Over the past several years, since the beginning of Unwrapped Life (which was founded as a way for us to feel like we were helping in the fight against single use plastics around the home), we've noticed a huge increase in the awareness of plastic pollution.
What started out as something we needed to dig to find information about on the internet and Facebook, is now making regular headlines in mainstream news media and has taken a prominent position in social and other cultural media.
The issue of plastic pollution, and what to do about it, is also being discussed at various levels of government, even on a global scale, and many companies/private enterprises (like us!) have sprung up to help tackle the problem.
We say: it's about time!
And yet, a lot of the information coming out about our 'plastic problem' is, frankly, super depressing. The magnitude of the issue - from "plastic soup" in the oceans to issues with recycling plastics at home and internationally - seems very daunting some days, and it's difficult for some of us who think about this subject regularly to feel any sense of optimism.
That all said, lots of hard work is being done by brilliant minds around the globe, and today, in honour of Plastic Free July, we wanted to share a bit of encouraging information about the fight against plastic pollution.
What is Plastic Free July?
Plastic Free July is a key initiative of the Plastic Free Foundation that works towards the mission of seeing a world free of plastic waste.
From humble beginnings in 2011, the award-winning Plastic Free July campaign is the result of years of hard work.
It is now one of the most influential environmental campaigns in the world. Millions of people across the globe take part every year, with many committing to reducing plastic pollution far beyond the month of July.
In July 2018 alone, 120 million people across the globe took part in the challenge across 177 countries. An IPSOS survey revealed that revealed that 29% of people surveyed worldwide were aware of the Plastic Free July challenge and almost half of those chose to take part in 2018.
Plastic Free July participants:
- reduce their household waste on average by 76kg per household per year (7.6%)
- cut their use of recyclables (disposable packaging) on average by 28kg per household per year (5.6%)
- contribute to a total saving of 490 million kg of plastic waste each year (https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/about-us/#impact)
We are excited and encouraged by this information and can't wait to see what the participation and results looks like for 2019.
What else is Happening in the Fight against Plastic Pollution?
The world's plastic pollution problem may be growing, but so is public awareness and action.
Earth Day Network's endeavours to end plastic pollution didn’t stop with the 2018 campaign. Their ongoing campaign is "using the power of Earth Day to elevate the issue of plastic pollution in the global agenda and inspiring and demanding effective action to reducing and controlling it."
In the wake of all the news emerging on our plastic problem, governments around the world are beginning to take action as well. One of the best resources we have found that summarizes some of that action, is on the National Geographic site, where they continue to track and periodically update some of the developments around this issue.
Celebrities have also taken notice of our plastic waste and many of them are speaking out against plastic bottles, bags and straws. A quick Google search of "celebrities against plastic pollution" will take you to countless articles about who is taking up action on this issue.
And, for us, we are finding that many social media influencers, like the lovely Jillian Harris, who we are huge fans of for her realness and open-mindedness, are beginning to actively talk about what they are doing around their homes to help try and cut down on plastic waste.
While this is merely a brief summary of what is happening around the world in the fight against plastic pollution, we are encouraged to see that the issue is being discussed with some degree of urgency, and action is being taken, in groups both small and large.
We hope this information is motivating for you as your pursue making changes this Plastic Free July and beyond, and hope you continue to spread the word on what you and your loved ones are doing to cut down on single use plastics in your life!