Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July: Why We Should Ban Single-Use Plastics

You may have heard the buzz about Plastic Free July, an exciting environmental campaign that aims to protect the planet.

Hopefully, you even participated in reducing your use of single-use plastics. There's a good reason the plastic free movement is gaining momentum.

In fact, reducing your carbon footprint by reducing your plastic usage might be a habit you should adopt year round.  

What is the Plastic Free July Movement?

Plastic Free July is an award-winning campaign that aims to reduce the amount of plastic waste we produce. Ultimately, the goal of the movement is a world totally free of plastic waste.

This initiative was started in Australia in July 2011 by the founder and executive director of the Plastic Free Foundation Rebecca Prince-Ruiz  and has grown into an influential campaign with millions of participants worldwide. 

Although single-use plastics are convenient, they are also terrible for the environment.

Rather than using something once and then discarding it to languish in a landfill or litter our parks and oceans, Plastic Free July aims to change behaviours and attitudes toward using these types of products so that there is demand for more sustainable alternatives.

Why Plastic Free July Matters

Plastic pollution is a global problem and everyone has a role to play in preventing it.

The Plastic Free July movement unites millions of people who want to do their part to contribute to cleaner oceans, forests and communities. 

Although July is the month chosen for this campaign, the real goal of Plastic Free July is to get people united and excited about doing their part to reduce plastic pollution so that they continue beyond July and avoid single-use plastics whenever possible.

Plastic Free July aims to engage consumers, companies and governments to make real changes that eliminate plastic waste.

This campaign encourages consumers to choose to refuse single-use plastics. The more customers refuse single-use plastics, the more pressure there is on global brands to commit to being plastic-free.

At the same time, governments around the globe need to implement policies that ban plastic waste. Plastic Free July creates a cohesive effort to address all three of these levels of change. 

5 Benefits of the Plastic Free July Movement

Here are five fantastic reasons why you should consider participating in Plastic Free July…in July and every other month!

Reducing Plastic Waste 

Single-use plastics do undeniable damage to the environment, by injuring and killing both marine and land animals and leaching toxic chemicals into soil and groundwater. It also creates unsightly trash that takes up limited space in landfills, clogs rivers and floats into the ocean. 

The most obvious benefit of Plastic Free July is that it encourages people, industry and governments to take actions that reduce plastic waste. At CleanO2, we are committed to sustainability, which is why all our natural bar soaps come in recyclable paper packaging.

Environmental Awareness and Education

As an environmentally conscious person, the problems posed by plastics may seem obvious to you.

Yet many people around the globe remain oblivious to the impacts their personal use and disposal of plastics has over their lifetime. 

Behaviour change starts with awareness of the problem. The more people talk about the environmental damage that single-use plastic products cause, the more people will be inspired to do their part to solve this problem. 

By sharing fun and interesting resources, Plastic Free July helps individuals understand how much their choices matter when it comes to protecting the environment.

For example, the keep cup calculator tells you what your impact on the environment is based on how many takeaway coffees you typically enjoy in a month.

Encouraging Sustainable Practices

Making long-term changes starts with developing habits.

Participating in Plastic Free July inspires people to adopt environmentally friendly practices in every area of their lives through education and awareness about everything from sustainable fashion, to how to recycle properly and supporting businesses that use sustainable practices and packaging.

The Plastic Free July campaign provides helpful resources and weekly emails to participants that help them make crucial changes to reduce plastic use that they are likely to sustain well beyond July…and ideally permanently!

Influencing Industries to Reconsider Plastic

When consumers demand changes, industries are more likely to re-evaluate their use of plastics. Plastic Free July has already influenced companies to make changes.

One example is the Italian pasta company Barilla, which switched to non-plastic packaging in 2022, reducing plastic use by an estimated 126,000 kilograms in that year alone.

Participating in Plastic Free July will encourage even more companies in different industries to adopt more sustainable packaging options.

Back to blog