We are a society addicted to plastic. Since its invention over 110 years ago, plastic has been sold to us as something that makes life easy; because you can use it and then just throw it away. Every year between 4.8 and 12.7 million tonnes end up in our oceans. It is mind-blowing to think that every piece of plastic we have ever thrown away, still exists on the earth somewhere.
Whilst some plastics can be recycled, most end up in landfill or in the ocean. This causes huge problems for marine life. Plastic rubbish is found in 90 percent of seabirds and one dead pilot whale was found to contain 80 plastic bags in his stomach. This is an ongoing disaster. “Global plastic production doubles every 11 years,” Researcher Chris Wilcox says. “So in the next 11 years, we’ll make as much plastic as we’ve made since plastic was invented.”
Plastic Free July is an annual global movement challenging people to choose to refuse single-use plastic and go plastic free in July. Started in Australia in 2011, this amazing movement is driven by the Plastic Free Foundation and now sees millions participating all over the world.
At Thought, respecting the planet through sustainable, thoughtful living is part of our DNA. We use zero plastic in our labelling and packaging, source natural, sustainable yarns that use less water, fewer pesticides, and create less CO2. And we upcycle our leftover fabric at source so to reduce waste and create new products. So encouraging the use of less single-use plastic is really important to us.
How to Make a Change
The challenge is simple. Attempt to refuse single-use plastic during July. Single-use means plastic that is used once and thrown away. This is a big ask for some. If we can all make some small, mindful changes, this will still make a huge difference in the long run.
Here are our top tips for reducing your use of single-use plastic in July (and beyond!).
Ditch the plastic bag.
Replace with a reusable bag such as our Organic Cotton String Bag.
Not our cup of tea.
Some tea bags contain polypropylene, a toxic chemical that when composers seeps into the ground. Try switching to a plastic free tea bag brand.
Reduce single-use plastic in your bathroom.
Switch to eco-friendly toothbrushes, shampoos, soaps, make up pads and cotton buds. A great place to shop is The Humble Co.
BYO bottle (and coffee cup!).
Avoid plastic drinks bottles and single-use coffee cups by using reusable versions.
Say goodbye to cling film.
Replace plastic film with these beautiful beeswax food wraps.
Plastic free periods.
Opt for an eco-friendly alternative such as Flo, 100% organic, hypoallergenic and biodegradable cotton tampons and pads.
Zero waste shopping.
Buy some food jars and pick up your supplies from a plastic-free zero waste shop.
Invest in clothing made from sustainable, natural fibres. Read more about our materials here.
Beach Clean Up
The warm weather and more outdoor meet-ups, means that across Britain a lot of rubbish is being left on beaches. If you are lucky enough to live near the coast, get involved with a beach clean up. Or if you live in a town or city, try an Urban Beach Clean. You can find a list of events here.
Who to follow for plastic-free and zero waste living ...
Are you taking part in Plastic Free July or do you have any tips to reduce single-use living? Let us know in the comments or tag us on social media @thoughtclothing