What is the Plastic Free July Challenge?
In 2011, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz threw a challenge for her co-workers: saying no to single-use plastics for one whole month.
Since then, this local initiative has grown into a global sustainability movement joined by millions of environment-loving humans every July.
140 million participants helped to avoid 2.6 million tons of waste in 2022 alone — and this year, the community aims for an even bigger impact.
How Plastic Harms the Environment
The single-use plastic industry is growing — despite stricter regulations, waste management and recycling efforts. Plastic contributes to global warming with an estimated 1.8 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
Plastic waste ends up in landfills, rivers and oceans and pollutes the environment, harms wildlife, and affects people's livelihood, health and well-being.
One of the biggest environmental challenges when it comes to plastic is its long decomposition time, which can be anywhere from 20 to 1000 years. For example, it takes 20 years for a standard supermarket bag to decompose. A PET plastic bottle will decompose in 450 years, and a single plastic straw may take up to 200 years to decompose.
Another significant concern is the chemical toxicity of plastic. A 2021 study published in the Environmental Science & Technology Journal has identified 10,500 different chemicals in plastics. Evidence indicated that a quarter of them are “chemicals of potential concern”.
Food Huggers’ Contribution
We’ve been helping people reduce waste and live more sustainably since 2013 — including tackling single-use plastics and swapping them for long-lasting reusable options. To this day, we’ve kept 500 million pieces of plastic out of the environment.
This year, we want to invite you to join the Food Huggers community and fight plastic pollution by joining the 2023 Plastic Free July Challenge.
Why Going Zero-Plastic Makes a Difference
Roughly 50% of plastic is used only once and then thrown away, and over 90% of global plastic goes unrecycled. But not all is doom and gloom.
Together we can create cleaner, greener and more sustainable communities worldwide — and it’s as simple as cutting down on plastic for just one month.
Join us for the Plastic Free July Challenge if you want to become part of the plastic-free movement and:
- Reduce your carbon footprint
- Conserve natural resources (water, energy, oil and gas)
- Adopt positive habits that lead to a greener future
- Help protect wildlife and marine ecosystems
- Contribute to human and animal health
- Raise awareness about the plastic pollution
- Save money long-term by investing in reusable items
Ready to Become a Sustainability Changemaker?
Plastic is everywhere, but we have the agency to make the change. Plastic Free July Challenge is a simple but powerful way to make a positive impact on the environment, build sustainable habits and inspire others to join the plastic-free movement. Plus, it’s free and you can decide for how long and to what extent you want to commit. We look forward to seeing the positive environmental impact you make this July!
- www.oecd.org. (2022). Plastic pollution is growing relentlessly as waste management and recycling fall short, says OECD. [online] Available at: https://www.oecd.org/environment/plastic-pollution-is-growing-relentlessly-as-waste-management-and-recycling-fall-short.htm#:~:text=Plastic%20consumption%20has%20quadrupled%20over.
- Wiesinger, H., Wang, Z. and Hellweg, S. (2021). Deep Dive into Plastic Monomers, Additives, and Processing Aids. Environmental Science & Technology, 55(13), pp.9339–9351. doi:https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.1c00976.