Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Month without Single-Use Plastic

Tomorrow is July. And your task for this July, should you choose to accept it, is to refuse any single-use plastic for a whole month. It’s not going to be easy, as reported back in 2008 when Chris Jeevons attempted to go a whole month without any plastic at all.


Why should you do this? Well, Plastic is designed to last forever, yet every day we use it for disposable items which last a few minutes and throw away. Most is landfilled, some is recycled and some ends up in the environment. It is estimated that 8 million tonnes enter the oceans per year where it entangles and is ingested by wildlife. Every bit of plastic ever made still exists somewhere and in the first 10 years of this century there was already more plastic produced than the entire last century.

Hence …. Plastic Free July

THE CHALLENGE
The challenge is quite simple. Attempt to refuse single-use plastic during July. "Single-use" includes plastic shopping bags, plastic cups, straws, plastic packaging...basically anything that's intended only to be used once and then discarded. If refusing ALL single-use plastic sounds too daunting this time, try the TOP 4 challenge (plastic bags, bottles takeaway coffee cups & straws).

THE RULES
Attempt to refuse single-use plastic during July. Remember it's not going to be easy! It is a challenge, not a competition so don't worry about being perfect. Collect any unavoidable single-use plastic you buy. Keep in a dilemma bag and share it with us at the end of the challenge.
It's up to you regarding how long you participate. You might decide to go plastic-free for a day, a week, a month or longer! However long you choose will still make a contribution.

Head over to the Plastic Free July website to register and they will send you some tips and tools as well as let you know about Plastic Free July events in your area. They have toolbox of ideas, recipes and tips to make your Plastic Free July a breeze. Any questions? Check out the FAQ page.

6 comments:

  1. Strange thing really. I've always considered the claim 'biodegradable' to be a bit of a tall story until I tried to take a Tesco carrier bag out of the glove compartment of my car. It had been in there for about a year (don't ask!). As I touched it the whole thing disintegrated catastrophically leaving a messy pile of white dust everywhere. And exactly the same thing happened about a month later with a similar carrier bag I tried to take out of a drawer. Restores yer faith dunnit?

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    1. Funnily enough, when I was writing the post I was thinking about the single-use black plastic bags we use every week to get rid of all the other non-recyclable single-use plastic we use.

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  2. Ergo: not ALL plastic 'is designed to last forever'. Another myth shot down!

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    1. But bio-degradable plastic is not "plastic" as we know it Jim, sorry Alfred.

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  3. An admirable campaign, I look forward to the day when all carrier bags are biodegradable. In addition to attempting to go plastic free for a month, I certainly think we should encourage everyone to recycle properly. On a walk to the station one bin collection morning it was quite depressing to see the number of recycle bins with very little in them and quite clearly the waste sacks full of plastic and paper, to think this, a low inconvenience easy task, is not taken up, what hope in our neighbours going out of their way to be plastic free for a month?

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  4. Polyanhydrides, PVA (polyvinyl alcohol), some aliphatic polyesters, celluloid and a few others are ALL biodegradeable and they're all classed as plastics mate. (And that Union Jack WAS upside down!)

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