‘Plastic Free July’ Launch

Tuesday June 5 is World Environment Day.

This very important day was established by the U.N General Assembly to encourage worldwide awareness of emerging environmental issues.

It is also a day that encourages us to think about the ways in which we might take action to protect our environment.

It is fitting that the very important ‘Plastic Free July’ challenge should be launched on this day.

‘Plastic Free July’ aims to raise awareness of the problems associated with single-use disposable plastic.

The challenge is to think about the ways in which we can all make a difference.

Have a look at plasticfreejuly.org and you too can accept the 2018 challenge.

Choose to refuse single-use plastic and you will be joining over two million people from 159 countries worldwide.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

-Anne Frank

You can find pictures from the launch along with the full media release from the day below! Also keep an eye out for next weeks ‘Seen in’ gallery with all the images from the day.

Australians challenged to make no time for waste this July

  • Australian’s are producing huge amounts of waste, with 20 million tonnes of waste being sent to Australian landfills every year
  • This World Environment Day, Plastic Free July Foundation is calling for Australians to collectively address one of the world’s greatest environmental challenges

SYDNEY, 5th June 2018: This World Environment Day, the Plastic Free July Foundation is launching its campaign to call on Aussies to #ChooseToRefuse single-use plastics.

The Plastic Free July campaign, now in its seventh year and a global movement, will kick off next month with the simple challenge for Australians to find new ways to reduce their plastic consumption.

Speaking of the challenge, Executive Director and Founder of the Plastic Free July Foundation, Rebecca Prince Ruiz said, “Virtually every piece of plastic ever manufactured still exists in some form today. Plastic, particularly single-use plastic or ‘throw-away’ plastic items, are not getting recycled effectively and are having a detrimental impact on our environment.”

“With the big supermarkets moving to ban single-use plastic bags, there is no better time to turn universal awareness of plastic waste into universal action on single-use plastics. This July, our aim is to empower all Australians to choose to refuse and collectively contribute by making small changes to their day-to-day actions to make a big difference.”

The production of waste is increasing, it is estimated that each Australian produces 565 kg of household waste every year and 20 million tonnes goes to landfill in Australia alone. [i],[ii]

Although plastic waste is made on land it often leads to problems downstream in the ocean. In fact, it is estimated if we continue what we are doing that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.[iii]

Plastic Free July started in 2011 in Western Australia and the Foundation is one of the only organisations in the world to tackle the prevalence of single-use plastic through empowered consumption reduction. The campaign has since grown into a movement of 2 million participants in 2017.

“Although the size of the plastic waste problem is frightening, the numbers tell us that small actions can make big impacts. Last year, participating households of our campaign reduced their landfill waste rates by nearly 10% which in my home state of Western Australia translated to 10,400 fewer tonnes of waste generated by participating households.”

“Making a difference is as simple as swapping out your usual disposable coffee cup with an eco-friendly version, bringing your own re-useable bags to get groceries, or even switching to soap instead of using bottled wash products. The campaign is a great time to get creative with how you can reduce your single-use plastic usage and share ideas with others,” Rebecca said.

Colin Ashton-Graham, the Consulting Behavioural Economist behind many sustainability campaigns backed this challenge, saying: “Plastic Free July works because it connects our shared desire to protect the environment with strong social norms around avoiding litter and waste. By asking people to ‘Choose to refuse’ PFJ participants are empowered to make a difference on one plastic item and then to notice all the other plastics they could act upon on a daily basis. Simply, our commitment to making a difference increases when we engage our ‘hands’ in taking personal actions.”

To participate in the Plastic Free July campaign this year, Australians can sign-up to the challenge on the website and access resources to help make environmentally friendly lifestyle choices.

The call to action is simple. Choose to refuse single use plastic this July. Follow @plasticfreejuly and pledge your commitment on www.plasticfreejuly.org

Plastic Free July Foundation’s top tips to #choosetorefuse this July:

  • Use an eco-friendly coffee cup to get your caffeine fix on the go
  • Avoid plastic packed products – choose loose produce and products in paper packaging
  • Bring reuseable bags to do your grocery shopping
  • Bulk buy or get re-fills where possible
  • Use beeswax wraps, or a reusable container, instead of gladwrap to keep your produce fresh and plastic-free

[i] https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/d075c9bc-45b3-4ac0-a8f2-6494c7d1fa0d/files/national-waste-report-2016.pdf

[ii] http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/national-waste-policy/national-waste-reports/national-waste-report-2013/infrastructure

[iii] https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-new-plastics-economy-rethinking-the-future-of-plastics