Thursday, 16 June 2016

5 Reasons You Should Try the Plastic Diet too

I'm going on a plastic diet. I've just signed up for the Plastic-Free July Challenge because it troubles me how much damage we are causing with everyday waste.  Care to join me...?

Reduce plastic: Grow your own veggies, or buy fresh, local package-free vegetables from markets.

Single-use plastic continues to fill bins everywhere - plastic shopping bags, plastic cups, straws, plastic packaging... Just about everything is wrapped. Much of it is unnecessary, and most of it ends up in landfill and the oceans.

Plastic is designed to last, but every day we use it for disposable items which last a few minutes before we throw them away. That plastic then spends more than our lifetime trying to break down - some of it will still be here more than seven generations from now.

Five really good reasons to go on a plastic diet too:

  • EVERY piece of plastic ever produced still exists on earth somewhere (apart from the small amount that has been incinerated).
  • In the first 10 years of this century MORE plastic was produced than the entire last century.
  • Australians send 1 million tonnes of plastic waste to landfill each year.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans each year where it entangles and is ingested by wildlife. 
  • 90 per cent of all seabirds alive today have eaten plastic (only 5% had plastic in 1960). A CSIRO report estimates that 99% of seabirds will have plastic in their gut by 2050.

A red-footed booby on Christmas Island, in the Indian Ocean. © CSIRO, Britta Denise Hardesty

I like to think that I am a conscious consumer - aware about my use of plastics and the impact of my purchasing behaviour .... but I have still been coming home with too many single-use plastics. Mmmmm.... time for a different approach.

During Plastic-Free July I am aiming to significantly reduce my consumption of single use plastic. Hopefully rising to the collective challenge will help me get over a few more lingering plastic habits.

Last year over 36,000 people registered for the challenge from 85 countries. Maybe you want to join too. You can sign up for a day, a week or the whole month. You can attempt to refuse all single-use plastic or go for just the top 4: plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups and straws.

The Challenge (from
  1. Attempt to refuse single-use plastic during July.
  2. Remember it's not going to be easy! It is a challenge, not a competition so don't worry about being perfect.
  3. Collect any unavoidable single-use plastic you buy. Keep in a dilemma bag and share it with us at the end of the challenge.
  4. It's up to you regarding how long you participate. You might decide to go plastic-free for a day, a week, a month or longer! However long you choose will still make a contribution.

We are joining Plastic Free July to challenge ourselves to reduce our plastic use even more and of course to sustain those changes.

I hope even more people will join the challenge this year. You can sign-up, show your support and be part of the solution to the growing problem of plastic pollution in our environment.

Will you join me in making positive change?

Here's a few starters, with links to other posts I've written on these topics:
  1. Getting rid of plastic wrap - make your own beeswax cloths
  2. Grow your own fressh package free foods - make a no-dig garden
  3. Purchase bulk foods and take your own containers
  4. Shop at Farmers Markets
  5. Make your own pasta and sauce.
  6. Make your laundry detergent 
  7. Avoid products with microbeads. 

A great way to visualise the many ways we can cut unnecessary plastic from our lives.


  1. I'm in!
    I received 2 bee wax wraps from "Mighty Nest" last month and will use these to wrap my lunch instead of cling film. I already take everything else in reusable containers. I love the idea of taking your own reusable containers to fill up with bulk items. It really is a mindset and a chance to re educate yourself in your choices, isn't. Have a great day

    1. I use bee wax wraps, Fiona, and they are fantastic!

  2. Thanks for the information Morag...I am definitely on board.

  3. We went 4 wheel driving on the weekend and the amount of plastic crap that had washed up on the beaches was so sad to see. I believe it comes from ships out at sea, dumping overboard. Disgusting.

    1. Not necessarily from ships. Huge amounts of rubbish are washed down gutters, into water channels and out to sea every time we get heavy rain.

  4. I was just happened to be watching some youtube videos on a completely unrelated topic today and one came up in the suggestions tab about plastic floating at sea - I was astounded.

  5. When we are on holidays on Stradbroke Island, it's always so sad to see plastic bits washed up on the beaches there. At the marine research station on the island, run by the Uni of Qld, they research and treat turtles affected by a floating syndrome caused by the ingestion of plastics. This article talks about the impact of plastics on turtles. It's just so sad.

    We have a way to go in terms of further reducing our use of plastics but we have made quite a bit of progress over the last two years. Plastic-free July is a great way to focus on the problem of plastics in our environment.


  6. I've been doing plastic free July for four years now and I think we are slowly building the habits of taking our own bags and avoiding buying things wrapped in plastic. Haven't used plastic bag bin liners or plastic wrap for since the first Plastic free July :)

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