What is Plastic Free July and How To Do It?
It’s one month of the year that’ll help you kick your plastic habit!
Plastic Free July is an annual worldwide campaign that has its big promo in July each year. It highlights where you can focus down on the plastic problem and give reducing the stuff a serious go.
And once you find how easy it can be and you start finding the increasing range of great plastic free and zero waste products out there, we guarantee you'll want to keep going beyond July.
Plastic Free July started in Western Australia in 2011. It's now one of the most influential environmental campaigns in the world. 100+ million of us in 190 countries take part every year. And many commit to reducing plastic pollution far beyond the month of July. Now that's what we like to hear!
Plastic Free July is a key initiative of the Plastic Free Foundation that works towards a vision of seeing a world free of plastic waste. And who doesn't want that? It’s a great way to start thinking about plastic, how much we use and how we might reduce that. It’s working - millions of people can’t be wrong.
How Much Plastic Do We Use?
Way too much, and it doesn’t go away! Plastic takes hundreds of years to break down and does serious damage to our oceans, rivers and land. It is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, from the production and manufacture of the plastic itself to the way it is disposed of.
Annual global plastics production is now roughly 370 million metric tons per year – an increase of 80 percent since the turn of the century. Huge amounts of this become waste, with many plastic products thrown out after just one use and end up polluting rivers and oceans, causing devastating damage to marine life.
It’s estimated that UK households throw away a staggering 100 billion pieces of plastic packaging per year, averaging 66 items per household per week! These are mainly food packaging items. In 2021, 2.5 million metric tons of plastic packaging waste were generated in the UK.
Globally, the UK is believed to be the fifth-largest producer of single use plastic waste with an estimated three million metric tons generated in 2019, according to www.statista.com
Now that's scary stuff, right? But that’s why we can all make a difference and join up with Plastic Free July .. (and keep going)
How do I go plastic free?
Good news! It’s getting easier. Consumers like us are starting to demand more eco-friendly choices and brands are changing to meet this demand. A few small changes in our lifestyle and shopping habits will make a huge difference to how much plastic we consume.
Top Tips to be more eco-friendly and reduce plastic use
- Take time just to notice how much plastic you have/use in each room of the house, your brain will start to do the planning for less plastic!
- When you get a good idea of plastic in your life, search for zero waste or plastic free swaps, There’s so many alternatives out there.
- Always use bags for life and reusable shopping bags
- Ban single use plastics completely from your life (straws, takeaway coffee cups, plastic plates/cutlery, disposable make up wipes etc)
- Buy unwrapped food or recyclable packaging - like loose veg in the supermarket.
- Be strong but realistic about reducing your plastic use. New habits take time, but they tend to stick!
Shopping for plastic free and zero waste products
It won’t be a surprise, but we can help! Organics.com specialises in finding brands that are not only natural and organic, but we have lots of great brands that offer plastic free and zero waste products. Our natural bath & shower collection, eco-friendly homeware collection and our natural and organic health & beauty range feature some gorgeous plastic free products. So we’re a pretty good place to start to look for plastic free swaps for your home, or plastic free beauty products.
12 of the Best Easy Plastic Free Swaps
Why not give the Plastic Free challenge a go this year. These 12 plastic free product swaps will go a little way to help, so treat yourself and be good to the planet!!
Best Health & Beauty Plastic Free SwapsBattle Green Reusable Period Pads Starter kit
Period pads, tampons, panty liners - all disposable, all plastic.
Reusable period products are gaining momentum and are so worth looking at as a really great plastic free alternative. We know it’s going to take a little getting our heads around a change in such a personal product, but why are we so reliant on ‘disposable’ and plastic?
Battle Green have made a great zero waste starter kit so you can try it out first. The pads are made with a soft, fluffy white bamboo terry topper, with a black leakproof PUL fabric backing, and a super absorbent microfibre core. They use biodegradable, plastic-free packing materials. Simply wash and re-use. Think how much less waste that is - every month!
We love, love, love Bristol Made. An indy, zero waste company making 100% natural, organic, vegan skincare products in Bristol. Not only are their natural beauty products organic and effective, they are plastic free, reusable, recyclable and - look utterly gorgeous on your bathroom shelf!
We’ve picked the organic jasmine micellar water as a perfect plastic free swap. Packaged in a recycled glass bottle, you can re-use or recycle. Ditch the plastic bottles - easy!
With witch hazel, rosehip seed and jasmine oil, it cleanses and tones with hydration and doesn’t strip the skin. Fully organic, hand-made in small batches, no artificial additives - and yes, you guessed it .. zero waste :)
Made from 100% natural konjac plant root, this sponge is a gentle and effective way to exfoliate and cleanse. Use it with any of Bristol Made micellar water cleansers for super effective exfoliation and bright, radiant skin. Plant based, zero waste, plastic free. No more plastic wipes, or micro beads! Simple.
