Last Updated on July 22, 2021
Happy Plastic Free July! Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our oceans. Plastic has been found in more than 60% of all seabirds and in 100% of sea turtle species.
This post was sponsored. Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure policy.
Plastic is everywhere, and that’s why Plastic Free July was founded. It’s a movement that encourages people to deep dive into their single-use plastic and find ways to reduce it.
I think this Plastic Free July is a great reset after 2020, but many of us still have limited options when it comes to buying everything ‘plastic-free.’ From closed bulk bins to bringing our own cups to the coffee shop – there’s a lot oof limited options. So, I hope this Plastic Free July we can look at an even bigger picture.
Where is plastic made? Who’s bearing the brunt of that pollution? What can we do to reduce plastic at a larger scale rather than just individual?
I hope a lot of people will look at the Break Free From Plastic Act that’s currently on Capitol Hill. Wouldn’t that be amazing to see that pass this month?
what is plastic free july?
Plastic Free July is a global movement that started in 2011 that encourages millions of people to reduce their plastic waste for one month, and beyond. It’s a challenge you pledge to complete, and you get to choose where you’re doing it (at home, a workplace, etc), what level you’re at (beginner or advanced), and how long you’ll do it (1 day or from now on).
Once you make the pledge, Plastic Free July has helpful resources you can check out to get started on your journey.
You can also take my zero waste challenge: Every day over the course of a month, you’ll receive one challenge where I’ll present the problem, give the solution, and have action steps for you to implement.
why is plastic bad?
Actually, plastic isn’t bad. What’s bad is when we use it in a single-use fashion. Plastic was made to last forever, so we should treat it that way.
Since its initial production, over 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been created. Of that, only 9% has actually been recycled. The other 91% has been landfilled, incinerated or entered our environment.
Certain plastics can also release chemicals like dioxins and phthalates over time. Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause cancer, and phthalates are most known for interfering with the hormone system, especially the male reproductive system.
Over time, plastic can leech these chemicals into our water or food if it’s being used to contain these items.
For this reason, it’s best to avoid single-use plastic whenever possible. However, tossing out all your old plastic items (like Tupperware, a plastic broom, a plastic hairbrush, etc.) is counterproductive. Use it until it’s no longer usable and can’t be fixed – then replace it with a plastic-free alternative that will last you.
If storing your food in Tupperware bothers you, you can always repurpose it for other things, like holding jewelry, playing cards, paperwork, etc.
how can I get plastic free in july?
If you want to participate in Plastic Free July, I recommend first doing a trash audit to see where your trash is coming from. This will help you see what eco conscious swaps you’ll need to make.
Here are some simple things to tackle first:
- Cut out the big four: Plastic bags, water bottles, straws and takeaway coffee
- Learn the 5 R’s of zero waste: This will help you create some powerful lifestyle changes.
- Make these top 10 swaps: When you’re ready to – it can be one per week.
- Read these 4 tips for starting a zero waste lifestyle: Because it’s not all about the swaps either.
You don’t have to do everything overnight, and you also don’t have to break the bank. Just do what you can – little acts add up. Here’s how to go zero waste on a budget with $50 or less.
15 eco friendly items for this plastic free july:
If you’re looking for a few ways to reduce your use of single-use plastics, I’ve rounded up a few eco-friendly brands that are focused on sustainability, plastic reduction, bolstering plastic reduction and reclamation, as well as limiting any excessive packaging!
As a bonus, I also have a few discount codes you might be interested in. I’ve highlighted a few of my favorite features of each brand, but it isn’t an exhaustive list so be sure to check out their websites for more information.
reducing plastic in the bathroom:
- Shampoo + conditioner bars
- Customized by hair type
- Vegan and cruelty free
- Plastic free
- Discount: GOZEROWASTE15 (valid through end of august)
/ SHOP SUPERZERO /
2. brush with bamboo
- Bamboo toothbrush
- 100% Sustainably Harvested FSC Certified Bamboo
- USDA Certified 100% Biobased Bristles
- Compostable Packaging
- Discount: goingzerowaste
3. oui the people
- Sustainable shaving and skincare brand
- Stainless steel safety razors
- Refillable and recyclable razor blades
- Razors made for sensitive skin
- Black owned brand
4. zilch apothecary
- Handcrafted skincare brand selling soap, body butter, lip balm + shampoo
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- Small woman owned business
reducing plastic in the kitchen:
5. earthhero unpaper towels
- Organic unpaper towels
- Handmade in the USA
- Sold on a sustainable marketplace, EarthHero
- B corp, carbon neutral and plastic free shipping
- Discount: GOZERO
6. ecoroots cleaning kit
- Zero waste dish cleaning kit
- Vegan solid dish soap, bamboo soap dish, wooden cleaning brush
- Organic and vegan ingredients
- Biodegradable + sustainable materials
- Reusable beeswax wraps that replace plastic wrap
- Vegan options available
- Compostable and biodegradable
/ SHOP BEESWRAP /
8. airly foods
- Oat based crackers that fight climate change
- Regenerative farming practices that remove CO2 from atmosphere
- Invests in carbon credit projects
- Low waste packaging
/ SHOP AIRLY FOODS /
reduce plastic on the go:
9. one movement
- Reusable water bottle made from recycled materials
- Each purchase removes 2000 plastic bottles from waterways
- Recycles the plastic bottles into eco bricks
- Eco bricks build recycled homes for homeless waste pickers
10. day owl
- Sustainable backpack
- Each bag made from 25 recycled plastic water bottles
- Certified B corp
- Offer repairs and trade-ins for a closed loop system
- Discount: GZW10
/ SHOP DAY OWL /
11. purse for the people
- Design your own eco-friendly artisan handbag
- Sustainable + recycled materials
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- Handcrafted by indigenous artisans
around the home:
12. luna and rose
- Sustainable jewelry and apparel line
- New plant dyed linen collection
- Closed loop system
- Recycled sterling silver jewelry
- Discount: KATHRYN10
13. tru earth
- Laundry strips
- Certified hypoallergenic
- Cruelty free
- HE safe
- Plastic free
/ SHOP TRU EARTH /
14. la joya diamond jewelry
- Lab-grown diamond jewelry
- Ethically sourced
- Discount: 10OFFGZWKG
- Chrome extension that helps you shop more sustainably
- Rates and scores as you browse the web
- Scores based on environmental concerns, diversity, labor rights and supply chain
- Easy, free installation
/ SHOP ETHICALLY /
Are you participating in Plastic Free July this year?