A Plastic Free July

The Plastic Free July movement started in Western Australia, and over the years has grown internationally to 150 countries! No matter what your starting point is, challenging yourself and maybe your family for one month, can reveal a lot about your single use plastic dependence. It’s a fun way to develop your skill of avoiding plastic and is great motivation to find alternatives and contribute to protecting the environment.  You need not go completely plastic free and it can be as simple as choosing ONE item to swap or avoid for the month.

How to prepare for a Plastic Free July

Trying to go completely plastic free for a whole month is at superhero level, so save yourself the stress and try to have fun with it.  Below is a list of some common plastic free options for you to choose.  Get your household, friends, family and kids onboard for support. Remember, just pick one or a few from the examples given below.

In the list given below there is the option to Reduce – i.e. find an alternative that is not plastic.  This is your first choice for going plastic free.  You will also have some ideas of your own.  For those items that you choose not be go plastic free just yet, we have given some Reuse and Recycle options that you may already be practising.  Finally, examples of where to shop for non-plastic items is also given below.  Go onto the internet and find many other examples of what is available to be plastic free.  HAVE FUN!


Some examples of where to shop for plastic free alternatives in and around Johannesburg and on the internet

  • Faithful to Nature:   is a proudly South African online health store that offers multiple waste free options and packaging solutions to enhance the shopping experience of those wanting to be a part of the change and protect the environment.
  • Greenlightonline:  (greenlightonline.co.za) has all types of green lifestyle options and their ECO friendly online shop is easy to use.
  • Food Lovers Market: offers bulk goods with less packaging, and customers are encouraged to use their own containers at the food dispensaries. It’s exciting to see big brands become a part of the zero waste movement.
  • The Refillery  (therefillery.co.za) (Cedar Square Shopping Centre, Fourways, Johannesburg) all provide a plastic free shopping experience. These companies offer their customers plastic-free wholefoods, health foods, and earth-friendly products that are sold by weight, oftentimes supporting local suppliers and other waste reducing initiatives.
  • Enviromall (Pty) Ltd:  B11  5 Star Junction, Beyers Naude and Juice Street (010 593 4746).  Has many examples of alternative packaging that is also available on the internet
  • Green Home Food Packaging: 9a Horwood Street Edenvale (011 453 2286) provides a comprehensive range of top quality ECO friendly products that are biodegradable
AreaType of Plastic  ReduceReuseRecycle
Alternatives to reduce plastic useExamples of how to reuse the plastic itemRecycling of plastic item
          KitchenZip-lock, plastic bags, cling wrapUse reusable plastic containers with lids. Use glass bowls with lids Use glass bowls to cover food Use reusable solid silicone food covers.  These create an airtight seal.  They are also oven, microwave and dishwasher safe.Freezer bags can be washed and reused a couple of times. Cling wrap cannot be reusedPlastic freezer bags and cling wrap cannot be recycled. Can be placed into an ECO Brick
Plastic WrappingBeeswax wrapping paper is excellent.  Where possible use glass bowls, glass jars or reusable plastic containers.  Plastic wrapping generally cannot be reused.Plastic wrapping cannot be recycled.  Can be placed into an ECO Brick
Plastic dust Bin LinersUse compostable bin linersUsually thrown away with the kitchen wasteCannot be recycled.
Plastic laundry pegsUse Bamboo, wooden or metal laundry pegsAre reused until brokenCan be placed into an ECO Brick if small enough.
    BathroomEar BudsUse organic cotton ear budsPlastic toothbrushes are reusableOld plastic toothbrushes cannot be recycled.  If small enough they can be placed into an ECO Brick
Plastic toothbrushesUse wooden / bamboo toothbrush
Dental FlossUse biodegradable dental floss
ToothpasteUse charcoal toothpaste
          Out and aboutPlastic Water BottlesCarry a glass or hard plastic reusable water bottle and refill. Reduce the buying of water in plastic water bottlesPlastic water bottles can be reused. Can be recycled into pillow and sleeping bag filling, carpeting, clothing, building insulation
Plastic StrawsRefuse plastic straws from restaurants. Drink without a straw or use an alternative such as a metal, bamboo or paper straw.  Some restaurants do offer alternatives to the plastic straw – but not all are truly plastic freeCannot be reusedPlastic straws cannot be recycled. Can be places in an ECO Brick
Reusable Shopping BagKeep reusable cloth bags or paper carrier bags in the car to have available when doing food shoppingFold plastic shopping bags for reuse and keep in car or in a handbag.   Plastic shopping bags cannot be recycled.  When torn it can be added to the ECO Brick
Produce BagsUse a non-plastic alternative:  Buy produce such as apples etc separately.Plastic produce bags cannot be recycled. Plastic produce bags cannot be recycled.  These can be added to the ECO Brick

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