Plastic free July is in full swing, and 2018 has seen the mark of many companies start to make the stand against single use plastics. McDonalds UK have recently announced that they will be ditching the plastic straws for good, with Boston Tea Party and many other high street chains who have made a pledge against boycotting single use plastics.
It is only just the beginning, but with plastic free July more people than ever are starting to think, and become mindful of the plastic that they are using on a daily basis.
Lewis Pugh, endurance swimmer and ocean advocate is currently into his 50 day consecutive swim from Lands End to Dover, his biggest challenge yet. Campaigning for cleaner and thriving oceans, and if anyone has seen the oceans dramatically change over the last 20 years then it’s Lewis. His campaign ties in perfectly with plastic free July and with daily coverage on Sky, if Lewis can swim the length of the English Channel, then we can certainly start cleaning up our act from the comfort, and warmth of our own home.
Plastic free July is open to everyone, and we should all be actively reducing our single use plastic now if we want to make a considerable difference to our planet.
Not sure where to start? Here’s how we are making a stand against plastic at BabyDam HQ and you can too.
- Investing in reusable bottles for cold and warm drinks immediately cuts the use of single use plastic. If you’re caught short and have to buy a bottle of water on the go then don’t bin it! Reuse the bottle again, and again. Bringing your own thermal cups for warm drinks can also cost you less too, for your favourite high street coffee chains, here’s the ones you need to know about;
- Pret – 50p off your hot drinks.
- Starbucks – 25p off your hot drinks AND they will be charging an extra 5p to those who use takeaway cups.
- Costa – 25p off your hot drinks.
- Greggs – 20p off your hot drinks.
- Caffe Nero – You won’t get any money off (boo), but for customers with a reusable cup you will get an additional stamp on your loyalty card.
- Stop buying plastic straws. You’ve probably already seen the upsetting videos of the turtles with the straw lodged in their nose, and if you haven’t, don’t watch it, but also make sure you no longer buy plastic straws. Many restaurants and cafes have started to boycott these, or keep them behind the counter so they can’t be so easily used. Invest in metal or paper straws instead, a simple switch that will help yourself and the environment around you.
- Bring reusable shopping bags or tote bags to do your shopping. Despite the efforts of making carrier bags have a 5p charge, many people are still buying them and sometimes if we simply forget we have the choice between buying a 5p bag or trying to juggle 20 items in our hands back to the car. To avoid it, be prepared. Carry a spare carrier bag in every bag and leave some in your car. Gone are the days of having a carrier bag filled with more carrier bags, they’re damaging to the environment and we just don’t need them anymore.
- How do you transport your packed lunch to work or school? It’s time to start thinking about how we are packaging our food and start switching to more sustainable methods. Instead of using cling film for sandwiches why not use a box instead? Instead of using zipper bags in the fridge, use jars or glass containers instead.
- Try making a waste free switch for your periods. Instead of using sanitary towels and tampons, invest in a moon cup (non disposable, reusable cup) or fabric reusable pads (you can even DIY your own). If you’re not too sure about switching, evaluate the types of tampons you use and opt for the ones without plastic applicators.
- Next time you’re at the fruit or vegetable aisle and you’re just picking up a few of each, stop yourself from reaching for the plastic bags. Your fruit and veg is washed when you get home anyway and it avoids the needless use of more plastic bags. We can guarantee they end up straight in the bin when you get home anyway…
- It won’t be long until the colder nights are here and we are avidly lighting candles to create a hygge environment, whilst a lighter might seem like a longer term version they still become single use plastic in our landfills. Make the switch to matches or invest in a refillable metal lighter instead.
Taking part in Plastic July? We’d love to hear from you and what your top tip to creating a plastic free future is! Keep up to date with the latest news and competitions from BabyDam over on our Facebook page or Twitter!