Plastic Free July aims to raise awareness of the problems and amount of single-use disposable plastic in our lives and challenges people to do something about it. You can sign up for a day, a week or the whole month and try to refuse ALL single-use plastic or try the TOP 4: plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups and straws.
Angela Kokjernagle is spearheading this initiative in Cork and CEF is delighted to support the challenge. What can you do?
- As well as personally reducing your own consumption of disposal plastic, in particular the top 4, talk to others about it as much as possible!
- Share information on businesses that are plastic free, or low plastic, and shops that sell in bulk or have a larger selection of unpackaged items and publish them on the Zero Waste Ireland facebook page or your own personal pages.
Angela suggests that a staged approach to plastic reduction.is best. So for July – Stage 1: Reduce the TOP 4 – water bottles, plastic bags, coffee cups and straws. A great way to do this is to shop at your local Farmer’s Markets, and bring your own bags and containers. Bring your own container to the butcher or butcher counter, fishmonger and cheese counter. Shop around at your local supermarkets to see which store offers the best range of unpackaged produce. Bring your own coffee mug and/ or water bottle with you whenever you are out. And refuse straws if offered.
Once you’re happy with the progress you’ve made with the Top 4, start to look at other items you buy that are in plastic: dried fruit and nuts, yogurt, cereals, and see where you can source alternatives, buy in bulk or make your own. Or if you really want to go for it this July, see what you can do without!
Once this challenge becomes easier move on to Stage 2: Buy only food stuffs and other items not in plastic. Stage 3 ? Stage 4: Buy nothing that is plastic at all (Completely zero plastic). For parents with children in nappies, look into the Cloth Nappy Library, or a nappy free method called Elimination Communication.
At the end of the challenge we will circulate more suggestions on the staged approach based on feedback and comments during July.