Plastic Free July is a global movement that aims to help millions of people become part of ‘the solution to plastic pollution’. As a brand we are passionate about reducing plastic waste, and if we can all go plastic-free for a month, it shows how possible it is to do it for life.
HERE ARE OUR TOP TIPS FOR REFUSING SINGLE-USE PLASTIC THIS MONTH
1. Take your reusable bag everywhere
Get yourself a couple of lightweight, compact reusable bags to keep on you at all times. This way whenever you have to get a couple of things from the shop, you don’t have to get a single-use plastic bag as you have yours with you.
2. Keep a reusable water bottle and coffee cup with you
When you’re out and about, you can go through several plastic water bottles and coffee cups a day. This is why it’s important to have your own reusable bottle and mug, to reduce the amount of plastic waste you are creating on a daily basis. Also, this is a great way to save a little extra money, so it’s a win-win!
3. Buy in bulk and keep in glass jars
Instead of buying plastic bags of pasta, rice, etc. go to a local zero-waste store, and bring your own jar or container to fill up. If you don’t have a zero-waste store nearby, check these tips for buying in bulk in supermarkets, such as buying loose items. This can regularly reduce the amount of plastic packaging you are using.
4. Buy food items loose or make your own
A great way to reduce your plastic usage is to buy food items such as potatoes loose rather than in a plastic bag, and bring your own reusable food bag to put them in. To go a step further, consider making your own version of packaged foods, e.g. swap a meal deal for a lunch made at home, like this store cupboard pasta salad.
5. If you menstruate, consider switching to sustainable period products
While this might not be accessible for everyone, as there are not many cheap sustainable period products, if you can this is a great way to reduce plastic. Shockingly, tampons, pads and liners along with their packaging and wrappings create more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per year. Whereas a menstrual cup has the potential to save the waste of packaging and material waste of 2400+ sanitary towels or tampons per user (Organicup). The Independent has an article with some great suggestions for this step towards period sustainability.
6. Swap out your shampoo bottle for a bar
There are many more sustainable alternatives to plastic bottles now available in the beauty section of shops. For example, instead of bottled shampoo or soap, get a bar instead. Additionally, you can get balm or oil cleansers and a cloth to take makeup off instead of using endless wipes and cotton pads.
7. Borrow before you buy
As we live in a consumer society where things are cheap and easy to access (and bad for the environment), when we need something we tend to go straight to buy it. However, it is worth asking friends and family if they have what you need first, and if you can borrow it. More often than not, they will, and you’ll save on both money and extra plastic.
8. Avoid *new* shopping
The trouble with shopping is that even if you bring your own reusable bag, the amount of plastic that goes into making and distributing new clothes and items is just as bad. In fact, half of fast fashion is made of plastics like nylon and polyester.
Our advice? Swap, borrow and shop second hand wherever possible. This is where Swopz Shop comes in, as you can simultaneously get rid of unwanted things and get yourself some pre-loved items that are not adding to the burden of fast fashion on the environment. You can still get what you need, and contribute to Plastic Free July at the same time.
How does it work? Well, you swap your pre-loved items for points, which can then be spent on new-to-you items. You can also get points for certain actions on the site, like listing your unwanted things. Plus you are now able to buy Swopz points if you ever need to top up!
As well as the online community, we run regular pop-up Swopz Shop events for people to bring things they want to swap in person.
Check out our upcoming Swopz Shop events!
We hope you have found some of these tips useful! If you are looking for a free way to swap clothes locally, make sure to sign up for Swopz Shop today and browse our listings.
You can also follow us on social media for lots more articles like this one on sustainability, money-saving tips, upcycling, recycling, local secondhand swapping events and more!