Plastic Free July with Wastebusters communications co-ordinator Alexia Johnston

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Embracing Plastic Free July one step at a time

Plastic Free July is back on the calendar, but do not fear.

The month-long awareness campaign is not expecting you to rid all traces of plastic from your life by August.

That would be an ambitious goal leaving many of us disillusioned and ultimately on a path to failure.

Instead, we are encouraged to shift our way of thinking one small step at a time, like an attempt to adopt a healthier lifestyle, or exercise regime.

Health experts often suggest making one change to your diet or exercise plan every day for a couple of weeks until it becomes a habit.

The same concept can be applied to Plastic Free July.

I admit, I am not perfect, but my reusable coffee cup is making a difference, one latte at a time, along with my stash of reusable shopping bags.

For me, that shift took time before becoming the habit it is today.

A good place to start when taking part in Plastic Free July is the Big Four – plastic bags, disposable takeaway coffee cups, plastic water bottles and plastic straws.

It wasn’t so long ago we all had to get used to taking our own shopping bags, but everyone has successfully adapted to the change.

As a result, you could say, we’re all doing Plastic Free July this year.

Here’s what you can do next.

Firstly, remove the feeling of guilt or shame because you have not been taking your reusable cup to the cafe, wrapping your sandwiches in beeswax wraps or taking your reusable produce bags to the supermarket.

Instead, pick one thing to start doing, keep doing it throughout July and once it becomes second nature set yourself another plastic free goal.

Businesses are also encouraged to get on board.

Maybe your company offers a service that you want to promote, such as BYO containers, bulk bins, or has scope to embrace more recyclable materials, such as stationery.

Wastebusters will be sharing ideas and tips throughout the month, with the aim of supporting people who are keen to make a difference.

I will be making a conscious effort to make some swaps at the supermarket, including a trip down memory lane towards glass milk bottles.

Wastebusters communications co-ordinator Alexia Johnston