Plastic Free July

July is the month to reflect on our independence, reflecting back to the year 1776, when the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England. Ever since then, America has celebrated the 4th of July as our Independence Day. While we spend this month reflecting on this independence, we must remember that we chose this independence for ourselves, no matter the trials and tribulations that would come our way. 

But the 4th of July is not the only day we celebrate our independence. You can also celebrate your independence…from plastic, for Plastic Free July! Plastic Free July is an international movement that challenges millions of people to reduce their plastic usage. Plastic pollution is one of our greatest contributors to pollution worldwide. Because plastic is composed of major toxic pollutants, it can harm the environment through air, water, and land pollution. This can pose a threat to local animals and plant life. What’s worse is, plastic is not biodegradable, which means that it won’t break down in the environment. This means that nearly all the plastic that has ever been produced, is still out there in some form. 

So our fridges are filled with plastic, the water bottles we buy are filled with plastic, and it’s even in some of our shampoos in the form of tiny plastic beads.

How can we possibly be independent from plastic?

Well, it’s true, moving away from plastic can be difficult. But picking out even a couple of these tips, you’ll be able to reduce your plastic usage for the month of July. 

  • Avoid pre-packaged meat or fish 
  • Avoid buying pre-packaged fruit and vegetables
  • Choose bar soaps instead of liquid soaps in plastic containers
  • Buy things in bulk to reduce plastic packaging
  • Refuse straws, or even switch to a metal or paper straw
  • Avoid bottled water and buy reusable water bottles
  • Choose non-plastic alternatives for your beverages
  • Use biodegradable bags for pet cleanup
  • Prepare lunches without plastic wrap or use reusable containers
  • Take reusable shopping bags to stores.

There are plenty of other ways to reduce your plastic consumption, especially if you reuse your plastic bags so they aren’t simply single-use, or if you return plastic bags to grocery stores. It may not seem easy, but there are plenty of ways for us to get involved in Plastic Free July. Let this month be the month you choose to be plastic free. 

 

By: Ross Bryant

Ross is an Environmental Studies and Public Relations Dual Major at Berry College. Ross is a Bonner Scholar at Berry College, and also volunteers for Keep Rome Floyd Beautiful up in Rome, Georgia. Ross recycles cardboard and plastic in order to help be actively sustainable, as well as reuse shopping bags. For the Summer of 2020, follow Ross in his studies in order to become more conscious of sustainable practices.

© 2021 by Keep Smyrna Beautiful.