Plastic Free July is an annual global campaign that helps people be part of the solution to plastic pollution. For 31 days every year, millions of people pledge to give up single-use plastics.
The campaign was launched by Plastic Free Foundation in 2011. Last year, the month boasted around 250 million participants in 177 countries.
The study conducted by the organisation found that participants reduced the household waste about 5% per year and made changes that became long-term habits.
Plastic pollution is a worldwide environmental disaster. It has catastrophic consequences for our environment, wildlife and quality of human life.
This year the coronavirus reversed some of the progress in reducing plastic waste around the world amid fears the virus can survive on surfaces.
The pandemic led to a rise in single-use items, including millions of personal protective equipment (PPE) like face masks and single-use plastic bags. The UK government has delayed the ban on plastic straws by at least six months. Coffee chains started using single-use cups instead of reusable mugs.
The non-profit organisation City to Sea research estimated that 36 per cent of Brits concerned about their health felt pressured to use more plastic because of the virus.
"Caring for the planet doesn't mean we can't care for ourselves," Plastic Free July founder Rebecca Prince-Ruiz told The New York Times. "We can do both at the same time."
One of the campaign's ambassadors is musician Jack Johnson. "Plastic Free July inspires me to step up my commitment to reducing single-use plastic in my daily life and on tour," he said. "A great first step is to commit to using reusable water bottles. I'm also working with the music industry (artists, venues, festivals and fans) to reduce plastic waste through the BYOBottle campaign."
Plastic Free July comes with Plastic Bag Free Day on July 3rd.
An estimated 500 billion plastic bags are used globally. It takes up to 500 years for plastic bags to disintegrate, while on average, we use them for as little as 15 minutes.
The Plastic Bag Free Day encourages people to rethink their usage of plastic bags and find solutions that will be beneficial to future generations.