Could you avoid disposable plastics for all of July?

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© Plastic Free July

Sign the Plastic-Free July pledge and join millions of other people doing the same.

Quitting single-use plastics can seem like a daunting goal, but if you set yourself a time limit and give it all your effort, you may be surprised at how well it goes. That's why Plastic Free July is such a great idea. It keeps an overwhelming task within clearly delineated boundaries, which makes it more manageable. That's also why it's become so popular. The Australian campaign to eliminate single-use plastics first launched in 2011 but has grown to over two million participants in 150 countries over the past seven years.

The idea behind Plastic Free July is fairly self-explanatory. Participants pledge to refuse single-use plastics during the entire month of July. Instead of accepting a disposable coffee cup, you take your own every day. You shop with reusable grocery bags, carry a refillable water bottle, avoid pre-packaged foods, use real plates at a picnic instead of paper or Styrofoam.

Although the efforts may seem minuscule in the enormous face of plastic pollution, they add up, especially when millions of people are striving for them. From a press release for this year's event, founder Rebecca Prince Ruiz said:

“Although the size of the plastic waste problem is frightening, the numbers tell us that small actions can make big impacts. Last year, participating households of our campaign reduced their landfill waste rates by nearly 10% which in my home state of Western Australia translated to 10,400 fewer tonnes of waste generated by participating households.”

After a month of practicing these habits, you might be surprised to find they've stuck; or at the very least, the thought of reaching for disposables when there are perfectly decent reusable options available becomes distasteful. And the more you practice these actions, the more people around you will notice and start to imitate them, especially if you explain why.

We're on the 3rd day of July right now, but it's never too late to start. You can take the official pledge here to enjoy a Plastic-Free July. By signing up via The Story of Stuff, you will receive weekly emails with ideas and action opportunities for getting plastic out of your personal life and your community.

Could you avoid disposable plastics for all of July?
Sign the Plastic-Free July pledge and join millions of other people doing the same.

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