Each year, Plastic-Free July empowers people to be a part of the solution to plastic pollution by eliminating single-use plastic from their daily lives.
Why July, though? During the summer months when we’re typically enjoying our days outdoors, relaxing at the beach or taking a dip in the ocean, our appreciation of nature is at its peak. What better time to highlight the ever-increasing build-up of plastic waste? Here are 8 ways that you can participate in Plastic-Free July right here in Hong Kong:
JOIN THE 8SHADES 8 WEEK CHALLENGE
The 8Shades 8 week challenge is our very own way of getting people to take small, actionable steps towards a greener and more sustainable future. With weekly challenges and prizes from now till mid-August 2021, there are still loads of brilliant prizes to be won so be sure to sign up now – and challenge your friends to enter too!
Sign up here
DITCH PLASTIC PACKAGING
Did you know that nearly 50% of all plastic waste generated is from plastic packaging – most of it unnecessary? Hong Kong grocery stores are notorious for excessive plastic packaging. The solution? Instead of buying bags of prepackaged apples, for example, buy them loose at your local market.
Replacing plastic utensils with wooden ones that you carry around with you and using reusable coffee cups and metal or silicone containers for lunches, storage and shopping are just some swaps you can make to up your reusable game.
REMEMBER THE TOP 4
Avoid the “Top 4” single-use plastics: plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups and straws. Replace them with reusables: shopping bags made of natural fibres, metal or glass water bottles and a ceramic mug or metal thermos. And never, never take a plastic straw.
EAT OUT LESS
Instead of ordering in for lunch, bring food from home. Plastic takeaway containers often aren’t recycled and end up in landfills, where they take hundreds of years to decompose. Cooking your food cuts down on this waste, and you’ll also save money and improve your cooking skills. You don’t need to cook for hours every day to eat well; just stick with simple, healthy food done well.
MAKE HOME SWAPS
Go through your home, room by room, seeing if there are any eco-friendly swaps you can make. For example, buy cleaning products in boxes, not bottles; and buy your pantry essentials in bulk.
DO A WARDROBE AUDIT
About 60% of material made into clothing is plastic, which includes polyester, acrylic and nylon. These fabrics are durable and affordable, but every time they’re washed, they shed microplastics.
We could all be more mindful of the clothing we wear, by considering the materials our clothes are made from, buying from second hand shops, repairing your clothes when they break instead of replacing them or simply buying less. You could also use a guppy bag for those fabrics that are synthetic.
DO YOUR BEST
Don’t beat yourself up if you fall short – it’s called a challenge for a reason! Try out different things and stick to what works for you.
Join us this Plastic Free July by making small but important changes in your everyday life. The more you practice these behaviours, the easier it will become to implement them into your life beyond July.
See also: Join The 8Shades 8-Week Challenge!