keep cup

Plastic. It’s an amazing product. It has fundamentally changed the way with live. Have a look around you, take a stock take of the plastic in close proximity to you, how many pieces of plastic can you count….2...5...10 or more? Are you surprised at how much there is?

To imagine a life without plastic is impossible yet it’s quickly destroying our planet. Like most technology, plastic was born from necessity, to replace the reliance on natural materials such as bone, tusk, horn, shell, stone and metal (ironically it was initially touted as the saviour of the rapidly declining elephant and turtle population).

From it’s conception, plastic has made production quick and cheap; fueling consumerism. It’s polluted the planet at an alarming rate and it breaks up but not down (meaning it lasts forever!).

Plastic Free July was started in 2011 to raise awareness around single use plastic and challenge people to do something about it. The goal is to encourage people to be part of the solution by:

  • Avoiding plastic in the first instance
  • Reducing where possible

  • Refusing plastics products

  • Recycling what can’t be avoided

Reducing and avoiding plastic in your life doesn’t need to be hard. There are plenty of ‘easy wins’ to help you get some runs on the board.

Stop buying disposable water bottles

Bottle watered is big business, it’s more expensive than milk, soft drink and petrol, which is ludicrous considering it’s free out of the tap! Even though plastic water bottles can be recycled there really are no reasons to buy them. There are plenty of great reusable water bottles on the market now. I have a small stainless steel Klean Kanteen for my bag and a larger one for my desk.

Carry a reusable coffee cup

It’s a common misconception that takeaway coffee cups can be recycled. This is untrue. Paper takeaway cups with a plastic (polyethylene) film are not recyclable and most paper cups end up in landfill. Swap out the paper cups for a reusable mug or cup, such as the Keepcup. They are made in Australia from recycled plastic.

Bring your own shopping bags

Australians use an estimated six billion plastic bags every year and can take up 1,000 years to break down. Why use plastic bags when there are so many options for reusable bags? Check out these Onya produce bags, they are made from 100% recycled PET. (Don’t forget to sign the petition to #banthebag here).

Brush with bamboo toothbrushes

Due to their small, slender shape and blend of plastic and nylon toothbrushes are difficult to recycle and end up in landfill every year. According to Environmental Toothbrush, 30 million toothbrushes are disposed of every year in Australia equaling 1000 tonnes of landfill each year. Swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush, which is 100% biodegradable.

Say no to plastic straws

This can be difficult to remember, especially if you’re at a busy bar enjoying a few cocktails, but ask for ‘no straw’ a few times and it will soon become second nature. Plastic straws aren’t recyclable, don’t biodegrade and are one of the most commonly found pieces of rubbish on beaches and in oceans. If you really miss using a straw for your smoothies, you can buy a reusable glass or metal straw.

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