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Take the Plastic Free July Pledge!

Jul 02 2021

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For months your reusable grocery bags have sat wilted and empty in the back seat of your car. Your travel mug rolls around the back seat, forlorn and forgotten, dreaming of the day it will taste coffee again. Perhaps one day you decide to venture out to the Starbucks drive-thru. As you pull up to the window, you scramble to find a blue medical mask before they hand you a disposable plastic cup you had sworn off long ago.

The COVID-19 Pandemic did have some positive effects on the environment, but it has vastly affected the progress the world was making towards lessening our use of plastics. Many of us had already taken small steps, like utilizing reusable grocery bags, travel mugs, and water bottles, but these efforts were put on hold when these items were no longer deemed sanitary. Disposable masks and gloves can be spotted on the ground seemingly everywhere. The disposal of packaging from takeout food and grocery deliveries has skyrocketed. Now more than ever we need to ramp up our efforts to lessen our use of plastics.

Plastic Free July is an initiative of the Plastic Free Foundation, which is a not-for-profit established in 2017. In July of 2020, 326 million people from 177 countries accepted the Plastic Free July Challenge, contributing to a total savings of 2,072,345,264.54 pounds of plastic waste. On an individual level, household waste and recycling of participants was reduced an average of 5% per person. Let’s continue this momentum and exponentially decrease the amount of plastic waste we put into the world!

Use your individual power and join a global movement by pledging to take part in Plastic Free July. This challenge asks you to give up at least one type of single-use plastic for the month of July. This can be done at home, school, work, or beyond. The idea is that once you figure out an alternative to one thing, you will quickly find others. The Plastic Free July Website has tons of information and tips, from getting started to taking bigger steps. Here at SCARCE, we particularly love their idea under “At Work” for a bin audit. SCARCE teaches a similar concept at schools. If you and some colleagues go through the company trash together and see what is thrown out, you will generate ideas for how to improve. Perhaps you can start a small composting system, clarify instructions for recyclables, or identify types of waste that the company produces that could be avoided with a supply-chain alteration.

All efforts, big or small, will add up to make a difference. Let’s use this upcoming July to form new habits around our use of plastic and inspire others to do the same. Taking the challenge will help Plastic Free July measure their efforts for 2021, as well as provide you a community to share ideas and successes.

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