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A Guide to Plastic Free July

Summer is approaching and many of us are thinking about how to spend it. Plastic Free July want you to think about how you use plastic this summer. We’re taking a look into how to reduce the plastic you use this July, and how you can help work towards a plastic-free world.
A Guide to Plastic Free July

by K T Wallace

As summer holidays approach and we start preparing for some sunny weather, let’s not forget that what we do impacts the planet. This summer, why not take part in the eco-conscious movement gaining traction, and go plastic free this July.


  • What is Plastic Free July?
  • How to get involved in Plastic Free July
  • Tips to go Plastic Free

no more takeaway cups for plastic free July

What is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July is an annual global initiative started by the organisation Plastic Free July which aims to help people to reduce the waste they create. They encourage people to forgo single-use plastic for the month of July, to reduce the strain plastic can have on the planet. With 326 million participants each year, Plastic Free July are helping to spread the word about how small changes can make big differences. Whether you're switching to eco-friendly bathroom essentials or using vegan skincare brands, small changes can help. They provide tips and tricks to help people wanting to join in tackle the problems constant plastic-use poses. 

plastic waste can have a negative impact on the planet

How to get involved in Plastic Free July

You can tailor your plastic-free July to suit you. Whether it’s your first or you’re a regular plastic-free July-er, you can still take part. You can still take part even though July has already begun. Choose from a week, two, or the whole month, select which areas of plastic packaging you want to tackle, and decide whether you’re tackling plastic in your home, workplace, or place of education. There are multiple ways to take part. Simply input your selections into their Take The Challenge form and start your journey to a plastic free life. If you can’t take part, you can always donate to the organisation and help them to support people and organisations taking part and working towards a plastic free world. 

Taking part in Plastic Free July could change your life. Many partakers find new habits to help them to live a less impactful lifestyle. Here are a few tips to help you get started on your plastic-free journey. 

Tips to go Plastic Free

Bring a reusable coffee cup or flask to your regular coffee shop. This reduces the number of coffee cups and lids sold. While many locations have made the switch to cardboard or compostable takeaway cups, many aren’t actually recycled and still have an impact on the environment. Plus, lots of coffee shops and diners will offer a discount if you bring your own container! Afterwards you can simply wash it and use it again. 

reusable coffee keep cups

Choose plastic free fruits and vegetables when shopping for groceries. You can also buy plastic-free produce bags for vegetables instead of using the plastic ones at the supermarket. This reusable grocery bag from Turtle Bags is made of organic cotton. Often smaller market stalls or local sellers will have plastic-free products available, and you’re helping out a local seller too. 

Reusable grocery bags for plastic free July

You can bring your own reusable shopping bags to pack up your groceries at the end of your shop too. These Jute shopping bags are biodegradable and made from natural materials, perfect for reducing plastic you may use for the weekly shop. 

Fill up a water bottle at home instead of buying plastic water bottles when out and about. Using a reusable water bottle not only saves you money, but also reduces the number of plastic bottles bought. These reusable water bottles from Chilly’s are made from metal which keeps your drink cold or hot throughout the day. You can choose from various designs to get a water bottle which truly matches your style. 

choose reusable water bottles for plastic free July

When offered a straw, say no. It really is that simple. You can either request no straw when ordering your drink, or bring along your own reusable alternative. These reusable metal straws from the National Trust are made from stainless steel and come in a pack of 6 with a cleaning brush. You can simply keep a straw in your bag or pocket ready for when you may need one, then simply wash it and it’s ready to use again. You can even get a handy little straw pouch to keep the inside of your bag neat and tidy. 

Choose plastic-free products. When looking for your next phone or AirPods case, look for brands making the switch from plastic. Eco-friendly AirPods cases are made from compostable materials and the brands themselves often donate to ocean clean-up schemes and tree-planting organisations. Eco-friendly phone case brand, Popsicase, are recycling old fishing nets and turning them into phone cases to prevent these plastic nets ending up in the ocean.

save the oceans this plastic free July

Choose plastic free toiletry options. Popular choices include shampoo bars, bamboo toothbrushes, and soap bars. You can find brands, like vegan haircare brands, which are swapping out their plastic bottles for plastic-free bars, and wrapping them in recyclable cardboard packaging instead of single use plastic. Brands like Wearth London offer selections of eco-friendly and plastic free toiletries to help make the swap to plastic free life that bit easier. 

plastic-free toiletries for plastic free July

Plastic Free for the Future

Although Plastic Free July focus their mission to reduce plastic consumption to the month of July, you don’t have to revert back to old habits once the 1st of August rolls around. The simple swaps we’ve outlined are ways to help the planet on a daily basis. You can reduce your impact on the environment year round, and help to encourage a global shift in the way we use and buy products with plastic in. Whether you’re looking to reduce your plastic usage, or stop completely, following these simple tips, and taking a look into Plastic Free July, are a good place to start.