Plastic Free July: one month without plastic

Plastic is a material that is used in many aspects of our lives, from food containers to fashion items. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that plastic is a major threat to the environment and the biodiversity that make up ecosystems.

The goal of the Plastic Free July campaign is to reduce the use of single-use plastic for the entire month.

In 2011, the Plastic Free Foundation launched Plastic Free July in Australia. It has since grown into a global challenge, with 100 million people from 190 countries already involved. It has also inspired hundreds of solutions to reduce the use of plastics in everyday activities.

As the website states, the initiative was developed by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz (founder of the Plastic Free Foundation) and a small team in local government in Western Australia.

It is perhaps worth noting that, thirteen years after its inception, the Plastic Free Foundation represents one of the world’s most influential environmental campaigns. It is encouraging to see that millions of people around the world take part every year, and that many pledge to reduce plastic pollution well beyond July.

The website indicates that, over the past five years, participants have collectively prevented 10 million tons of waste, including 1.4 million tons of plastic. This is a commendable achievement, particularly when one considers that it is larger than the combined total of the world’s largest cleanups.

Participating in this initiative means helping to reduce plastic pollution and raising awareness of the importance of responsible consumption. The challenge not only promotes a plastic-free life but also encourages the adoption of sustainable habits that can last a lifetime.

It is also interesting to explore their website, where we can find a wealth of information and practical advice on how to make positive changes to your daily habits in a variety of settings, such as:

  • at school;
  • in the office;
  • during domestic life;
  • during events;
  • for public administration;
  • within a community.

Regarding the scenarios presented, the site offers further guidance and illustrative examples of the type of activity.

Among the organisations, companies and entities participating in the event through the sharing of ideas and thoughts, Greenpeace has put forth a proposal for the occasion: a ban on the use of single-use plastics (such as those for bottle production) in New Zealand in favour of the use of reusable materials.

Despite the efforts of millions of participants, including private citizens, companies, and organisations, the use of plastic continues to pose a significant threat to biodiversity.

The Plastic Free Foundation is acutely aware of this challenge and is working tirelessly to find solutions.

In addition to the campaign related to the month of July, the organisation also promotes and organises awareness-raising events, such as those in the Philippines, or awareness campaigns in schools, or even those targeting the food sector.

It is important to remember that there is a world, a beautiful one, beyond plastic.

We can see the last Plastic Free July Impact Report 2023 and their YouTube channel for more information!