Global challenge proposes July without plastic. Let's do it?

Global challenge proposes July without plastic. Let's do it?

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The 'Plastic Free July' challenge was born eight years ago in Australia and in 2018 alone it will have brought together 120 million people from 177 different countries.

The idea is simple: during July, say no to single-use plastic. The 'Plastic Free July' challenge was born eight years ago in Australia, at the initiative of Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, founder of the Plastic Free Foundation; it takes place every July and in 2018 alone it will have brought together 120 million people from 177 different countries. It is estimated that the challenge prevented the waste of around 490 kg of plastic.

The 'Plastic Free July' aims to show that part of the solution to the plastic problem is an individual choice to reject its use. Whether straws, take-away packaging, water bottles or supermarket bags, the challenge encourages us to find alternatives to the so-called single-use plastic. It is true that ‘Plastic Free July’ is a monthly challenge, but we can see it as a moment of awareness in relation to the plastic we use - perhaps without realizing it - that will help us to foster new habits for the whole year.

On the website of the ‘Plastic Free July’ initiative you will find several tips on how to reduce single-use plastic in your home, in your office, at your school or even in the café you go to every day. You will also find posters and other materials that you can download and eventually print to help get the message across.

The 'Plastic Free July' challenge is expected to become easier year after year, as companies change their plastic packaging for paper alternatives and more. At least in the European Union, the paradigm shift at the corporate level is being driven by new Community rules that include the ban on single-use plastic from 2021; the European Union further determined that in 2025 member states will have to ensure that 90% of plastic bottles are recycled and that the new bottles are manufactured with at least 25% recycled content - in 2030 that percentage rises to 30%.

It is estimated that 300 million tonnes of plastic are produced every year, at least half of which are for single use. Given that plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose, there is an absurd problem of pollution caused by plastic in nature, with consequences for the oceans and animal life in general.

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