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2020 has been a challenge for us all to say the least . For the most part, this pandemic has been pushing us to use throw away masks, gloves and head covers which has unfortunately led to a huge increase in single use waste. The question is, are we conscious about where this waste is all going? Are they properly treated? Are those who are having to handle these items that end up going through recycling centres properly protected? As a conscious citizen what is our role and responsibility?
Queue a saving grace to jog our memories of our wastefulness, plastic free July. Plastic Free July is a global movement that millions of people take part in, as an attempt to help solve the plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and more sustainable communities to live in.
We can all find some ways to better our own personal plastic footprint, so in this article we want to list 5 easy steps which will help you to reduce your plastic waste. But, we must keep in mind all these steps are not suitable for everyone. Everyone’s situation is different, and we must adopt things according to our needs and lifestyles. The one thing we must all remember is that plastic is intertwined into most of our day to day lives, and simply waking up tomorrow and not using again is quite unrealistic. However, as long as we are making some small changes and consistently working on improving, then we will all be taking a step in the right direction. So, let’s have a look at those quick wins...
Lunch: If you have the option to take your lunch from home, then go for it. It's not only reduces all that plastic packaging from buying things at a cafe or shop, but it’s also a great way to avoid having to go into shops during the pandemic.
Reusable coffee-cups: If you’re someone who can’t start class or work without a cup of coffee then a coffee cup is a must! Every year over 16 billion disposable coffee cups are produced and thrown away. During lock-down it is a great opportunity to buy your own home coffee machine, and learn how to make the best coffee from home so you can leave the house ready every day.
Buy local products: Make a habit this July to buy locally made products as much as you can. Search for amazing small local businesses and buying from them not only supports your local community, but also reduces the amount of energy and packaging used to transport products around the world. It may be a little more expensive but it’s a great way to avoid plastic waste.
Reusable water bottles: Ask yourself this. How many times over the last year have you bought a bottle of water from the shops? Now think about how many people there are on this planet doing the same, the numbers become quite alarming. Especially when the majority of the bottles don’t actually get recycled. Simply bringing your own water bottle out with you can save you money and the planet.
Disposing of your plastic: We are producing more plastic waste than ever before. If you are lucky enough to have a recycling program in your community then this will be a great way to handle the waste. On a day to day basis though, look for recycling bins rather than putting it straight into a general waste bin, and if you can’t find one, hold onto it until you get home and put it in your general curbside recycling bin.
The plastic free July 2020 challenge is right around the corner, take the challenge and see how well you do. Share the campaign with a friend. Buy a reusable water bottle or coffee cup. And just remember, you don’t have to do everything, just pick what works for you and make a small change!
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