This will be the fourth year our household will be participating in Plastic Free July. While we always do our best to avoid single-use plastics, and have come a long way in recent years, this year it is a timely reminder to change the things we can.
It was easy to become despondent with COVID-19 sweeping in and taking over 2020. Reusables suddenly became potential disease-carrying items to be feared and were refused even at places that had long been supportive. Packaged goods seemed safer than loose items. Panic buying meant we couldn’t always get our preferred plastic-free item. We stayed home and had takeaway delivered in plastic. Too tired to bake, I bought bread in plastic bags for the first time in years. We had bigger things to worry about than a few single-use plastic bags and packages wrapping the products we needed.
But now – and it is with grief that I acknowledge that this may not be the case where you are – my state is doing ok. Restrictions are lifting. School’s back and The Man is able to go back into the office some of the time.
So it feels right to take this month of July to recalibrate. Look at what we were doing pre-COVID and what we have let slip. Making better choices. Reducing where can. Cracking out the reusables again.
If nothing else, COVID-19 has shown as what a valuable resource plastic is: it allows us to have gloves, sanitiser, medical supplies.
Now more than ever, we must try and save plastic for the times when we really need it, like medicine for our health and protecting people from disease, rather than fritter it away on fripperies like takeaway coffee cups and straws in our drinks.
Will you join the challenge for July and take your new habits into your future?