Plastic Free July Challenge - Tips And Advice
Author: Claire Grant
Australians send a million tonnes of plastic waste to landfill each year, which isn't very sensible! A few Planet Ark staff members are taking on Plastic Free July and have provided some tips on making it a success.
"It's amazing to see what you can achieve without using plastic", says Claire Grant, Office Manager, Planet Ark. "You definitely have to think outside the bottle!"
Plastic Free July is a campaign designed to increase awareness of the amount of plastic in our lives by encouraging people to eliminate the use of single-use plastic for one month.
The Easy Wins
"There are quite a few plastic items that you can eliminate easily", says Claire.
- Single use disposable bottles, especially for water, can be eliminated with almost no effort. Just grab a re-usable bottle and use that instead.
- Say no to straws. You may need to be on the look out for bar and other staff popping them into your drink when you're not looking.
The Lunch Box
"What I will find most difficult is lunchbox items for my kids, but there are ways to conquer this!" says Claire. "A lot of packaged food isn't as good for you either, so I'm treating this challenge as an opportunity to do more cooking and bake nutritious and healthy snacks as well as have something fun to do with the kids".
- Swap out the lunch box plastic wrapping with a brown paper bag to store your baked snacks.
- Buy yoghurt from a deli that can fill a re-usable container you have at home for decanting into smaller containers for snacks. This will help you avoid buying the individually packaged yoghurt containers.
- Choose fruit and vegetables that come with their own wrapping and can be eaten whole; think baby tomatoes, cucumber, carrot sticks and oranges.
- Cook more than you need (especially snacks) and freeze the extras to save time and effort.
Keeping It Clean
"Another challenge I think I will come across are personal cleaning products," says Claire. "I know some people will make their own toothpaste and deodorant but I'm not ready to go quite that far yet!"
- Safe toilet paper is 100% recycled and one of the ranges is wrapped in paper.
- Consider the Solid Shampoo Bars by Lush, which is long lasting and eco-friendly. Lush also do a solid conditioner bar.
"I'd suggest that before you start your plastic free challenge, do a plastic purge and recycle everything you can and kick off your Plastic Free July...well, plastic free!"
Soft plastics, like bread, pasta, rice, cereal and lollie bags, newspaper wrapping and old green bags can be dropped off for recycling at most metro Coles and some Woolworths stores. Find out more about the programs and which stores are involved.
For more ideas on how to live plastic free this July, visit www.plasticfreejuly.org