Plastic Free July has drawn to a close, but for many Aucklanders the green effort won't stop there.
This year, more than 3.4 million people from 177 countries took the challenge to #ChooseToRefuse single-use plastic. Plastic Free July estimates that nearly 250,000 of those participants were New Zealanders.
The initiative, run by the Plastic Free July Foundation, aims to create a world without plastic waste. The campaign encourages participants to use reusable containers, find alternatives to plastic packaging, and to start conversations about waste in their communities.
It’s no secret that the world is producing huge amounts of waste, but did you know that 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year?
Here are some simple tips on how you can start (or continue!) to reduce your plastic waste:
Identify which products contain plastic
The first step to becoming plastic free is to consider which of the items that you use contain plastic. Which ones are the easiest to replace? What items can you switch out for a plastic-free alternative?
Choose reusable products
One of the hardest aspects of becoming plastic-free is finding alternative products. Using reusable grocery bags and coffee cups is a great place to start. You might be surprised at how many single-use plastics you can replace! Here are a few more examples:
- Ask for your drink without a plastic straw - use a reusable metal or glass straw instead
- Instead of using plastic wrap or cling film, you can use a reusable container, aluminium foil, or fabric wraps
- Try solid bar shampoo instead of buying bottled shampoo.
Having a support network is a great way to stay on track with a plastic-free life. There are many community groups around Auckland that provide zero-waste services, as well as waste-free education and workshops. Finding your nearest community recycling centre is easy!
Auckland Council has free recycling resources to help you to reduce plastic waste all year long.