The revolution against single-use plastic has been gaining momentum around the world, and while many might feel like they want to join in, it can be daunting when you start thinking about how to reduce your use in reality.
One campaign might help you get into the swing of things - Plastic Free July. As a personal challenge, the idea is to refuse single-use plastic for the month, like straws, coffee cups, grocery bags and more.
There's also a handy quiz to help spot other pesky single-use plastics you might have never heard of like tea bags, which contain polypropylene to retain the bag's shape and does not decompose. You can either opt to buy loose leaf tea or do a little research on which companies use plastic-free tea bags.
READ: Africa leading the world in banning the plastic bag
These are some of the simple steps you can start with:
- Refuse plastic straws.
- Use reusable plastic bag.
- Avoid pre-packed bread, vegetables and fruit.
- Don't buy plastic water bottles.
- Shop for smarter disposable nappies.
- Line bins with newspaper instead of plastic bags.
- Buy pet food that comes in paper bags or tins.
ALSO SEE: This flight just produced zero waste - here's how it was made possible
On the website there are even more steps to take and how you can get other people involved. You can also share your journey on social media and find tips from others doing the challenge.
But one of the biggest challenges in South Africa is finding cost-effective means to refuse single-use plastic, as 'green' grocery stores are normally not too affordable. Interestingly enough, Pick n Pay has just launched 'nude zones' or plastic free fruit and veg sections in 13 stores in a bid to be more eco-friendly.
However, just doing what you can will help create a more sustainable future, and perhaps after the month is over it will become life-long habits!
WATCH: Those leftover shells from your lobster meal can be turned into plastic
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