3 ways to make a difference this Plastic-Free July

Plastic wrapped capsicums in supermarkets contribute to the plastic problem.

It’s July again already! Which means Plastic-Free July, and thinking about how to minimise our plastic footprint. Often, though, it seems that no matter how hard we try to reduce, reuse, recycle, we don’t seem to be making much of a dent when it comes to plastic pollution.

Some argue that the concept of Plastic-Free July puts the burden heavily on consumers, whereas the real problem lies elsewhere. While ditching single-use plastic for a month is a great personal challenge, it’s only a small piece of the puzzle.

Why Consumers Can’t Fix Plastic Pollution Alone

Imagine a beach overflowing with plastic waste. You diligently pick up every single piece. Then a truck rolls in, and dumps even more. That’s what focusing solely on individual action can feel like.

The vast majority of plastic pollution comes from a handful of corporations. These companies prioritise profit over sustainable packaging, leaving consumers with limited eco-friendly options.

Despite our conscious efforts to reduce our footprint, we all know the feeling of coming home from our weekly grocery shopping with a whole lot of plastic packaging. Because there is no easy alternative.

So, What Can We Do?

Plastic-Free July works as a great conversation starter. But aside from trying to reduce our own plastic use, here are our top 3 ways to make this Plastic-Free July more impactful:

  1. Call for Change: Use this July to raise awareness and call for action from corporations and governments. Write letters, support sustainable businesses, and advocate for legislation that reduces plastic production.
  2. Think Beyond July: Going Plastic-Free for a month can start some great lifelong habits; carry a reusable water bottle, refuse plastic bags, and explore package-free options.
  3. Support Sustainable Businesses: Seek out companies that are actively reducing their plastic footprint and opt for products with minimal or compostable packaging. Take your own bags and containers and buy groceries from farmers’ markets. That way you’re also supporting local growers.
Shopping at a local farmers' market with your own bags can help reduce your plastic footprint.
Shopping at a local farmers’ market with your own bags can help reduce your plastic footprint while supporting local growers. Canva.

Together, We Can Make a Difference

Let’s continue to embrace Plastic-Free July—it is a great starting point and an opportunity to think bigger. We need smart solutions, infrastructure, and policies that reduce demand in the first place. By combining individual action with collective pressure on corporations and governments, we can create a future where plastic pollution isn’t the norm, but a distant memory.

This July, let’s ditch the plastic. But let’s also raise our voices and demand a plastic-free future for good. And don’t forget to share your own ideas with others on Glimmer—The Sustainability Network.

Join the Glimmer community—people who care about helping each other to live more sustainably. Because together we can make a difference.

Looking for more info on the plastic problem and how you can reduce your plastic impact? These other Glimmer articles can help.


Plastic Free July. https://www.plasticfreejuly.org

Plastic Free July is a waste of time if the onus is always on consumers. https://theconversation.com/plastic-free-july-is-a-waste-of-time-if-the-onus-is-only-on-consumers-233436

Related posts