‘Packaging as far as the eye can see. We have developed a lifestyle which is characterised by a throwaway-culture and short-lived products that are pointlessly wrapped in several layers of packaging. Yet, plastic is probably one of the most adverse materials we could have chosen to use for this purpose.’ Lisa Schneider, a member of the People Tree team, writes her thoughts about Plastic Free July. 

As Jeb Berrier, who starred in the documentary ‘Bag It‘ which focuses on our consumptive use of plastic, rightly states: “Think about it…why would you make something that you are going to use for a few minutes, out of a material that’s basically going to last forever. What’s up with that?”

But could we actually live without producing any rubbish?

If  we took the time to actively notice how much packaging and plastic we use in just one day, it is likely that each of us would have to admit that we had accumulated a little pile of rubbish. From the coffee-to-go paper cup in the morning, to the regular shopping spree in the supermarket. Even fruits and vegetables are often individually wrapped in plastic. What about milk? Shampoo? Toothpaste? How could these products be distributed without packaging?

For ‘Plastic Free July’ hundreds of people are taking on this seemingly impossible challenge to manage everyday life without producing any waste from single-use plastic products. Sounds unattainable? Blogger and New Yorker, Lauren Singer, has been managing just that for more than a year. Within one year, she produced a pile of rubbish that can fit into a jam jar. On her blog, named Trash is for Tossers, she regularly posts interesting videos and useful tips on how to switch from the plastic version of an item, to the waste-free alternative.

Two Years of Trash from Trash is for Tossers Blog
Two years worth of rubbish generated by blogger Lauren Singer, from ‘Trash is for Tossers’.

But don’t panic. For those that think that living a zero waste life from one day to another is impossible, there is a solution! The ‘Plastic Free July’ challenge can be taken for just one day or a week. Our favourite choice for any beginner would be the ‘Top 4 Challenge’. This gives participants the challenge of living without the top four sources of waste – plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups and straws. Think you could master the challenge? Find out more about it here.

If you undertake Plastic Free July, for any length of time, we would love to hear about your experiences and successes. Send us a message on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Remember that plastic takes 450 years before it even starts decomposing. That means that not a single piece of plastic that has ever been produced has decomposed yet!

Read about People Tree‘s use of recyclable and biodegradable plastic packaging in one of our previous blog posts.