Are you ready for the challenge of the year? July has nearly arrived and there is a movement happening worldwide that we wouldn’t want you to miss out on! Since 2011, over 2 million people from 150 countries have joined the Plastic Free July challenge. So what is this about?
We know it; plastic is flexible, solid and durable. Of course, with all these qualities, we, humans, have made it one of the most common material used … and thrown away. Several of these items end up polluting the ocean, killing marine life and entering our bodies through our food and water, to name only a few of the consequences. Here’s a shocking fact: according to the Plastic Free July data, nearly half of all the plastics produced are used for single-use items or packaging. HALF! This is why it is urgent that we all start doing our own maths about it, which means counting how much of this we actually contribute to individually. You might be wondering how to make such a hectic count, but this is exactly why we dare you to take the challenge from the 1st of July!
To do so, the first step is to jump on http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/register.html and register. It takes one minute and, by doing so, you will be added to the millions that already show how much they care about the plastic pollution issue, whether for the ocean, the waste management problems or the eco footprint (eg. exploitation of resources like fossil fuel). This growing number of participants can then have a powerful impact when time comes to put pressure on governments for plastic bag, straws, cups, over packaging and bottle bans worldwide.
After registering, you can start your challenge for the time period that you choose. It is possible to make it last for a day, a week, a month or as an ongoing commitment to avoid plastic. In more practical terms, the challenge asks for two simple things:
1° Refuse plastic items (you can choose to avoid all plastics OR to start with the Top 4: bags, straws, bottles and cups)
2° When you can’t avoid them, keep them in storage for the whole month of July
Day after day, it becomes quite interesting to observe what accumulates in the storage of our plastic items. By taking the initiative of keeping the unwanted items, we start noticing which plastics are the most common in our life but, most importantly so, we find out where we can start changing our habits to have the quickest reduction of our plastic uses. To keep feeling empowered and to empower others, there are also several groups and individuals that publish their successes on social media by using #choosetorefuse and #plasticfreejuly.
The challenge can be taken to schools, workspaces, community groups or families. To help everyone reach their goal, the website of Plastic Free July is packed with tools like posters to print out, tips, “make you own” ideas and recipes to avoid using, for example, cleaning/beauty products in plastic bottles, plastic lining in bins and much, much more. Have a look at theirLiving Plastic Freetab in the menu of their website. From cooking to gardening, ideas of gifts to pet care, the team behind the movement have found solutions for all our needs. It is only a matter of changing habits, and the benefits are infinite! Ready?
P.S.: Here at Sustainable Surf Collab, we will be happy to let you use one of our reusable coffee mugs, to pour your coffee into your own reusable takeaway cup, we are proud not to sell single use water bottles nor do we provide plastic straws or bags. We have a minimal usage of plastic packaging and we will be more than happy to have a chat about how we support local surf brands that have also found ways to avoid new plastics in their products, to tackle the plastic pollution problem affecting the ocean in which we all love to play!