Plastic Free July 2023: How You Can Take Part In The Challenge
Plastic Free July is currently underway, a month-long event where more than 100 million people across the world refuse to use single-use plastics for 31 days.
In the UK alone, over 5 million tonnes of plastic is consumed every year whilst only 1 quarter of it is recycled. This plastic waste often doesn’t decompose and can last for centuries in landfills, or even end up polluting soils, rivers and oceans, and animal habitats.
By ditching plastic use, we can help to ensure that our streets, oceans and communities are cleaner, ensuring a more sustainable future for the generations to come.
Are you wanting to take part in the challenge? Stick with us and we’ll explain how you can make a difference this Plastic Free July 2023.
History Of Plastic Free July
Plastic Free July was first launched in 2011 in Australia, when Rebecca Prince-Ruiz challenged her colleagues to reuse single-use plastic items for a whole month.
Prince-Ruiz then went on to set up the not-for-profit Plastic Free Foundation in 2017 to work towards the vision of a world free of plastic waste.
Now more than 10 years later, the award-winning Plastic Free July campaign which started off in Perth has people all across the globe taking part.
The global movement is not only about cutting down on plastic for July, but rethinking your plastic consumption overall and continuing to make more environmentally conscious decisions.
How You Can Get Involved
This Plastic Free July 2023, look at your own habits and see how you can reduce the amount of plastic in your life.
If you’re wanting to reduce your plastic footprint this July and beyond, we’ve listed some simple ways you can get involved.
Remember, it’s not about being perfect, as the Plastic Free Foundation states small changes add up to a big difference!
1. Sign Up To The Plastic Free July Challenge
First and foremost, if you’re wanting to get involved with this global movement you should sign up for the Plastic Free July challenge on the official website.
Not only will you be a part of a community of more than 100 million people taking part, once you sign up you’ll receive weekly emails from the Plastic Free Foundation with the latest plastic-free ideas to help you reduce your consumption.
To help you stay on track, you’ll have access to resources and support for helping to reduce how much plastic you use on a daily basis!
2. Learn About The Plastic Problem
Whilst you’re likely aware that plastic pollution has become one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues, it’s important to find out how exactly it’s affecting us and our planet.
Education is such a powerful tool and learning is never ending, so go out there and watch documentaries on plastic pollution, listen to podcasts, read books, join virtual discussions, speak to others and so on.
By educating yourself on the environmental issues impacting the world around us, you can discover things that you can do to help!
3. Help Spread The Word
After educating yourself on the dangers of single-use plastics and the issues impacting the world today, help to spread the word and share your knowledge with others.
Better yet, tell others why you’re going plastic free this month and why they should get involved with the challenge to tackle plastic pollution.
Whether it’s posting on social media under the hashtag #PlasticFreeJuly2023, hosting community events, speaking with your family and friends or so on, convince others to reduce their plastic footprint this July!
Having someone in your life take part in the challenge too like your flatmates or those in your student accommodation can help you to stay motivated too.
4. Bring Your Own
If you want to take part in the challenge this July, why not refuse single-use packaging and instead utilise reusable alternatives?
Whether it’s bringing your own water bottle with you to campus, packing your own shopping bag for the supermarket, taking out your own reusable straw, or even using your own food containers and utensils when on the go.
Not only are these actions a great way to reduce your plastic waste, but you’ll also save money and stretch your student budget by using something again and again, rather than only getting one single use from it!
5. Ditch Wet Wipes
We know, wet wipes are convenient to use to take off your make up and wash your face, but they’re single-use and come in plastic packaging, making them super bad for the environment.
This July, ditch the wet wipes and use reusable cotton pads or a water and a face cloth, this will be more environmentally friendly and better for your bank account too.
Once you’ve used them, you can just pop them in your washing machine or wash by hand to use again next time!
6. Go Plastic-free When Washing
If you’re wanting to phase plastic out of your life, a great way to do this is to find some plastic-free alternatives for washing up.
Rather than using liquid laundry detergent which comes in plastic packaging, opt to use liquid-less eco-strips or the good old laundry powder.
You could even swap out washing liquid for liquid soap for doing your dishes, and use concentrated shampoo and conditioner in bar format for washing your hair.
7. Try Reusable Sanitary Items
In the UK, 3 billion disposable menstrual products are used each year and 200,000 tonnes of this waste ends up landfilled.
If you’re keen to reduce your plastic usage this month, you could make the switch to reusable sanitary items.
For a plastic-free period, there are plenty of reusable sanctuary items on the market like menstrual cups, washable sanitary pads and period pants amongst others.
These eco-friendly products are not just good for you, but they’re good for the planet as well!
8. Be Thoughtful With Shopping Choices
Whilst most of us use reusable shopping bags when grabbing our groceries, there are many other ways you can be more thoughtful with your shopping choices and eliminate how much plastic you use.
One way you can do this is by avoiding pre-packaged food by only buying from local independent stores or local farmers markets.
If you do need to shop at grocery stores, you can buy loose fruit and vegetables rather than those in plastic packaging.
Whilst bulk food stores aren’t everywhere, if there is somewhere close-by to you to do your shopping, you can bring your own reusable produce bags, containers and glass jars.
There are plenty of zero-waste online shops like Plastic Freedom where you can buy hundreds of different products such as cleaning products, sustainable bathroom items, skincare, haircare and much more.
9. Opt For Plastic-free Food Storage
We’re all addicted to storing our leftovers in tupperware and plastic bags, right?
Well, most of these plastic materials are not biodegradable and after making it to landfills, they take hundreds of years before they break down.
This Plastic Free July 2023, rather than using tupperware and plastic bags to store your leftover food, instead pop them in glass jars, use reusable food bags, stainless steel containers or beeswax wraps.
By opting to use plastic-free food storage products, you’ll be one step closer to living a more sustainable, zero-waste lifestyle!
10. Start Small
Single-use plastics are all around us, so it can be hard to cut it out of your life completely, which is why you should start small this month.
You don’t have to completely eliminate plastic from every aspect of your life, just try to at least make a couple of changes to cut down your single-use plastic usage.
Whether it’s switching to beeswax wraps rather than plastic food bags, using reusable cotton pads rather than face wipes or even using plastic-free products for doing your laundry, there are plenty of small and simple changes you can make.
By changing your lifestyle, you will massively reduce your own waste and help to make the world a better place.
Plastic pollution is a global problem so we should all try to make small changes in our daily life to help tackle the issues our planet is facing.
This July, wave goodbye to single-use plastics and take part in the challenge. Better yet, take your good habits a step further and try to carry them on after the 31-days are over!
How are you going to reduce your plastic use this month? We’d love to hear from you @universalstudentliving.
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