Plastic Free Seas fully supports Plastic Free July (PFJ), a fantastic global movement which has encouraged millions of people since 2011 to be part of the plastic pollution solution. We invite you to join the PFJ challenge to reduce single-use from your daily life. Join the movement by signing up here. You will receive weekly tips and tricks and can follow what others around the world are doing.

Plastic Free July Pledge

Why not share your commitment to making a change with others? There is no better way to encourage change than to lead by example.

Whether you are going to refuse single-use paper cups (which are lined with plastic), or plastic drink bottles, food wrap or something else, we have a Pledge Card for you!

Save one of the Pledge Cards below, print it, fill in your name, then take a picture of your pledge card or even better, you holding your card and post it on social media. Be sure to #plasticfreepledge and tag @plasticfreejuly and @plasticfreeseas so we can see too!

Plastic Free Seas has many ideas to help you take action this July whether you are travelling, in the office, at school or at home. Choose one or more of our ‘Favourite Five’ or choose from the lists below. You can also download, print or share our Waste Free Living Everyday poster below as a reminder.

Our ‘Favourite Five’ 

With 5 weeks in July, you can try a new idea every week. Choose from our favourites or find more below. At the end of the month, celebrate your success with a waste-free celebration!

  1. Make healthy, homemade energy bars to avoid the packaging on individually wrapped snacks. Find an easy recipe here
  2. Use a water filter at school, home or the office to refill your cup or reusable water bottle.
  3. Refuse single-use coffee cups. Bring your reusable coffee cup or find a coffee shop with a reusable takeaway cup programme.
  4. Visit the nearest Green@Community recycling collection point. You may find that you can recycle a lot more than you think! Find your closest location here.
  5. Instead of using tea bags which often contain plastic, use a diffuser with loose tea leaves instead. For something different, you can add spices such as ginger, lemongrass, cardamom, or cinnamon.

We also have a handy Plastic-Free Living Checklist you can download to help you minimise your waste.

 

Plastic Free July Ideas for…

Plastic Free July Ideas for …

Plastic Free Travel

Avoiding single-use plastic and minimising waste is not only something to do at home. It is just as important when you are travelling, especially in low-and middle-income countries where waste infrastructure may be less developed and rubbish may more easily end up polluting the local environment and harming ecosystems.

If you plan to travel in July, consider the list of ideas below to help you reduce unnecessary waste during your travels. 

  • The essentials – bring along a reusable water bottle, food container, straw, cutlery and shopping bag. Many street food vendors and stall owners will be delighted if you offer them your reusable container, cup or bag.
  • For longer trips, bring a bottle brush to keep your reusable bottle clean.
  • Bring your favourite toiletries in reusable containers to avoid using the mini packaged toiletries in hotels.
  • Take along a cloth handkerchief or napkin. You will be amazed at how much paper you can save. And avoid wet wipes which can be made from plastic and contain harmful ingredients.
  • Research ahead of time whether you can drink tap water at your destination.
  • Investigate whether there is a map of water refill stations you can download.
  • Ask about recycling and composting at your destination so that you recycle what you can and manage your food waste.
  • Bring a long sleeve shirt or jacket on the plane to avoid using the plastic wrapped blanket.
  • When shopping, avoid buying packaged items, particularly those with excessive packaging.
  • Find out whether there is a farmers’ market nearby. You could find package-free fresh produce, and will be able to enjoy local products and traditions that may be new to you.
  • Consider whether you really need another souvenir. If you do want a memory of your trip, choose something locally made and package free.

 

Plastic Free July at School

Have you ever thought about how much single-use plastic waste is created at your school? There are actions you can take to help solve this problem, but it’s best to understand the scope of the problem first.

1. An audit is a great place to start: which single-use items are provided, how much is disposed of, is it being disposed of properly, etc. You could start in your canteen and then move to other parts of the school. 

Other things to think about at your school:
a. Is bottled water sold?
b. Are there vending machines? What is sold in them?
c. Are there water refill stations? Do people use them? Where are they located?
d. Are there recycling bins? Where are they located?

Check out our audit for schools for a sample audit form or create your own. Share your findings and suggestions with school leadership to help make change happen.

