Plastic-free July or plastic full?

Written by: Sarah-Jane Hoskin, Marketing Assistant at GoJute

As July comes to a close, we reflect on the movement to reduce our reliance on plastic – highlighted during ‘Plastic free July’.

“What is plastic free July?” I hear you ask. The idea was born in Western Australia in 2011 and has now become a global movement. For one month it encourages people to be cautious about the plastic they are using and stop using single-use plastic altogether. 

Plastic is one of the biggest environmental problems for our generation. We have made more plastic in the first ten years of this century than in the whole of the 20th century. It is clogging up our landfill, polluting our oceans and using up vital non-renewable resources. 

Here at Go Jute, our mission is to support our customers to reduce plastic use and we have to walk the walk too! Here’s how our month went.

Our sales team use jute bags for their shopping (of course!) and so we are already really good at this. But we need to do more so during the month some of the team decided not to do any online shopping.

Online shopping can have a massive impact when it comes to our plastic waste as it’s become the norm to go online and order things and have them sent to your door rather than go out and try them and buy them. When your parcel arrives, it comes in one big plastic bag and then all the items are separate in other plastic bags not to mention the little tags which are attached with their plastic toggles!

There are some online stores that ship in compostable or paper bags or card so look out for those. We like https://www.theconsciouscompany.co.uk 

Our chief designer has swapped her toothbrush to bamboo and has purchased a metal water bottle. This is to reduce the plastic bottles they used to buy for water so they are not only reducing plastic waste but saving money too!

Finally, I am trying to reduce my plastic waste by changing where I shop and only shopping in plastic-free grocery stores. This means that none of the produce is packed in plastic and you decant your amount into either jars or tins. 

Read this to find out about what one major supermarket (it’s Waitrose) is doing: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jun/04/waitrose-launches-packaging-free-trial 

Discussing with the whole team what each department did has inspired us all to try other things and do extra things outside of work to reduce plastic and many of the things we’ve changed will be permanent – not only for July!

Think you could do it? 

We know how hard it can be so if you don’t know where to start here are a few tips:

  1. Start tracking your plastic waste. Look at how much you go through within a week and see if any of that you can do anything about. 
  2. When you buy a salad for lunch, what about the plastic forks? Bring one from home in your bag and start making your lunch. This will also save you money. 
  3. If you get takeaway coffees from coffee shops, then get a reusable cup. 
  4. Instead of buying bottles of water from the shop get a drinks bottle. 
  5. And of course, how could I not mention changing your shopping habit: instead of using plastic carriers… GET YOURSELF A JUTE BAG!
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