The Plastic Free July challenge is here to help you rid your life of single-use plastic waste

Unlike dance battles and dangerous dares, here’s a “challenge” just about anyone can get behind.

The Australia-based Plastic Free Foundation is once again recruiting participants to take the Plastic Free July challenge — that is to go without single-use plastic for one day, one week or the entire month of July.

“Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution — so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities,” the organizers say on their website. “Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?”

The initiative, now in its ninth year, is spearheaded by the Australia-based Plastic Free Foundation, which aims to one day rid the world of plastic waste.

The annual event aims to provide resources and guides to help anyone interested in taking part “reduce single-use plastic waste every day at home, work, school, and even at your local café.”

Some of the basic solutions the organization suggests for reducing plastic waste include using reusable coffee cups and bottles, bringing your own reusable straws, buying bars of soap rather than liquid bottled soaps, avoiding pre-packaged foods if possible and simply buying less packaged goods overall. Though the campaign’s focus in on July, its push is to make an impact year-round.

Over the years, a number of governments around the world, including Canada, the European Union and some US states, have moved to ban various plastic products. But with plastic so prevalent in our daily lives, many are looking for concrete things they can do at home to have an impact.

“People worldwide are increasingly concerned with the impact humanity is having on the natural environment. They are looking for leadership and a way to participate in making a meaningful difference,” Gunther Hoppe, chairman of the Plastic Free Foundation board said in the organization’s 2019 annual report. “We believe that the Plastic Free Foundation can provide both.”

As part of its core values, Plastic Free Foundation operates under the principle that “small changes add up to make a big difference” and puts an emphasis on “inclusiveness of people, ideas, visions and approaches.”

The Plastic Free July campaign was started in 2011 by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz in Western Australia who later founded the not-for-profit Plastic Free Foundation Ltd in 2017.


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