Plastic Free Douvalls Eco Soap Set
Douvall’s is all about cold pressed, ethically sourced pure organic Argan Oil and their products really work to deliver beautifully cleansed soft skin with maximum hydration.
Their hand crafted soap and soap saver set is the perfect eco-friendly, plastic free and vegan way to wash! Not only minimal recycled card packaging, but the soap saver is genius! Collecting from the wet soap bar, this little saver pad makes the bar last 8 times longer. Value, luxury and waste free all in one delightful little set.
Best Plastic Free Products for the Home
Homeware tends to be where a lot of plastic is lurking, especially in the kitchen. Our eco friendly homeware features some great plastic free swaps with products made from natural materials. Here’s a quick plastic free home edit.
Hate the sight of your plastic brushes and scourers? Do this swap! This little pair of pure coconut husk scourers will scrub any pot clean, are joyfully plastic free and will biodegrade when you’re finished with them!
Eco Coconut products are made with recycled Rubber tree's grown in a plantation. At the end of their life, they are replanted and the wood used for their brush handles. The bristles are made from sustainably farmed coconut husk’s. All of Eco Coconut products and their packaging and shipping materials are 100% Plastic Free and eco-friendly, down to the labels and tape.
What to swap the cling film with. Try these, you’ll never look back. Beeswax food wraps keep food as fresh and won’t cost the planet! You just simply rinse them after use and keep using them. Is their a simpler plastic free swap?
They look great in pretty patterns, come is 3 different sizes and we have a completely vegan pack too.
Reusable shopping bags aren’t news, but get the right one and you’ve literally got a friend for life!
These classic organic cotton string bags are naturally super strong. The bags have been checked out by Which? and will take up to 40kg and are "extremely strong and durable". A perfect washable swap for plastic bags, and another small step for a good eco-home.
Did you know your clothes fabric and all sorts of laundry has sneaky micro plastics? They do .. especially synthetic fabrics, unless you’re already switched on to 100% natural clothing! But listen, no-one is going to throw out their entire wardrobe. So welcome to the Guppy Friend washing bag.
Guppy Friend is a self-cleaning fabric bag with zip fastening. You can use the Guppy Friend with any type of textile that loses microfibres, but especially good to reduce the more damaging fibres from synthetic materials like polyester, acrylic, nylon, etc
Swap to Plastic Free Tea
This may be another surprising plastic fact, but your humble everyday teabag may well contain plastic!
Some tea bag brands contain a non-biodegradable plastic called polypropylene, which releases billions of micro plastic particles every time you brew up. Eek!
Imagine every single cup of tea made in the UK every day (it’s a big number!) and the sheer quantity of micro plastic making its way into the rivers and sea.
But again, don’t panic! This is a really easy swap. Loose leaf tea immediately does away with individual tea ‘bags’. And if you go organic, you’ll be chemical and additive free too.
Say hello to a beautiful vintage china teapot and organic loose leaf tea, with plastic free packaging and you’ve just made a cup of tea a whole new experience.
With Holy Basil, Ginger and Lemongrass, this is a fab natural & organic tea for full body cleansing and healthy weight loss. It detoxifies and rejuvenates your body's systems, restoring mental and physical wellbeing. Check out all our organic loose leaf teas.
Top Tip - No teapot? No problem. Use the Thiidin Tea Infuser for a perfect one cup moment. No plastic here!
Natural and plastic free gift for her, gift for him, gift for yourself? We have it! In fact we have lost of natural gifts, but try these for zero waste starters.
Go plastic free on-the-move with this great zero waste travel kit from Battle Green. Each gift box includes an eco friendly sustainable, reusable products, and handmade PETA certified vegan friendly and cruelty free cosmetics. Perfect for weekends away and holidays.
What's in the box?
- 1 x Battle Green bamboo toothbrush (100% bio-based bristles)
- 1 x Battle Green plastic free FSC bamboo toothbrush travel case
- 1 x plastic free Bamboo cutlery set in an organic cotton pouch
- 1 x Shampoo bar (55g)
- 1 x Travel Tin
- 1 x Wooden comb
And finally - and we just love this one. Make your own skincare! In a 100% plastic free, zero waste gorgeous looking package comes all the ingredients to DIY your own face mask and body scrub trio! This is the best ‘night in’, mothers day, best friend gift ever.
With easy instructions, you can whip up your own indulgent coffee & cacao body scrub and a trio of luxurious Cacao, Matcha tea and Camu Camu face masks:
Whether you are looking for a eco-friendly, plastic free skincare swap or want a seriously pampering gift for an eco-warrior loved one this make your own skincare kit is made for you!
It's easy to go Plastic Free if you know where to look! Go plastic free for one month and we swear you won't go back!
Love yourself, love your planet x