Plastic Free July | Why Is It Important?
Date Posted:6 July 2021
"It's not just
one plastic straw
one plastic bag
one plastic bottle
one plastic cup
one plastic container.
It's at least 7.9 billion of each".
- Net Zero Company
Plastic Free July is here! This week we'll be explaining why it is important, what we're doing to reduce plastic and how you can get involved in the movement.
With the recent lockdown in many states of Australia, it is a good time to start to change our habits. What better time to cut out or cut down plastic all together?
By taking part in Plastic Free July, you'll be challenging yourself as well as other's decisions and ultimately end the production of plastic!
Why Is It Important?
Plastic is derived from fossil fuels, making it the most non-renewable and unsustainable resource in the world. Since 1907, it's become the most preferred material for just about everything. It is really difficult to recycle petroleum-based plastic and with new chemicals added in it's even harder to break down. In fact, all of the plastic that has come into existence over the past century is still on Earth and is releasing toxic chemicals into the air, during the process of deterioration.
Humans produce 300 million tonnes of plastic each year and half of these plastics are disposable. Out of the devastating 300 million tonnes, only 10-13 % are being recycled worldwide.
Before the big plastic boom in the 1960s, people got along just fine without single use plastics. So, in 2021, we can too.
What Are We Doing?
In fashion, it is a standard practice for each item to be individually wrapped in plastic. That's a huge waste! Fifteen years ago, when we started Bamboo Body, we were shocked with this practice and asked our factory not to package our items in plastic. Imagine all of the plastic we have saved during that time!
Since the beginning we have always wrapped orders in brown paper rather than send in garment slips and satchels. At first, some customers thought this was a strange thing to do but we are finding more and more of our customers appreciate this practice. The small amount of soft plastics that we do use in the warehouse are always dropped off to Redcycle - a company that recycles plastics and reproduces them into a huge range of recycled-plastic products.
Read how some of our BB members limit their plastic use below.
Elouise | Founder
"I find it easy to say no to plastic bags, straws and disposable coffee cups but it can be a lot more difficult to avoid plastic packaging when buying food from your standard grocery store. I now buy food like nuts, rice, pasta and so on from bulk food stores. The quality is great, there is a lot of variety and there is no plastic packaging!"
Amanda & Claudia | Customer Service
"We take our eco-friendly bags shopping and refuse plastic bags in store. We also try to buy food that isn't wrapped in plastic and recycle packaging as much as possible. Using beeswax wraps and containers is a must in our homes rather than using single use plastics and we always use reusable cutlery and dishes for parties instead of disposable plastics or paper."
Oystein | Analytics
"I always make sure to only buy fruit and veg and other things at the shop that aren't wrapped in plastic. I've already replaced plastic carry bags with hessian bags!"
How You Can Get Involved
A large part of using less plastic is to bring your own, plan ahead and make things yourself! Sometimes it can be easier said than done, so we've come up with some simple ideas to help you start small.
Think budget vs investment; remember, the most sustainable option is to use what you have first, and then if you need to buy something, buy it second-hand or buy the best quality you can afford (keeping the environment in mind), according to your needs.
Swap out your soap: This is an easy one! Try swapping out liquid soaps (that usually come in large plastic bottles) for bar soaps. Bar soaps come in different blends to suit body washing, face wash, shampoo and shaving. If soap bars aren't your thing, try using zero waste products. There are more businesses producing zero waste personal care products these days and a quick online search will bring up your local brands producing these products.
Quit the 4 main takeaways: If you're feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to start, try quitting the top 4 takeaways. This includes plastic bottles, disposable coffee cups, plastic bags and straws.
Buy less frozen food: the problem with frozen food (aside from the fact that it's usually processed) is that the packaging is mostly plastic. Try shopping less frozen and more fresh produce. This is not only better for the environment but better for your health too!
Pick up waste with newspaper: Clean up after your pet with newspaper or regular paper. This eliminates the need for plastic doggy bags and it's cheaper! If you can't use newspaper, try these compostable dog waste bags from Nourished Life. They're made from sustainable and fully compostable plant starch and are just as cheap as plastic doggy bags.
Try alternatives to plastic containers! Instead of buying more plastic containers to store your food in try using glass, stainless steel, wood, bamboo, natural fibre cloths or beeswax wraps. You can try cheap and easy DIY beeswax wraps (what better way to spend lockdown?) or purchase some from Flora and Fauna.
Walk the talk; many clothing brands (especially fast fashion brands) use plastic in the production process, from the microfibres in textiles to plastic packaging. Avoid creating extra waste by finding clothing made from sustainable materials like us here at Bamboo Body, or through op-shops!
To find out more ways you can limit your plastic use, visit the Plastic Free July website.