This week was my first foray into the world of zero waste. Plastic Free July was first established in Australia in 2011 with a handful of participants and has now grown to millions of people in over 150 countries worldwide. The intention behind Plastic Free July is to build a global movement that dramatically reduces plastic use.
According to the Plastic Free Challenge, there is roughly 300 million tons of plastic that is produced every year with roughly half of that being disposables. Worldwide, only 10-13% of plastic items are recycled.
For my Plastic Free July, I am focusing on reducing (or ideally eliminating) my reliance on single use plastics. Single use plastics (or disposable plastics) like water bottles, coffee cups, coffee stirrers, straws, and most food packaging are only used once before being thrown away or recycled.
So far this week I have gone to my local farmer’s market to purchase some fresh and local produce as well as a trip to Lucky’s Market where I brought my own containers to use at the bulk bins.
Both trips were a success. I have fresh fruits and vegetables to eat for the week and a pantry of foods and snacks but focusing on bulk bins and avoiding plastic packaging was definitely a bit out of my comfort zone.