The easing of lockdown, which is welcomed by us all, coincides with Plastic Free July which was set up in Perth, Australia, in 2011. The popularity of this initiative led to the formation of the independent, not for profit charity, Plastic Free Foundation, founded in 2017. This is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution. The vision of the Foundation is a world free of plastic waste to be achieved by everyone refusing single use plastics.
Last year an estimated 326 million people from 177 countries took part in this challenge and these contributed to a total saving of 940 million kg of plastic waste each year. It is also claimed that 85% of the participants maintained their lifestyle changes after completing the challenge. It is estimated that if we don’t change our buying habits, by 2050 there could be more plastic, by weight, than fish in the sea, and just as alarming, less than 10% of all plastic ever produced has actually been recycled.
Supermarkets are taking part in Plastic Free July by ditching plastic; Unilever have paper based laundry detergent bottles and Aldi and Sainsburys have removed plastic from their own label tea bags, replacing them with plant fibres. Everyone can contribute to Plastic Free July, whether at home, at school or at work.
Over 300 million tons of plastic is produced each year and 50% of this is made for single use. We can reduce these figures by buying reusable shopping bags, water bottles and coffee/hot drinks’ cups. We can avoid single use plastics such as drinking straws and many more ways to achieve plastic reduction can be found on Reefrelief.org. We can buy loose produce in supermarkets and switch to products made from alternative materials such as bamboo.
Here at OneLessCup we are helping to contribute towards a plastic free world by selling cups made of sustainable bamboo. As lockdown ends more and more places are accepting reusable coffee cups again so it’s a great time to buy one!
We also have a partnership with Onetreeplanted, which aims to promote reforestation and restore some of the loss of trees caused by forest fires and deforestation. For every standard retail cup sold through our website a tree will be planted. They plant trees in North and South America, Africa and Asia and, with climate changes causing more and more fires, their work is becoming even more vital.
Another of our partners is the Coacoara Foundation, a non-profit making foundation whose aim is to tackle the problems of single use plastics and, eventually, eliminate them completely from being used on a day to day basis. They provide alternative biodegradable and compostable products so as to reduce plastic usage and waste. They currently have a plastic free July sale on with some great bargains. All their profits are awarded to the Ocean Clean Up project or a charity of their choice.
After the worst pandemic ever which has caused immeasurable suffering in every possible way, and, sadly led to even more plastic been produced and discarded in the form of PPE, we can all do our bit to help counteract this and July is a good time to start!