Thoughts at the end of Plastic Free July
Updated: Apr 13
We've reached the end of our first official Plastic Free July. Over this time, we've learnt a lot about plastic use, how to reduce our own use further and amazing lifestyle hacks that makes it so easy to go low plastic.
This month we have given you some thoughts with the waste free scene, with our views on the waste free jar, I have given some thoughts into my own journey, how I make my beeswax wraps, how to make tiny switches to remove plastic in your tea bags, thinking about plastics in a global context- and the responsbility of us all to act.
For myself, I have spent a lot of this month, doing my usual... Plastics are a huge part of my life, as a conservationist. I have spent a lot of time this month picking up bottles, straws, single use crisp packets, laundry liquid sachets, toothbrushes, lighters up from the beaches. My favourite part of this month, was the lovely girls taking the initiative to help me on my beach clean, on a particularly bad stretch of beach, here on Malapascua.
There are a lot of positives within the plastics movement, of community engagement, social voice, business and policy change.
But, we have also learnt that there is a life beyond plastic.
Going "less plastic" shouldn't completely take over your life and make life uncomfortable. Making it workable whilst letting you get on with your life is the ideal solution. There are also a huge range of environmental issues past plastic- that are just as important to incorporate into our lifestyles. Some plastic use is important, especially relating to our health. We should adapt and utilise plastic where it can be useful, and remove it from our lives wherever its not necessarily. Necessary uses includes medicinal needs and for those that need straws. Long lasting equipment that can be recycled again is also a positive use of plastic
I am also growing more frustrated with straw awareness campaigns. Straws are a fabulous entry into reducing your plastic use, and getting business to make small changes. But we NEED to think past straws! There are a huge array of plastics that need awareness, for us, the key concern is micro plastic fibres from synthetic clothes. This was our plastic of plastic free july. Straws are by far one of the most common items I find (everywhere, not just on the beach) but we HAVE to continue the discussion.
Plastic is in the public consciousness, and thank god so much awareness is being raised. But what about the environmental pollutants we can't see? What about the chemicals destroying reefs when we jump in for a snorkel?
My message to you at the end of Plastic Free July, is to ironically think past plastic. In striving for the Plastic Free Jar enlightenment, are you buying environmentally damaging products? Can you strike up a balance? Can you write to your favourite companies and ask them to make their products without the non-recyclable packaging?
We need to make sure we avoid creating a heap of other waste and environmental problems (paper) through our distaste for plastic. Yes, although paper is biodegradable, its a huge resource, and paper bags every time at the check out is not a solution. Reusable bags, are.
And this all comes back around to doing your own reading. Hit up google scholar, get informed. Don't forget, all of the blog pieces will be available forever, though the blog. We also have plastic free resources available in our knowledge hubs, on the home page.
We hope you've enjoyed Plastic Free July, and that you've managed to quit some plastics. We certainly improved too!