A calendar showing 31 tips for being plastic-free

As plastic-free July draws to a close, Warwickshire County Council is encouraging residents to continue to make positive steps to reduce their use of single-use plastics.

Warwickshire County Council has been supporting Plastic Free July, which is a key initiative of the Plastic Free Foundation that aims to have a world that is free from harmful plastic waste.

Plastic pollution is a real problem that affects our environment, our health and wellbeing and contributes to carbon emissions:

  1. Over 2 million plastic bags are used every minute worldwide and the average time that a plastic bag is used in its lifetime before being discarded is 12 minutes;
  2. One million plastic bottles are bought every minute worldwide;
  3. 32% of all plastic packaging produced finds its way to our oceans every year;
  4. 73% of beach litter worldwide is plastic;
  5. Based on current rates of plastic entering waterways, by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean, which means all life depending upon the oceans will be consuming plastics; and
  6. The average person eats 70,000 microplastics each year!

Given the scale of the problem, Warwickshire County Council decided to support this worthwhile campaign by sharing one tip to help residents reduce their plastic use for each of the 31 days of the month across its social media channels and website.

Most ideas that Warwickshire County Council have shared throughout July are easy to follow and many will help residents to save money in the long-term too. Some favourites are:

  1. Ditching pre-packaged fresh produce and choosing loose fruit and vegetables instead
  2. Remembering to take a reusable coffee cup when out and about
  3. Switching to loose-leaf tea or a tea-bag brand that doesn’t contain plastic
  4. Saying no thank you to cheap plastic giveaways
  5. Switching to bars of soap and shampoo that last longer than bottles
  6. Taking a re-usable water bottle out with you and using the Refill app to find places to top-up
  7. Using local zero-waste shops to stock up on cupboard staples – less packaging and less plastic.

If residents have their own tips to share about being plastic-free, Warwickshire County Council is still keen to hear them. Share your ideas using the Hashtag #PlasticFreeWarks

Cllr Heather Timms, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for Environment, Heritage and Culture, said: “The sheer scale of our planet’s plastic problem is staggering and complicated. When faced with such large numbers it’s easy to just assume that you won’t be able to make a difference through your own actions, but this could not be further from the truth.

“As with the so many elements of the climate and environmental emergency that currently faces our world, there are a lot of little things that individuals can do to make a big difference. I would urge anyone who is able to try some of our tips for reducing plastic use beyond July and together we can continue to strive for a Warwickshire that is sustainable now and for future generations.”

Find out more about plastic-free July 2022 on the Plastic Free Foundation website: https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/

For more information about how Warwickshire County Council is facing the challenges of the climate change emergency, visit: https://www.warwickshireclimateemergency.org.uk/

Published: 29th July 2022