Could you choose to refuse single-use plastic for the month of July? Plastic Free July is an award-winning campaign developed to encourage individuals, organisations, businesses and communities to reduce the single-use plastic they use in July. As well as the 31 day Plastic Free July challenge (although if that sounds too hard, you can choose to accept the challenge for a week or even just a day), the campaign works to create conversations and provide education around the issues of plastic pollution and more importantly, promote the solutions.
Created by the Western Metropolitan Regional Council, the Plastic Free July challenge began in Cottesloe, Western Australia in 2011 with less than 40 participants. From its humble beginnings, the challenge has grown into a state-wide, national and now international campaign which in 2016 had over 100,000 West Australians and more than 1 million people worldwide accepting the challenge. In 2017, we’re expecting the challenge to reach even more people and create an even bigger positive impact.
Whether you choose to refuse a handful of items for a single day, choose to refuse all plastic for the entire month, or anything in between, the Plastic Free July challenge is all about taking positive action and being part of a movement creating lasting change. With our focus on solutions, it’s easy to take the challenge into our local communities, schools and organisations. Organising a plastic-free morning tea with colleagues, gathering a group of friends to watch a documentary, or getting your local community group to do a beach clean are just some of the ways our participants are spreading the Plastic Free July message. Businesses are getting on board too, encouraging customers to bring reusable coffee cups for takeaways, saying no to plastic straws in restaurants and bars, and removing plastic bags from their stores.
If you’d like to do something in support of Plastic Free July but don’t know where to start, the Plastic Free July website has a toolbox full of ideas to help you plan events. With downloadable logos and template posters, through to inspiring stories and detailed case studies, and ideas for the types of events you could host in your local community, you’ll be supported all the way. You can also follow along on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) to see what others are getting up to.
For more information about Plastic Free July, to signup and to access the free resources, visit the website at www.plasticfreejuly.org.
And if this seems overwhelming, take Maggie’s advice to be kind to yourself.