It isn’t a surprise, therefore, that the global campaign ‘Plastic Free July’ has caught our attention.
A decade ago, in Western Australia, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz started a campaign with a handful of like-minded people eager to take part.
The challenge? To be entirely plastic free for the month of July.
The intention? To maintain this way of living and help educate others to do the same.
The reality? A single use plastic free existence cannot and will not happen overnight. It won’t simply occur as a result of a worldwide effort over the space of 4 weeks, but our awareness, practices and attitudes can be improved on and with global education comes positive change.
The clock is ticking and the race to a single use plastic free existence is ON and with that in mind, here is a countdown of our own; some alarming and eye-opening facts about single use plastic which may help you see ways in which you can alter habits and approaches towards things, as it did for us!
10 years on and a small, local idea of ‘Plastic Free July’ has grown into a global experience.
Millions of people, across 170 countries take on this challenge annually and spend an entire month refusing to use single-use plastic. Many then continue to limit their use in ways which are manageable for them too.
9 of the most commonly used single use plastics:
- Drinking straws
- Drink stirrers
- Water bottles
- Coffee cups & lids
- Plastic bags
- Sanitary products
8 alternatives to single use plastic:
- Paper or metal straws are a simple and affordable substitute.
- Reusable glass or bamboo stirrers are a great alternative when enjoying your next mojito.
- Drink tap water from a glass and get into the habit of carrying a reusable bottle with you everywhere you go.
- Like a tea or coffee on the go? Always carry a reusable coffee cup with you. There are hundreds of eco-friendly versions out there. Bright, compact, discreet or even cups which make a statement… there’s something for everyone!
- Have your car boot or bike basket full of reusable carrier bags and keep some foldaway bags stashed in your handbag or backpack.
- Why not channel your inner adventurer and carry a spork?!
- Reusable packaging is a thing! Paper bags, mesh bags, reusable cloths, waxed cloths, card containers… there’s plenty to choose from and you can then select fruits and vegetables which are loose, not pre-packaged!
- Choose plastic free sanitary products. There are many brands now selling washable and reusable products.
7 places where plastic has been found that you’d least expect:
- The Mariana Trench
- Beer – yup… gulp!
- Bottled Water
- Arctic ice
- Human Faeces
6 fun ways to upcycle your single use plastic*:
- Take your used containers to the supermarket with you and where possible opt for bagless and loose produce which you can pop straight into your now reusable packaging.
- Plant seedlings and saplings in used yoghurt pots or the bottoms of larger containers such as milk cartons.
- Make multiple little holes in the lids of water bottles and use a watering can.
- Attach a water bottle with lots of small holes in it to the end of the garden hose. Ta daaa, you have a sprinkler!
- Cut windows out of a bottle, attach string to the top and make drainage holes in the bottom. Insert and fix wooden sticks as perches and fill with bird seed for your very own homemade garden bird feeder.
- Use bottle lids to make colourful mosaics and murals. Turn plastic into something fantastic.
*Pintrest and other creative websites are overflowing with amazing ideas for upcycling your unwanted plastics - it would appear the options are certainly not limited to just 6 ideas!
5 species under threat:
- Sea Turtles
- Dolphins & Whales
- Sea Birds
- Seals & Sealions
4 ways in which the globe will benefit from a reduction in SUPs:
- A reduction in carbon emissions
- Protect our endangered wildlife
- Protect our threatened food sources
- Reduce water pollution
3 countries doing their best to achieve dramatic change are:
- Guatemala with Mayan villagers swapping plastics for traditional ancestral methods such as using large leaves to package meat and cloth to carry tortillas.
- The Nature Island, Dominica, has banned non-biodegradable plastics. The plastic replacements include bottles, food containers, plates, display trays, cups, lids, cutlery, and straws made from biodegradable materials including paper and corn-starch.
- In India the government plans to replace all single-use plastic with jute, and in the meantime, eco-friendly alternatives to plastic are already being implemented, for example in the state of Kerala banana leaves are being used instead of plastic plates and people are simply using their hands for eating instead of plastic cutlery. It’s also now common place to see saris being upcycled into shopping bags.
2 most effective ways to move forward:
- Educate yourself
- Teach those around you
Because there is only . . .
1 Planet Earth
Eco Wood Rings are very proud to say that we are already a virtually single use plastic free business. We use paper and card packaging, sustainable wood and where possible recycled and upcycled products in our homes and office too. We are upping our game this month though and doing all we can to be totally single use plastic free.
If you’re anything like us, you understand the importance of being proactive when it comes to reducing the use of plastics in day-to-day life and that making a conscious effort to align yourself with companies who are planet and people friendly is very important.
When choosing an Eco Wood Ring you can go against the grain without compromising, knowing that your beautifully handcrafted ring a) won’t cost the earth and b) won’t be produced at the expense of The Earth. As a small independent business, we have a smaller carbon footprint than most too.
If you’re visiting us here at Eco Wood Rings online, you’re probably already a thoughtful shopper who is conscious of the impact of your buying choices. We are delighted that you’ve found your way to our blog and our site, and we are particularly pleased that customers who are interested in what we do here also feel compelled, like us, to work towards a cleaner future for our children and our children’s children.