In order to protect the environment, Plastic Free July promotes the conscious use of (single-use) plastic. Take on the global challenge!
Author: House of Eden
Happy Plastic Free July! Rethinking time, taking on a challenge and actively promoting environmental protection. Plastic-free July is about deliberately avoiding the use of (disposable) plastic, i.e. plastics that are not biodegradable, for the whole month. Those who take on this challenge join a global movement and, together with more than two million people worldwide, can be part of the solution to the problem of plastic pollution.
The relevance of Plastic Free July
It's no secret that plastic waste pollutes our cities, forests and especially our seas and oceans. Rather, it is an omnipresent, media-discussed topic. And with good reason: Plastic threatens ecosystems, biodiversity, causes greenhouse gases and can have a negative impact on human health.
Although it is in our hands to stop pollution from plastic waste, current figures speak against our sense of responsibility. According to Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) 300 million tons of plastic are produced annually, in Germany alone the per capita consumption is 39 kilograms. No wonder there MikroPlastik For example, it is contained in common care products and gets into the sewers and finally into the sea through daily washing of the face.
Symbol of environmental protection: The Plastic Free July Foundation
To counteract this, the Plastic Free July Foundation 2011 was established in Australia. With the clear goal of creating a worldwide movement that fights plastic pollution and works to reduce the use of plastics and to promote reuse and recycling or upcycling.
July was designated as the official month for the implementation of this project. Today, nine years after the foundation was founded, more than two million people from more than 159 countries are dedicated to the challenge of avoiding (one-way) plastic and consuming it more consciously. However, it is important not to feel any pressure. The Plastic Free July should be an exciting experiment, be fun and illustrate how effortlessly environmental protection can be integrated into everyday life by not using plastic.
Know-how for successfully dispensing with plastics
The following points are suitable for a successful, successful Plastic Free July:
- Plastic is indispensable these days - 100% waiver is impossible
- It's not about disposing of all plastic products or replacing them with alternatives - using, reusing, recycling, and upcycling plastics can be even more sustainable in many cases
- Everyone makes their own rules - after all, the month shouldn't feel like a constraint, but rather should provide lasting inspiration for environmentally conscious action beyond July
Despite their own goals, nobody has to feel alone with the challenge. Who is on the Plastic Free July Homepage registered, namely receives weekly emails with tips and tricks from other participants. These should motivate and contribute to the creative implementation of the plastic-free month.
And there is also a suitable gadget for everyone who likes a precise orientation frame: the Take the Plastic Free Challenge - FREE Calendar from WWF. This contains a tip for every day in July, with which the use of plastic can easily be avoided. Be it a suggestion to use a reusable coffee mug, buy recycled sunglasses or use a bar of soap instead of liquid soap. Step by step, this inspires a sustainable, plastic-free lifestyle.
Source & Copyright by WWF
ABC on plastic alternatives in Plastic Free July
Apart from reference points such as the WWF calendar, Plastic Free July also requires some research Plastic avoidance tips to operate, bloggerswho have perfected the plastic free lifestyle and deal with plastic and its alternatives. While many companies and brands have already jumped on the anti-plastic train and advertise with trend-setting slogans such as bioplastics or compostable plastic, this does not necessarily mean that these are actually more environmentally friendly than their conventional predecessors. Here is a little jump start to help you make the right choice.
What are plastic alternatives?
In general, plastic alternatives must be sustainable. For example, they should consist of renewable substances that are also biodegradable in order to have a positive environmental balance. At the same time, however, they must also have a similar functionality. That means being light, flexible, heat-resistant, pure and also cheap.
While research is investigating and launching a variety of plant-based alternatives, it is questionable whether they are actually sustainable. Since the most common variants are bioplastic and compostable plastic, we show what to look for in both types of plastic.
Bioplastics, or bioplastics, is a group of materials made from polymers. Polymers, in turn, are substances that are created by linking several small molecules together and can be natural and synthetic. So if plastic is made from polymers made from natural raw materials such as starch, oil or cellulose, we are talking about bioplastic.
Confusing: Biologically based polymers are also used in the production of non-biodegradable plastics, mixed with synthetic substances. While such products are advertised as bioplastics, they are not 100% sustainable, biodegradable or environmentally friendly.
With compostable plastic, it is important to pay attention to the difference between compostable and biodegradable plastic. According to an industry standard for plastics, compostable plastic has to be biodegradable. However, not all biodegradable plastic is compostable, which is why there is often no adequate waste separation.
The problem with plastic alternatives
Due to the confusion potential surrounding bio and compostable plastics, they are often neither safely nor sustainably disposed of. Even if it is an environmentally friendly alternative, incorrect disposal can have negative environmental effects. They often end up in landfills or are disposed of in marine systems, where they have long-lasting, harmful consequences for soil, air, animals and people. In oceans, even biodegradable plastic behaves like conventional plastics and can take several years to decompose.
In order to avoid negative environmental impacts, biodegradable plastics have to be recycled independently. Compostable plastics, on the other hand, should be composted under industrial conditions and not thrown into the recycling bin. If suitable composting is not possible, experts recommend placing the products in the general waste.
At the systemic level, the unintended consequences of inappropriate plastic disposal mean that careful consideration must be given to the introduction of compostable plastics. They must be used sensibly, understood by people and disposed of in suitable facilities. This is the only way to achieve the long-term goal of a functional circular economy.
Advantages of conventional plastic
As already mentioned, Plastic Free July is not about completely eliminating plastic from life. There are certainly circumstances in which the use of plastic can be more sustainable than that of wood, metal or glass.
For example, since plastic weighs less than its alternatives made from natural raw materials, its transportation causes fewer emissions. If products are transported in glass instead of plastic packaging, the CO2 emissions increase, which reduces the advantages of the more environmentally friendly material.
Plastic packaging can also be beneficial when it comes to food. Because around 30% of the food produced is thrown away every year and thus contributes significantly to carbon emissions, plastic can prolong productivity by promoting sustainability.
From Plastic Free July to Plastic Free Lifestyle
The examples show that it is not possible to do without plastic entirely. Nevertheless, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" should be an important motto in the everyday life of every individual in order to solve our environmental problem. The Plastic Free July is the perfect time to raise awareness and to mindfully and actively reduce the use of unnecessary (disposable) plastics and to promote sustainable concepts such as recycling and the circular economy.