Plastic Free July is a global movement of eco-warriors who want to start their journey to zero waste living by avoiding single-use plastics for a whole month. By 2050, there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish if we don't take action now, but individual action isn't always easy. Plastic creeps into pretty much every part of our daily lives without us even realising it. To get you set up for Plastic Free July success, here are 15 easy and affordable swaps you can make in the kitchen, bathroom and when out and about.
Zero waste at home
1. First, tackle your cleaning products. Pick up some glass pump and spray bottles, and create your own cleaning solutions using simple natural ingredients. This pack of two refillable amber glass bottles includes recipes for a homemade kitchen cleaner and degreaser.
2. Kitchen roll usually comes wrapped in plastic and it's almost impossible to recycle. Instead, simply swap out kitchen paper for old fashioned fabric cleaning cloths.
3. Cling film is serious single use offender. Switch plastic wrap for reusable options like beeswax wrap or silicone sandwich bags to save your leftovers and pack your sandwiches.
4. Avoid releasing microplastics when you wash your clothing made from synthetic fibres by using a Guppy Friend laundry bag to stop microfibres leaking into the water system from your washing machine.
5. One of the simplest zero waste swaps you can make is to stop buying plastic soap pump bottles and use bars of soap instead. You can also swap shower products for solid shampoo bars and hair conditioner bars.
6. Did you know that most cotton pads and make up wipes contain plastic? It's time to invest in a muslin cloth, microfibre cloth or reusable cotton rounds, then simply wash and reuse over and over again.
7. Period products like tampons and pads often contain plastic and are wrapped in plastic. Why not invest in a menstrual cup to ditch disposable period plastic waste?
8. Switch to a sustainable brand of toilet roll such as Who Gives A Crap - opt for paper made from sustainable sources like bamboo and ensure the rolls are wrapped in paper, not plastic.
Zero waste on the go
9. One of the biggest sources of beach litter is disposable coffee cups. By switching to a reusable coffee cup like this organic bamboo cup, thermos flask or travel mug and choosing to reuse next time you get a latte, you'll save money and save the planet.
10. Another easy zero waste swap is water bottles. In Plastic Free July and beyond, quit buying plastic drinks bottles and instead fill up a reusable water bottle made of bamboo, copper or stainless steel.
11. It's so easy to buy plastic-wrapped sandwiches and salads on your lunch break but you could reduce single-use packaging waste by making a packed lunch in a tupperware box or lunch bag.
12. Plastic straws are an age-old ocean polluter but so easy to avoid. Swap with reusable bamboo straws and choose to reuse!
13. Dodge disposable cutlery from takeaway food by picking up a zero waste cutlery set with bamboo cutlery, a metal straw and a cotton travel pouch.
14. Food packaging is a huge source of plastic pollution, so if possible, shop at zero waste bulk buy stores to fill up on pantry essentials, and bring a reusable produce bag for fruit and veg at the supermarket or greengrocer.