Plastic Free July

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Plastic Free July® is a primary campaign of the Plastic Free Foundation that encourages people to work toward a world without plastic waste. Years of hard work have culminated in the award-winning Plastic Free July campaign, which began in 2011.

It was founded by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz (founder of the Plastic Free Foundation) and a small team of local government officials in Western Australia and has since grown to become one of the world’s most important environmental movements. Every year, millions of people from all around the world participate, with many vowing to reduce plastic pollution even beyond the month of July.

Plastic waste issue in Malaysia

According to the National Solid Waste Management Department Ministry Of Housing And Local Government, since 2000, the plastic manufacturing business has experienced one of the fastest growth rates of any industry. Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) in a report of Malaysia’s Roadmap towards Zero Single-Use Plastics 2018–2030, Malaysia has one of the largest plastic manufacturing businesses in the world, with over 1,300 plastic manufacturers. In 2016, resins worth 30 billion Malaysian Ringgits (MYR) were shipped to plastic companies all over the world. Agriculture, home, packaging, construction, electronics, automotive, and various subsectors such as plastic furniture and medical devices are among the seven primary sectors of the Malaysian plastic industry. Packaging is the most common end-use for plastic manufactured in Malaysia, which follows global trends.

Kaza, S et al in their study What a waste 2.0: a global snapshot of solid waste management to 2050 stated that Malaysia, like the rest of the emerging Southeast Asian countries, lacks insufficient waste management systems to deal with the volume of plastic trash produced. In the country, the most common methods of dealing with plastic garbage are landfill disposal and household burning, a study found by Moh YC & Manaf LA (2014). Household trash generation in Malaysia varies by region and economic class, ranging from 0.85 kg to 1.5 kg per person per day [22, 27]. Malaysia produces more household garbage than other developing countries like Indonesia and the Philippines, with 0.22 kg and 0.4 kg per person per day, respectively, a conclusion made from a study by Castillo AL and Otoma S, (2013).

How we can do our part just at our home?

Consumers must use their purchasing power to show manufacturers that we are unwilling to continue buying so much single-use plastic. If a large number of people refuse to buy things packaged in single-use plastic, companies will quickly begin to provide products that we will truly pay for. After all, it’s all about the money!

Although avoiding plastic is tough, there are several very basic changes that we can all make to drastically reduce the quantity of plastic generated and transported to trash.

First and foremost, recycle all recyclable plastic.
Above all, try to stay away from plastic as much as possible!

  • Buy Loose Fruit & Vegetables
    Food packaging accounts for the majority of plastic in the home. Taking a look at the contents of your shopping bags can pose as a big shock. Buying loose fruit and vegetables is one of the simplest methods to decrease single-use plastic. If you live near a greengrocer or a farmers market, go there instead of the store because they use significantly less plastic. If you must shop at a supermarket, choose fruits and vegetables that can be purchased loose rather than those that are wrapped in plastic.
  • Stop Buying Plastic Drinks Bottles
    When you’re out and about or doing your monthly grocery shopping, make it a practise to avoid buying bottles of water or other bottled beverages. Get a reusable water bottle and remember to bring it with you when you go out. Water refill stations are springing up all throughout the country, allowing you to get fresh water whenever you run out. If you must have a carbonated beverage, try to purchase one in a glass bottle or a can, as these are more likely to be recycled.
  • Avoid Takeaway Coffees or Carry a Reusable Cup
    Disposable coffee cups didn’t exist not long ago, and we all got by just fine. We used to go to a cafe and order a mug of coffee, or we’d wait until we got to work or home and have our coffee there. Take your time, sit down, and sip your coffee while admiring the scenery. Alternatively, carry a reusable coffee cup with you to avoid contributing to the staggering amount of disposable coffee cups used in the UK each year. Every day, 7 million people!
  • Carry a Reusable Shopping Bag
    Carry reusable bags with you at all times instead of paying 20 cents for each plastic bag you require every time you go shopping. Even reusing your used bag would make a significant difference in the quantity of plastic we use as a nation each year. You’ll be significantly more likely to remember to bring a bag with a design you like and want to carry about if you find one with a design you like and want to carry around.

There are other ways that all of us can do to contribute to this campaign, simply go to this website to know more: Plastic Free July – Be Part of the Solution
We all need to take more responsibility for our individual environmental impact. Participating in Plastic Free July (search #PlasticFreeJuly on social media) can inspire you to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle and to think twice about what you buy (and if you even need it). Participate and try to persuade your friends, family, and neighbours to do the same.

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