Plastic Free July Guidebook. Free E-book download // words by Kate Nelson

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Thank you for your interest in reducing single use plastics. I am very excited that awareness of plastic pollution is growing! While we wait for legislation and industry to adjust to better suit the environment, we can surely take responsibility for our individual waste created. Of all that we do, reducing our use of disposable plastics will make a huge, trackable, visible, positive impact on the planet. Your trash will shrink, therefore contributing to a smaller landfill pile. 

Plastic never biodegrades and each individual piece poses a serious threat to wildlife. In just one week we go through 10 billion plastic bags worldwide. In the USA an average of 2.5 million plastic bottles are used every hour and over 500 million straws are used daily! You can find scary statistics online, I aim to keep this guide positive and solution-oriented. The choices we make truly do matter—if each of us cuts back, we can lower these statistics. 

A whole month without plastics seems daunting especially when you get to the grocery store and see almost everything on your list is packaged or bagged in plastic. This is where I step in to help identify sustainable and simple solutions to the every day plastic struggle. 

Plastic Free July (or any month you commit to go plastic free) is designed to be extreme. It is meant to first build awareness of the pervasiveness of plastic and secondly to facilitate reasonable changes to our routines that could assist in reducing overall waste. It may feel overwhelming at times, so remember to just do your best and that even small changes make a difference.

Be patient. Be curious. Most of all, be CREATIVE!

Love, Kate 

Connect during Plastic Free July and Share your journey #iquitplastics #plasticfreewithmermaid


What is Plastic Free July? Plastic Free July is a global challenge for people to refuse single-use plastic during the entire month of July.  “Single-use" plastics include plastic shopping bags, plastic cups, straws, plastic food or product packaging, and anything intended to be used once and then discarded. It is designed as an opportunity to inspire awareness and encourage changes that could linger beyond the month-long challenge.

Why? Plastic is designed to be durable and it does not biodegrade. It is irresponsible to use an indestructible material for single-use or disposable items and packaging. Plastic is killing wildlife that mistake it for food, building up in both the natural environment and landfills, and even finding its way into the human body through food packaging and seafood. Plastic is relatively new to the human routine, so we are certainly capable of reversing its clutches on our consumption. The beauty of quitting plastics is that we revert back to how we—humans—used to live, eating fresh whole foods, gardening, using beautiful baskets instead of plastics. It is not just a challenge, but a lifestyle, and it is so worth changing for. 

How? We each have different routines and habits. To create a strategy for an entire month off plastics we first have to become aware of the plastics used and discarded in our individual lives. Once we are ready with our personal plan of action, we can recruit friends to join the challenge and create rewards as incentive

Birralee Hassen