Plastic Free July Kit

PLASTIC FREE JULY KIT

Signing up to cut plastics out of my life this July was exciting and overwhelming, particularly as half the time I’m not even sure whether some items contain plastic or not. Now 9 days into the adventure of Plastic Free July, I imagine some of us are on target while others may have hit a wall – of the plastic kind. I am a member of the latter group. But unlike my neglected New Year’s Resolutions, I am determined not to return to my normal plastic habits.

reusable glass container bulk food storage

They say that it takes 21 days to build a new habit, here are some simple and sustainable ways of reducing everyday plastic use, not just during July but forever! I hope you will find them as valuable as I have.

A useful Californian study made a Plastic BAN List by cross-referencing popular plastic products and their polluting impact – revealing the most harmful plastic products used by consumers (that’s us). The top three categories were:

  • Single use food and drink packaging (such as the nets holding your oranges together or the plastic bag of Spinach from a supermarket).
  • Plastic bags (hopefully this one is a no brainer, who doesn’t like a nice tote?)
  • Take-away food containers (including coffee cups, plastic bottles and straws).

Reducing our use of these items may seem like a small change, but it can make a massive impact on our consumption of plastic.

SOLUTIONS: SINGLE USE FOOD AND DRINK PACKAGING

  • Purchase at farmers markets and health food shops with bulk dispensing.
  • Take paper bags everywhere.
  • Bring your own reused containers to markets and stores for things like oil.
  • Buy in bulk.
  • For packed lunches use beeswax wraps or lunch boxes – a simple swap away from glad wrap and pre-packaged snacks.

The CERES grocery is a great place to practice plastic free shopping with bulk, BYO and plastic free products. But you can also use this website to find bulk stores near you.

Solutions: Plastic Bags

Ditch the plastic bin liner if possible because not all biodegradable plastic bags a better option. Just remember to bring your cloth bags because the reusable plastic bags that you can buy are really bad as well, particularly when clothes shopping, this one catches me out.

Side note: Don’t forget that there are soft plastic recycling facilities at some Coles and Woolworths stores.

Solutions: Take-away containers

Bringing your own containers is a sustainable solution to those pesky one use containers you get from takeaway. Most restaurants are more than happy to use your containers and some like the Moroccan Soup Bar in Melbourne only do BYO. To get you started this website that has mapped out some restaurants and cafes that accept BYO containers in Australia.

Side note: There are also no Victorian or National laws around health and safety or anything else that restrict BYO but restaurant owners are still allowed to refuse.

I carry my drink bottle and KeepCup everywhere. It’s not just because I have a slight coffee addiction, need to drink more water or realise the impact of water bottles and disposable coffee cups on the environment. The real reason is I’m way too stingy.

Why would I spend upwards of $2.75 on something that I can get for free? I can also experience the gratification of saving on each coffee when I bring my cup. This makes my day that much better. It all adds up, the money you can invest in better things and the plastic you keep out of the rubbish. Quitting or swapping out plastic straws for metal or glass is an easy must do. You can find all of these products (and more!) at the CERES shop.

Side note: Try this simulation to see the impact of one use water bottles

Armed with these little adjustments I now feel confident with reducing my plastic without overhauling my entire life. If you are still searching for motivation check out Emily Ressia’s The Plastic Waste Reality documenting what happens to our waste overseas. To keep updated this #PlasticFreeJuly with CERES join the social media pages linked below. Please share with us any of your tricks or tips for getting through July plastic free!

By Freya Wrigley

bulk food section CERES groceries white tubs
bulk food dispenser CERES grocery store
plastic recycle bin CERES around site
Scroll to Top
X