Last year I failed Plastic Free July within a few hours, here's how you can do better.

Unfortunately, we live in a plastic driven world. Every piece of plastic ever created still exists somewhere. It's a thought that is both mind boggling and stress inducing. Each July, I challenge myself to part take in #plasticfreejuly. The aim sounds simple in theory; avoid single-use-plastic.

Going plastic free is no small feat. and spoiler alert: I’ve failed more times than I’d like to admit. Each shop, you start to realise just how much plastic is around us, I mean most everyday items have elements that aren't recyclable. From pasta, to frozen veggies, even your favourite bar of choc is usually a culprit. Who knew something as delicious as chocolate could be such an ethical minefield!? 

Did you know, more than 8 million tonnes of new plastic pollution enter our oceans each year, killing our precious wildlife, like turtles, whales, dolphins, seabirds. We need this to end.

Plastic Free July is a campaign which promotes the refusal of single-use plastic for the month of July to raise awareness around the impact of plastic on the world. Over 1 million people from 130 countries join forces every year to challenge themselves and others to question our plastic use. Plastic Free July is about attempting to refuse single-use plastic during the month of July. ‘Attempting’ is the important bit! So, maybe, just maybe, this year will be my year. 

Here are 5 tips for nailing Plastic Free July.

01 Be as prepared as possible

Reminding yourself to carry sustainable swaps on you should now be a staple in your morning routine. Keys, check. Wallet, check. KeepCup, check. Reusable Cutlery, check. Metal straw, check. There are so many accessible swaps out there that you can find, in fact, we’ve started making a whole list here. The more you are prepared when you’re out and about the better, because most venues serve you plastic without even thinking. 

02 Limit eating out as much as possible 

As mentioned above, it’s quite difficult to leave the house these days without subconsciously stumbling across plastic too. Your favourite cocktail is served with plastic straws, your takeaway sandwich is given to you in a box with plastic wrap. If you’re not in lockdown and know you need to get a takeout meal, why not try and dine in and request any elements that include plastic be removed. 

03 Shop from the source

Just try and buy a loaf of bread without plastic from a supermarket. Impossible, it’s everywhere. And don’t get me started on the amount of fruit sold in plastic these days. It’s best to plan in advance and buy bulk at growers markets, if you’re looking for some inspiration in this department, why not head down to your local The Source Bulk Foods. 

04 Creating a sustainable household is easier than it looks

Sometimes tackling the single-use plastic problem can start from the inside out. If you dedicate time to make your household more sustainable, soon, all of this just becomes second nature. For example, when you finish a pasta sauce  jar, rather than throwing it out, just give it a good rinse and then the next time you head to The Source, you can use this for your shop (they make the perfect nut jars). Swap out your supermarket shampoo for sustainable bars. And stop buying single-use cleaning products when we have the perfect solution for you – the Happy Human bundle.

05 Don’t be so hard on yourself

If you slip up, don’t throw in the towel. Plastic is sadly unavoidable, but we can endeavor to use it only when needed. And as we know, in this great fight against plastic doing anything is better than doing nothing. Each small contribution counts and by swapping out to reusable tools and avoiding single-use products, you can help our planet a little everyday.

So, even if you only manage to reduce your plastic consumption by a small amount this July, adopting any of these habits in your day-to-day is an excellent step towards shifting your mindset around plastic consumption. And remember not to be too hard on yourself if you slip up!

What is one new plastic item you're swapping this plastic-free July to reduce your waste?