Take the #PlasticFreeJuly Challenge to Protect Our Oceans

by Kate Melges

June 30, 2017

For the entire month of July, I'm completely cutting out single-use plastics to help clean our oceans. Will you join me?

Plastic Waste in the Sea Edinburgh Scotland

© Will Rose / Greenpeace

Last week, we shared a blog with some great tips from the Greenpeace readers like you on reducing your plastic footprint — now I want to challenge our community to take our plastic reduction efforts to the next level. 

Here’s the problem with plastic.

It’s no secret that plastic pollution is a huge issue.

Every minute, the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic enters the ocean. Photos and articles pop up in our news feeds and on our screens of turtles with straws in their noses or birds with plastic filled stomachs, and we see plastic trash nearly everywhere we go. Corporations sell us products in plastic packaging that are meant to be used for minutes, but they last a lifetime or longer.

We simply have to phase out the production of single-use plastic packaging — and quick. By reducing the amount of plastic we use, we can all play a part in the transition away from single-use plastic packaging.

Manta Ray swims amongst Plastic Waste in Indonesia

A Manta Ray can be seen swimming in plastic waste on Nusa Penida in Indonesia.

Join me in the Plastic Free July challenge.

Saturday marks the beginning of the Plastic Free July challenge. For 31 days, I am committing to going plastic-free. I’ll be putting some of your tips into practice in my daily life (thanks!) and avoiding all single-use plastic packaging for the entire month.

Gulp. That means no single use cups, straws, utensils, produce bags, food packaging, zipper bags, to-go containers, and more.

And I’m hoping that you’ll join me. It can be for a day or two, a week, or the whole month — but see how long you can go avoiding ALL single-use plastics. If you’re looking for an intermediate step, try steering clear of the top four: plastic bags, water bottles, straws, and coffee cups. Use this month as an opportunity to explore alternatives in your community and try new things. Look for stores selling food in bulk and bring your own containers. Use reusable produce bags at the grocery store. Get coffee in a travel mug and carry a set of utensils with you when eating on the go. 

There are many more tips and ways to get involved at the Plastic Free July website

If you need more tips, encouragement getting through the month, or just want someone to talk to as we go through this plastic-free experiment together, tweet me @katemelges! I’d love to hear about your journey to zero plastic. Good luck!

Kate Melges

By Kate Melges

Kate Melges is an oceans campaigner based in Seattle. She leads Greenpeace’s Ocean Plastics work. Kate’s focus is ending the flow of plastic pollution into the ocean.

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