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I’m sure that you’ve heard by now how harmful plastic is to our world. The fact that it can last on Earth for up to 1,000 years after its creation is why I’m taking the pledge to have a Plastic Free July. You should join me.
As of 2015, approximately 6300 Mt of plastic waste had been generated, around 9% of which had been recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment. If current production and waste management trends continue, roughly 12,000 Mt of plastic waste will be in landfills or in the natural environment by 2050.Science Advances via ScienceMag.Org
When I read this, I thought of how insane it is that 79% of the plastic generated until 2015 was in the natural environment or landfills. Knowing that it can take up to 1,000 years for plastic to break down, this seriously terrifies me.
The craziest part of these numbers is how low the recycling percentage is. This automatically shows you that recycling is not as effective as we are led to believe. After all, if a recycling container is contaminated, the entire container full of plastics cannot be recycled.
In addition to that, recycling is actually the wrong term. Plastics are downcycled rather than recycled, because they cannot be recreated into the same item. A plastic water bottle will never be a plastic water bottle again. Instead, it will become something like a bench in a park.
If this information disturbs you as much as it has me, then let’s do something about it together!
Before I explain how you can take the pledge for a Plastic Free July, I want to share with you some things I’ve done and what I hope to accomplish during the month of July.
My story is far from perfect, but I hope it encourages and helps you see that any measure taken to reduce your plastic consumption makes a large impact!
Here is one of my favorite reminders to keep going, even if it isn’t perfect:
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”Edward Everett Hale
My Plastic Free Journey
For the past couple of years, I’ve worked to reduce my plastic consumption and have successfully made a dent within how much I consume. However, there is more I would like to do to double the size of that dent.
The plastic I’ve managed to replace, so far:
- Plastic tupperware with glass and stainless steel options.
- Plastic spatulas and other kitchen utensils with wood or stainless steel options.
- Drinking glasses with mason jars I already had.
- Plastic straws with reusable straws,
- Plastic coffee mugs with glass and stainless steel coffee mugs.
- Single use plastic bags with reusable fabric bags.
As you can see, my progress is pretty much in my kitchen. I have not ventured far into the other areas of my home. I think focusing on a Plastic Free July is the perfect excuse to see how I can further my progress.
My goals for Plastic Free July:
- Refuse single use plastics, such as plastic straws, to go containers, etc.
- Only replace things that are no longer useful.
- If I cannot afford or easily replace something with a plastic free option, then I will try a DIY recipe.
- Carry my infuser water bottle everywhere with me.
- Give myself grace for what I cannot help.
My biggest obstacle with this pledge is that my community is not low waste friendly. We don’t have a bulk store option, and a lot of the things I need are wrapped in plastic. Since I cannot help this, I am not going to beat myself up over it.
I’m going to do all I can to reduce my plastic waste, and I hope you will join me in taking this pledge.
P.S. It is my birthday month, and helping our only planet would be the best birthday present you could give!
Take the Plastic Free July Pledge!
I want you to take the pledge with me, so please visit the Plastic Free July website to submit your participation in this challenge!
There are three different focuses you can choose from as a focus for your pledge. You can choose one of them or all three:
- Avoid single-use plastic packaging
- Target takeaway-items (The Top 4: bags, bottles, straws, & coffee cups)
- Go completely plastic free
I chose to avoid single-use plastic packaging [again, as much as I can] and target takeaway items. While I would love to go completely plastic free, I know that isn’t an options for me. So to set a goal that is unattainable isn’t going to help.
Once you’ve pledged, check out their ‘Get Involved’ page to see how/what changes you can make to reduce your plastic waste.
I’m excited to take on this challenge with you, and I cannot wait to see how much we can reduce our plastic consumption together!