Plastic Free July: Stay Diligent, My Friends
Plastic-free July – The next steps
We hope your Plastic-free July challenge is going well so far and we thank you for taking part in this great initiative! As it is now July 18th and our previous blog post gave tips on how to get started in the challenge; we thought we’d give you some advanced tips on how to continue the challenge and reduce even further the use of plastic!
#1 We don’t like bin liners!
As you might imagine, trash can liners are made of plastic and end up in the landfill together with trash, where they remain until the end of time. They are used every day and therefore seem like a difficult one to get rid of, however this is not entirely the case because there are alternatives to them!
You have the option to buy certified compostable bin liner bags
We do understand that these compostable bin liners are more expensive and, if you simply can’t afford them, you can utilize your bin ‘naked’, that is, without a bin liner and wash it as needed. You can consider wrapping food waste with some paper (from old newspapers or magazines) before throwing it in the bin.
#2 We say “no” to plastic cling wrap!
Plastic cling wrap is a must for most households, so this might seem impossible to eliminate! But don’t worry, it is easily substitutable:
Instead of wrapping your work sandwich with cling foil, you can use reusable containers. Embrace your tupperware!
We are huge fans of beeswax wrap! A reusable wrap that can be easily washed with dish soap. They can last for years and completely replace plastic wrap!
In a pinch, cover your leftover food with an upside down plate!
#3 Avoid teabags that contain plastic
This may be a shock to all tea drinkers, but many brands actually use plastic for their teabags; this type of plastic is called polypropylene, which prevents tea bags from falling apart. British people are one of the biggest consumers of tea, with numbers reaching 60.2 billion cups of tea each year, out of which 96% of all cups are made from tea bags, rather than tea leaves. The U.S. is not free from blame here, however. Many Americans are unaware that most tea bags contain plastic.
To ensure that your tea bags are eco-friendly, check the box, or even the website of the brand.
“A Guide To Plastic Free Tea” is a great blog post by 1millionwomen that shares the best plastic-free tea brands!
Of course, another option is to use loose leaf tea bags or buy a reusable tea infuser! Just make sure that the loose leaf tea packaging is free from plastic or take your own container to your local tea store!
#4 Takeaway cutlery & containers
Take out is becoming more and more common nowadays: when we are at work, when we simply don’t want to cook, or don’t have the time. But think of how much plastic is being used! The good news is that you can still purchase from takeaways, you just need to do it differently:
Take your own cutlery with you! This can be just your regular knife and fork taken from home and wrapped in a cloth, or you can buy reusable lightweight bamboo cutlery. If you are ordering food to be delivered to your place through an online platform, you can leave a note not to include any cutlery.
Some takeout restaurants allow you to bring your own reusable container, therefore if you have a specific takeaway that you usually use, you should ask if they allow you to take your own container.
There are a few awareness campaigns aimed at sensitizing people regarding this takeout plastic issue. One of these is TakeoutWithout, which is targeted at both consumers but also restaurant owners!
We hope that these tips are useful for anyone participating in the Plastic-free July challenge and we encourage you to turn these into habit so that the July challenge is just a starting point for greener lifestyles!