers.

Say No to Plastic Straws

Switch to reusable straws made from stainless steel, bamboo, or silicone. Many cafes and restaurants now offer paper straws or allow you to go straw-free with sippy cup lids that don’t require straws.

Bring Your Own Bottle and Cup

Carry a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated without relying on pricey plastic bottles. Many public places and offices these days have free water fountains or refill stations available to their guests or employees. You can do the same for your morning or afternoon cup of coffee. Instead of using a single-use plastic cup or lid, swap them out with your own reusable coffee cup. Besides, many places — Starbucks included —offer discounts when you bring your own personal cup.

Shop Consciously

One of the hardest parts of participating in Plastic Free July is avoiding plastic packaging. Do your best to choose products with minimal or no plastic packaging. Opt for bulk items and bring your own containers to refill whenever possible.

Embrace Plastic-Free Cleaning Products

Plastic Free July invites you to make sustainable swaps all month long. So, go ahead and make some changes to the products you use at home. You can challenge single-use plastic by making your own cleaning sprays using natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and essential oils.  This reduces the need for plastic packaging as well as harmful chemicals that impact indoor air quality.

For a plastic-free laundry solution, switch to SaltyLama’s eco-friendly laundry detergent sheets. This easy, effective and hypoallergenic alternative to regular detergent offers the same powerful clean without the water waste, toxins, and plastic jugs. Instead, the sheets come in biodegradable, compostable packaging.

Be an Advocate

Share your Plastic Free July journey on social media to inspire others. Educate friends and family about the importance of reducing plastic waste and encourage them to join the challenge.

Other Ways to Participate

Even if going completely plastic-free feels overwhelming, there are still many ways to contribute to the Plastic Free July movement. Here are just a few:

Take Part in Community Cleanups

Either organize or participate in local cleanup events to remove plastic waste from parks, beaches, gardens, and other public spaces.

Support Legislation for Change

Advocate for and support policies that clearly aim to reduce plastic production and waste. You can always contact your local representatives to call for bans on single-use plastics and encourage recycling initiatives in your area.

Shop Sustainably

One of the easiest ways to support Plastic Free July is to support businesses that use eco-friendly packaging, safer ingredients, and transparency. Find businesses on your local Main Street, at your nearest Farmer’s Market, or online.


By taking part in Plastic Free July, you’re contributing to a future in which plastic doesn’t dominate our planet. Whether you go completely plastic-free the entire month or make small strides in your daily habits, every action counts. Let’s use this July as an opportunity to rethink our plastic use so we can all make more sustainable choices in the months and years ahead. Happy Plastic Free July!


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