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Welcome to Plastic Free July

Published on July 6th, 2023

It was a brilliant ploy by the plastics industry in the 1980s to stamp triangular symbols on the bottom of their containers. This protocol created the impression that it was recyclable, but only items with the #1 or #2 stamp prove to be worth the effort.

And that is only if everybody follows through.

Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. This message comes from Sailors for the Sea:

Did you know an estimated 33 billion pounds of plastic floods into our oceans every year? This is roughly equivalent to dumping two garbage trucks full of plastic into the oceans every minute.

Most of this plastic waste is from single-use items, such as packaging, drink bottles, and bags. And the result of all this plastic winding up in the oceans is devastating: plastic bottles and containers polluting beaches and coral reefs; dead seabirds washed ashore, their stomachs filled with plastic; sea turtles that have choked on plastic bags after mistaking them for jellyfish.

Plastics are in the air, our food, and even our bodies.

Unfortunately, we can’t recycle our way out of our plastic crisis. Too much plastic is being produced, and waste facilities aren’t equipped to deal with either the quantity or variety of plastics. In fact, only 9% of all the plastic waste ever produced has been recycled, and a sad truth is that not everything that goes into the recycling bin actually gets recycled.

Some is disposed of or lost in the recycling process. Some is turned into lower-value products, a process known as “downcycling.” And some is exported to developing nations, with less-robust waste infrastructure, where it ends up sitting in landfills, getting incinerated, or dumped into our oceans.

So, what’s the solution?

Reduce, refill, repurpose. Plastic containers are meant to last forever, so reduce what you buy, and then refill or repurpose them as much as possible.

For lasting change, support policies that will eliminate plastic at the source. Pay attention to what is happening in your community, city, state and beyond and be a supporter of policies that will reduce plastics. The more voices there are speaking up on this topic, the more likely change will happen.

Join us in taking a stand against plastic pollution this Plastic Free July. Together, let’s create a future free from the scourge of single-use plastics. To help, click here.

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