Lightweight plastic bags can end up in our waterways and oceans, and they don't go away. Plastic bags remain for centuries posing threats to wildlife by entanglement, suffocation and entering the food chain. Did you know we throw away 22 million plastic bags each week in New Zealand? These take 20 years to break down in a landfills. There is 189,000 tonnes of plastic dumped into our landfills every year. We find that very concerning. What can we do to limit that?
What is Plastic Free July?This month is 'Plastic Free July' It is a simple idea developed in Australia in 2011, which aims to raise awareness of the amount of plastic in our lives by encouraging people to eliminate the the use of single-use plastic during July each year. What a fantastic way of reducing plastic in landfills! We love it!!
They have created a challenge that you can sign up for. Schools, cafes, government agencies and community groups across the world have joined thousands of individuals saying no to single-use plastic.
Of course you don't have to sign up, but just take the challenge yourself. The challenge is quite simple - attempt to refuse single-use plastic during July. 'Single-use' includes plastic shopping bags, plastic cups, straws, plastic packaging...basically anything that's intended only to be used once and then discarded. If refusing ALL single-use plastic sounds too daunting this time, try the TOP 4 challenge (straws, plastic bags, plastic bottles & coffee cup lids).
What are We Doing for Plastic Free July?Sweetree we will be taking the challenge! We've been trying to eliminate plastic for a while. At home we store food in glass jars and containers, using the old biscuits tins for baking, using stainless steel drink bottles, reusable coffee cups, saying no to plastic bags at shops (taking my own cloth bags to the shops, although it can be hard to remember to take them!), use paper rubbish sacks and use Honeywraps instead of plastic food wrap.
All our honey is stored in glass jars, our propolis in glass bottles, we use paper bags instead of plastic at the markets and we are currently investigating compostable pouches for our bee pollen. But we can always do better! This month, and ongoing, we will really be careful about the products that we buy and eliminate plastic packaging, especially single-use plastic, as much as possible.
Why not join thousands taking the challenge to refuse single-use plastic? Any time is better than none - a day or a week, the whole month or longer! If you want to you can sign up to get recipes, ideas & everything you need to take part. We will be posting more blogs with ideas of how you can reduce plastic throughout the month also.
Look out for my weekly blog this month on how to reduce plastic use this 'Plastic Free July'. Like us on Facebook to keep up to date!
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