Plastic-Free July | 10 tips to get you through

Plastic-Free July | 10 tips to get you through

What is Plastic Free July?

You’ve probably heard the term used for a few years now but do you know exactly what it is?

It’s a global movement helping millions of people avoid single-use plastics by providing resources and ideas. It raises awareness and encourages people to start on their own plastic free journey at home, work, school or out and about. It’s key to success is the sharing of stories and ideas. It has moved on a bit from the old “Just say No” campaign that was around when we started Simply Jute in 2010.

Wherever you are on your journey, take the next small step, and if you are well into your journey maybe you can share some of your ideas with us.

How can you start your own plastic free journey?

Your small changes can make a massive difference. Take the challenge and see what plastic you can cut from your life. Here are 10 easy tips for starters.

You should by now have a set of shopping bags that you keep in your car or by the door. If not, you can get some biodegradable unlined jute bags here

    1. Just say No. In NZ it is now illegal for retailers to give you a single use plastic bag but you might need to say no elsewhere as you go about your daily business.

    2. Produce bags. This is the next big thing to think about. We still see so many people putting their fruit and veg in plastic bags. Sometimes 8 or 10 bags for small amounts of produce. It is not necessary. You have 2 choices here – either buy some reusable produce bags or just put your fruit & veg in the trolley without bags. Slightly inconvenient to handle but what are a few seconds of time to save using the plastic. If you have small items like brussel sprouts, pop them into a paper mushroom bag & leave it open.

    3. Keep an emergency fold up bag in your handbag. We have some great little fold up hemp bags that are ideal for this and great gift ideas, see them here

    4. You can just refuse plastic straws! Alternatively, you can buy your own and take it out with you, there are some handy ones on keyrings out there.

    5. Go op shopping. Some of the trendiest people shop in secondhand stores. Reduce your Fashion Footprint and help the circular economy. Don’t forget to donate your unwanted items when it’s time for a change.

    6. Choose a wooden toothbrush. These are now easily purchased from most supermarkets.

    7. Take a reusable coffee cup with you. Lots of coffee stops now reward you for using your own cup. It’s a win/win.

    8. Buy bulk. Take your own containers to places like Bin Inn and top up. They now do all sorts of stuff like shampoo, conditioner, soaps etc. Good value too.

    9. Get yourself a worm farm. Many councils are running programs to educate and subsidize worm farms and if you prefer in some areas you could rent one.

    10. Remember these key words and apply whenever you can Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Redesign, Refuse, Rethink, Respect, Restore & Recover

    What is Simply Jute doing for Plastic Free July?

    We already reuse any boxes we can, and small parcels are packaged in brown paper. We recycle everything possible and compost our food waste.

    The core of our business has been to bring jute and cotton bags into supermarkets as an everyday alternative to plastic bags so we are really happy that through legislation, this is now the norm.

    Here are a couple of things we have done at Simply Jute in the lead up to this Plastic Free July.

    1. We have changed the bar code swing tag attachments from the little plastic loops to jute string. It will take a while to sell through the stock with plastic tags but change is coming and if you shop at New World you’ll see the string ties already in stores. A bit more labour involved and slightly higher cost but 100% biodegradable.
    2. We have changed our plastic packing slip sticky envelopes to paper envelopes with “packing slip enclosed” stamped on.
    3. We are reducing the amount of tape used in our packaging
      Good luck with your challenge