Plastic Free July 2021 - Australian Beginner's guide
by Katherine Hynes
Is this your first Plastic Free July? Good on you for taking on the challenge during the pandemic. Don't worry, you don't have to go totally plastic free. Even making one or a few small changes this month will start you down the path towards living a more sustainable life.
You've probably noticed over the last year or so there's been a huge surge in the use of single use plastics. If ever there was a time to rethink how we consume and create waste, it is now. The Climate Crisis waits for no one.
Coming up are 5 simple ways to reduce plastic but firstly, consider switching to an Australian made Reusable Cloth Face Mask (instead of a disposable medical mask), Hand Sanitiser in a refillable glass bottle (instead of a plastic bottle) and natural soap bars (instead of plastic bottles of liquid hand soap).
Next, let's take a look at those 5 tips.
1. Switch to a Bamboo Toothbrush
If every Australian traded their old plastic toothbrush for a new bamboo toothbrush with a biodegradable handle, we would save an incredible 30 million plastic toothbrushes going to landfill each year. Boom.
2. Switch to a Reusable Bag
The best reusable bag in Australia is the one you remember to take. So make it one you'll love to use - and not only at the supermarket but at ALL shops, outings, and wherever you’re offered a plastic carry bag.
Keep a few bags or a basket in the car or hanging by the front door. Pop a light weight cotton string bag and a couple of reusable produce bags in your handbag or backpack. Now you'll never be caught without one.
3. Switch to a Reusable Water Bottle
Australians buy 1 billion plastic bottles of water a year, yet only 20% are ever recycled. Get yourself a quality reusable Stainless Steel Drink Bottle and fill with tap water. Not only will you help the environment by refusing plastic bottles, you'll also save money long term.
4. Switch to a Reusable Coffee Cup
How often have you seen a bin overflowing with takeaway coffee cups? Australians throw away 1 billion takeaway coffee cups and lids every year. Imagine the difference if we all used a Reusable Coffee Cup? If your favourite cafe says they're not currently accepting reusable cups, remove the lid yourself and ask them to do the no-touch pour method.
5. Switch a Shampoo Bar
When you buy shampoo in a plastic bottle, you're paying not only for the product, but for the packaging, water content, and the associated transportation costs. Switch to a plastic free Shampoo Bar. Just add a little water, lather up, and wash your hair. As an added bonus, your eco friendly bathroom will look so much nicer minus the plastic bottles.
Making these small changes will make a big difference to reducing the amount of plastic waste you produce.
We all recognise that plastic has been both a wondrous invention and a devastating one. Let’s keep plastic for important uses like medicine, transport, and technology and try to eliminate all the single-use and unnecessary plastics that are causing great harm to the environment.
Best wishes for Plastic Free July, and beyond.
- If you’ve mastered the basics and would like to level up for more plastic free swaps, head on over to Asiki eco store, Sydney, Australia where you’ll find Veggie Savers, Silicone Baking Mats, Stainless Steel Pegs, Plastic Free July 2021 Starter Kit and eco gifts.
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- If you would like to talk more about Plastic Free July, reducing waste or have tips to share, please come and join the conversation on our Facebook Group ‘Zero Waste Australia’.
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Katherine Hynes is an Actor, Voiceover Artist and Sustainability Speaker. She is also the co-founder of Asiki eco store – offering eco friendly products for sustainable living.
Photos: Natanya Shearer-Stanton and Katherine Hynes.