2. A lot of waste is brought into school by students and staff. This is an opportunity to change behaviour and reduce the amount of waste created. Find out how much waste is created from snacks and lunch.

Here are some ideas. Collect and record:
a. the amount of snack packaging waste created during break
b. the number of single-use food containers disposed of during lunch
c. the weight/volume of food waste created during lunch

Share your findings and suggestions with school leadership, in an assembly, on notice boards, in the school newsletter and on social media. You can be an agent of change!

See more ideas below to make change happen in your school. 

For July and Beyond

  • Plan special days to raise awareness and reduce waste:
    – Package-free snack and lunch day. This could turn into a weekly event.
    – No single-use cutlery day. This could turn into a ban on single-use cutlery.
    – No packaged beverages day. Provide reusable cups for students who forget their water bottle.
  • In order to encourage reuse and save resources, organise a book swap or 2nd-hand clothes event.
  • If your school has no or limited recycling, investigate your options and speak to school leadership about it.

Plastic Free July in the Office

Here are some fabulous ideas to take on in the office. Download, print or share this poster to show your support for Plastic Free July, and to remind colleagues of the easy steps they can take.

  • If you don’t have one, install a water refill station or filters and eliminate all packaged water – even for special guests and occasions. Make sure everyone knows how safe your filtered water is so they feel comfortable to drink it.
  • Are there single-use items in the canteen or pantry that could be eliminated? Suggest alternative options to leadership.
  • Visit the nearest Green@community location and find out what can be recycled.
  • If there is no recycling collection in your workplace, set up recycling bins and create a drop off schedule to take the recycling to the Green@Community location or arrange for collection.
  • Do a bin audit to assess what has been put in the rubbish bin which could have been recycled and what shouldn’t be in the recycling bins.
  • If you have recycling collection, find out where the recycling goes once it leaves the building and share with your colleagues. People are more likely to recycle if they trust the system.
  • In order to encourage staff to recycle more, remove rubbish bins from under or next to desks.
  • Do a review of your procurement policy and identify single-use items that you can eliminate. Are there things that can be ordered in bulk with minimal or no packaging?
  • Plan a waste-free celebration. Ask your caterer whether they can  offer minimal or no single-use service

 

ForJuly and Beyond

  • Support waste free businesses around your workplace such as coffee shops, restaurants and package-free stores. 
  • Spread the word. Use your email signature to share a message on sustainability.
  • Recycle old tech products responsibly. They can be taken to Green@Community or arrange WEEE Park to collect regulated waste electronics.
  • Rethink corporate gifts. If you must give a gift, make sure it has no packaging or reusable or recyclable packaging & is something useful.
  • Remember to also minimise waste during off-site events.
  • Invite Plastic Free Seas for a Lunch & Learn session.

Plastic Free July at Home

Five weeks in July to a plastic-free home. Here are some ideas to engage the whole family this summer.

 

  • Visit the nearest Green@Community spot and find out what can be recycled. Start separating your waste, set aside a bag to collect your recyclables and drop them off at Green@Community.
  • Cook a meal from scratch using package-free ingredients from the market or a package-free store.
  • Try laundry eggs or get laundry detergent refills instead of buying detergent in plastic bottles.
  • Make your own multi-purpose household cleaner. Water, vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda and olive oil are all useful ingredients. Store your chosen recipe in a reusable spray bottle.
  • Switch to reusable cleaning cloths instead of packaged tissues/wipes.
  • Make your own dips, yogurt, kefir or kombucha instead of buying it ready-made in packaging. 
  • Make sure that everyone in the family has a reusable kit, including a shopping bag, water bottle, coffee cup, cutlery and straw as required.
  • Have fruit for snacks on-the-go instead of packaged snacks.
  • Support shops that sell groceries, toiletries and cleaning products with no packaging.
  • Know what can be recycled and where your recycling is going once it leaves your building. Sometimes only plastic bottles are collected – not all plastic.
  • Regift presents you can’t use.
  • Instead of wrapping paper, use reusable fabric gift wrap or a scarf and avoid plastic tape.
  • Join a Buy Nothing Group on social media to find 2nd-hand items. If your neighbourhood doesn’t have one, create one yourself!