This Plastic-Free July, make a pledge to reduce your plastic use. It is a great way to help the environment and yourself.
Seychelles banned plastic bags, single-use plastic cutlery, plastic straws, and polystyrene takeaway boxes in 2017, making it easier for us to eliminate some plastic from our day-to-day lives. What seemed like an impossible feat is now very much the norm; we learnt to carry a reusable shopping bag instead of relying on plastic ones and plastic straws are no longer a part of our outings.
There is no away when it comes to plastic waste it always ends up somewhere
But we still use a significant amount of plastic, which when improperly disposed of defaces our landscapes, clogs waterways, and ends up in the ocean. PET bottles as well as packaging material for all manner of household products are ubiquitous in local clean-ups. At the Sanctuary at Roche Caiman, dozens of discarded bottles enter the wetland every day and would be carried into the ocean if we didn’t pick them up. Much of the world is swimming in plastic pollution, according to the UN Environment Programme. Millions of people use plastic products every day without a single thought as to where they end up. Unfortunately, plastic lasts forever, and plastic pollution impacts the environment, kills animals, enters our food chain, and harms our health.
Plastic-Free July is the perfect time to start thinking about our addiction to plastic. This is a global movement that shares free solutions so we can reduce plastic pollution at an individual and community level, by taking a personal challenge to minimize our own plastic use. It has many suggestions on how to begin. Here are a few.
Replace plastic items with reusable ones such as reusable water bottles (Photo - Pexels.com - mart production)
Do a home and workplace audit of plastic items. You will be surprised by how much you have. These can include plastic cutlery, containers, packaging for beauty and cleaning products, bin bags, and water bottles. Then start by choosing one or more items that could have an alternative and eliminate its use. Replace plastic items with reusable ones such as reusable water bottles, lunch boxes, and cutlery. Offer reusable items at meetings. Make your events such as beach picnics with family and friends plastic-free. Buy sustainable decorating items for family occasions and parties. Make a plan when you go shopping and try to consciously avoid plastic such as that used in excessive packaging. Buy drinks in glass bottles. Use what you already have at home instead of buying new.
Secondly, if you do buy plastic, try to reuse it. The internet is full of ideas on how to. For instance, you can use plastic containers for storage or for potting plants, or bottles for a hanging garden or for watering the garden.
Become an advocate for change
Third, be an advocate for change. Challenge your family, friends, and community to reduce plastic. Ask your local shop, restaurant, and local suppliers to end or reduce plastic packaging. Organize or participate in clean-ups. It's a great way to educate people about plastic pollution.
To start your plastic-free challenge and to find more ideas for yourself, your family, your workplace, and your business, visit the www.plasticfreejuly.org website.