It's Plastic Free July again!
Possibly one of my favourite times of the year, because Plastic Free July give me and all the other eco-holics out there an excuse to get extra loud about the detriment of single-use plastics.
Need a refresher?
Why it's important
It's really easy to 'choose to refuse' single-use plastic, and by keeping your commitment top-of-mind for the month, you will also be building some great new habits to carry with you for the entire year. Using less plastic means cleaner streets and neighbourhoods, cleaner oceans and forests, and an overall healthier community.
There's no shortage of ideas on how to go plastic free (in fact, Eco Shark is full of ideas!) and you don't need to overhaul your entire lifestyle to participate. One of the biggest impacts that Plastic Free July has is to highlight just how much plastic we use and how unnecessary it is.
What's new this year (in Canada, at least)
This year is the first time we'll be celebrating Plastic Free July with the Canadian single-use plastic ban. I'm sure you remember plastic bags from the grocery store, plastic cutlery from fast-food restaurants, plastic stir sticks for your coffee, and all the unnecessary straws for your drinks...but as of December 20, 2022, they've all been given the boot in Canada. A late comer joined the party on June 20, 2023, when we showed the door to 6-pack plastic beverage rings.
This was a loooooong time coming (too long, honestly) to take care of the lowest hanging fruit. Sure, we've chucked some of the worst offenders, but there's a whole lot more we can -and must- do.
Tell it to somebody who cares
That's to say, our local representatives.
Never underestimate the influence of your voice and how every one of us has the powerful to help shape our future. July is the perfect time to voice your concerns about single-use plastics and how Canada's ban can continue to expand, like including bottled water for example.
If you're not sure where to start, consider ChatGPT. Using ChatGPT to draft a letter to your Member of Parliament (MP) is a great way to start formulating your concerns, and you can then rewrite the letter in you own voice and double check the content to make sure it's all factual.
How are you celebrating Plastic Free July this year? Share your goals in the comments - maybe you'll inspire someone else to join the team!