Plastic Free July starts soon

29 Jun 2017

Minister for Environment Stephen Dawson with Rebecca Prince-Ruiz at official 2017 launch

 

An expected 400,000 Australians are making the pledge to go plastic free for either a day, week or the full 31 day July challenge, joining the millions worldwide who take up the Plastic Free July challenge – a campaign created in Western Australia.

From remembering your own reusable shopping bags, coffee cups and water bottles to avoiding pre-packaged fruit and vegetables, the challenge declares war on waste and is a great way to avoid landfill, reduce our eco-footprint and protect the ocean from plastic pollution.

Plastic Free July Co-founder, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz said the campaign had been a global success with 130 countries taking part, from USA to Cambodia, New Zealand to Germany.

“In Australia alone, a staggering 100 kilograms of plastic packaging – including plastic containers, water bottles, plastic bags or disposable coffee cups – are used by householders every year.

“Plastic pollution is an international problem that knows no borders - it requires a universal approach and one way we can do something is by reducing the use of single-use plastics.”

Ms Prince-Ruiz said that single-use plastics were a particular problem because they are built to last a lifetime, but are used for a very limited time and then disposed of.

“Those plastics break up, not break down, are mostly down-cycled ending up in landfill or worse still ‘escape’ with scientists predicting there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050,” Ms Prince-Ruiz said.

This year participants will receive helpful tips on plastic-free living as well as tools and resources for businesses and community groups to set up their own Plastic Free July events, workshops, plastic free morning teas or litter clean ups.

“Plastic Free July is creating conversations and education around the issues of plastic pollution and more importantly promoting the solutions which have resulted in a wave of community action,” Ms Prince-Ruiz said.

Listen to Rebecca speak with ABC666 Canberra about this campaign

“Cafés are jumping on board offering discounts to customers who bring their own reusable cups, many food retail outlets are choosing reusable bags instead of disposable plastic bags and the number of zero waste and bulk food stores across the nation is growing.

“Customers are demanding more environmentally friendly options and business owners are rising to the challenge.”

Australians are urged to choose to avoid, refuse or replace as much single-use plastic as they can during July. Sign up at plasticfreejuly.org


Media Contacts:
Amy Mickelberg, Western Metropolitan Regional Council (WMRC), Waste Educator 0431 699 515 or Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, WMRC Waste Educator and Plastic Free July Co-ordinator, 0435 084 890.


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