Your Environmental Guide On How To Keep July Plastic Free!


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… it’s Plastic Free July! What started as a small group of people from Western Australia wanting to reduce their eco-footprint in 2011, has grown exponentially in the last 7 years. There are now millions of people involved from over 150 countries! That’s a lot of dang people! This rapid expansion has transformed the organisers into a not-for-profit charitable foundation.

Furthermore, earlier this year the Australian government put in place an initiative, albeit ambitious, that 100% of Australian packaging be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025. Now, this is darn fantastic news and it is wonderful that Australia is doing their part to mitigate environmental damage.

In light of this, we’ve compiled a quick guide on how you can help (without draining your pockets)!

Reusable Bags

South Australia was the first state to start phasing out lightweight plastic bags commonly provided in shopping centres, this initiative has been in place since May 2009. This has led to 400 million LESS plastic bags in South Australia. I’m sure I’m not the only one who now finds it a bit startling when I’m visiting interstate and pop into Coles or Woolies, and am handed my groceries in a plastic bag. Other states are starting to implement similar movements, but you can do your part by remembering to bring your green reusable bags when doing your shopping – and if you don’t like the aesthetic or the big ol’ Coles logo on them, there are so many other funky designs out there online and in stores that you can buy!
Onya resuable products can be found online and at various stores around Adelaide and surrounding suburbs, including;
Adelaide Farmers Market, Leader Street, Wayville 5034
E for Ethel, Shop 7, 116 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide 5006
Flourish On Magill, 139 Magill Road, Stepney 5069

Biome Bamboo Toothbrush  

Now, these look kind of funky and may be a bit out there for you, but they totally work and don’t really feel any different to regular toothbrushes!
“Our aim was to make a brush that offers performance equal to or better than plastic alternatives with high quality, long lasting bristles – and that is why we chose bristles made from PBT (a polyester compound) with tapered shaped ends to better clean between teeth and gums. Our brush also has a lovely curved handle that is more comfortable to hold.”
For now, Biome stores are only in Queensland, but their products are all available online.

I love digging my toothbrush into the garden after about three months of use (after removing the bristles)! It feels natural to return a resource to the earth from which it came. DAY 4: BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH #30plasticfreewaysfor30days How wonderful that millions of brightly-coloured, solid petrochemical plastic sticks are not finding their way into landfill because the world has become enamoured with making toothbrush handles from a renewable wood rather than finite petroleum! There is no finer example that we humans will embrace the more resource-efficient, close to nature solution, particularly when it works just as well, and costs the same or even less than the synthetic version! Yes, there are questions about the bristles still being plastic, but change really is a step-by-step process and we should celebrate the huge environmental benefits that come from making the major part of the toothbrush not plastic! I have tested a lot of bamboo handle toothbrushes and am thrilled that we now have a Biome version. Our aim was to make a brush that offers performance equal to or better than plastic alternatives with high quality, long lasting bristles – and that is why we chose bristles made from PBT (a polyester compound) with tapered shaped ends to better clean between teeth and gums. Our brush also has a lovely curved handle that is more comfortable to hold. The handle is treated by the sun and heat only, no chemicals; and is made from MOSO bamboo, which is not the bamboo eaten by Pandas. The Adult Soft and Kids brushes have the PBT bristles, while the medium has Nylon 6 bristles with rounded ends. Do you have any questions about bamboo toothbrushes? ::::::::: I’m Tracey the founder of Biome and I’m sharing one of my plastic free ways for 30 days to help you reduce plastic use. #plasticfreejuly #bambootoothbrush #plasticfree #naturalteeth #reduceplasticwaste #bamboo #toothbrush

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Lush Cosmetics Shampoo

They smell like coconuts in summer, have funky names like, ‘Jason and The Argan Oil’, ‘Curly Wurly’, and ‘Soak and Float’, and they’re vegan and plastic free – winning!! For between $12.00 – $30.00, you can buy one of these shampoo bars from your local Lush Cosmetic Store. Crafted from citrus groves, meadows and packed full of goodies, Lush also offers a range of conditioners that will ensure your hair stays soft and shiny, without hurting the environment.
Adelaide locations:Rundle Mall, Shop 14-38 Myer-Centre, Adelaide 5000. Marion Shopping Centre, Shop 1086, 297 Diagonal Rd, Oaklands Park 5046. 

Keep Cups and other Reusable Cups

KeepCups are made from sustainable products that are fit for purpose, in the context of a positive global campaign that strives to make a difference. In the fast and chaotic world we live in people are constantly on the go in and in need of their caffeine fix, it was a great concept to have started. Since June 2009, KeepCup have sold over eight million KeepCups, which has diverted billions of disposable cups from landfill (heck yeah!). KeepCups are now sold in multiple stores across not only Australia, but 65 other countries! Now that’s something to be really proud of.  You can design your own cup and purchase them online, or head over to stores like MiniMax, David Jones, Myer, Raw Space or House & Garden, plus many more! Alternatively, there is a variety of cafes around Adelaide that offer their own tailored version of a KeepCup, like Argos, Cibo and Elementary Coffee. All between $10.00 – $40.00, depending on how snazzy you want your personalised design to be.
I’ve got one, do you?

Metal Straws

Do you know what else is super cool and super handy!? Reusable straws! These are one of the world’s biggest issues when it comes to waste and landfill, and lets be honest – do you really need that straw in your vodka raspberry soda? There’s stainless steel straws that can be bought from Flora and Fauna, plus many other sites if you want to shop around. They come in packs of 1 or 2, and with a nifty little scrubbing brush to keep them clean.

Buying a cocktail at your favourite bar always leads to straws, if you’re worried about smearing your lipstick worry no more, loads of bars and hotels are using alternatives. Whether that be metal straws like those you find in NOLA, or alternatives like those adopted by Electra House who use fully compostable plastic-straw alternatives from a product called PLA. They are a fully compostable substance made from renewable resources such as corn starch or sugar cane. These straws will break down completely within six weeks when composted in a commercial compost system, which they are incredibly fortunate to have access to. A great way to keep July plastic free is opting out of using plastic straws!

Its called the ripple effect. It starts with a movement, before spreading further and further, and in this case, the more people know about easy ways to be more eco-friendly, the better it is for the environment – but that’s obvious. Just have a quick think about potentially how many coffee cups you’ve ever bought in your lifetime, they have to go somewhere. It takes about 20 years to decompose one cup. It takes 450 years for the ocean to break down a plastic bottle, and a piece of fishing line takes nearly 600 years. It’s bloomin’ brilliant that there is a growing global consciousness for being more environmentally friendly, so give a helping hand to those little sea turtles, orangutans, birdlife, and other marine animals, because they can’t help themselves.

If you’d like to take part in the Plastic Free July challenge, head to their website linked HERE to find out more!


About Author

I'm a third year university student, studying History and Cultural Studies, & English and Creative Writing. I have a strong love for travel and photography. If I'm not working or at uni, you can find me at one of the many boutique bars or specialty coffee cafes in Adelaide.

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