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Plastic Free July

Plastic free July runs from the 1st of July until the 30th of July. It is an initiative to end plastic pollution. To give us cleaner streets, communities and oceans. It is also about avoiding single use plastics.

The earliest form of man-made plastic was created in 1855 by a man named Alexander Parkes. It was called Parkesine but known to us as Celluloid.

In 1907 the first synthetic plastic was created. This meant it contained no molecules of nature. Known as Bakelite it was pioneered by Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland.

Decomposing Plastic

Plastics can take from 20 years up to 1000 years to decompose in landfill.

ItemYears to Decompose
Plastic StrawsUp to 200
Plastic BottlesUp to 450
Plastic BagsUp to 1000

 

Plastic bags never completely decompose, they become microplastics which absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment.

Returning To Nature

There are so many products we could use that are made from natural materials, for example paper bags or hessian sacks, and yet we choose to use an unnatural product like plastic.

ItemAlternative
Plastic milk bottle from shopGlass milk bottle from milkman
Shower gel in bottleBar of soap in paper or cardboard
Plastic Shopping BagPaper or hessian bag
Plastic food storageGlass food storage
Cling wrapFoil or Beeswax wraps
Plastic StrawsPaper straws or no straws
Plastic BottlesReusable water bottle
Food Packaging in supermarketsVisit butchers and greengrocers
ToysGive to charity or use wooden toys
Recyclable PlasticRecycle instead of putting in bin

Plastic is something we use a lot, yet it could easily be replaced for natural made products that would be kinder on the environment. Next time you pick up a plastic product, think – is it something I really need, or is there a natural based alternative? Remember, even the smallest changes can make a difference so let’s all do our bit for nature and the environment. For more information check out the Plastic Free July website here.

By Nicola Martin