Plastic-Free Progress

We are officially into plastic-free July, and having gained a huge amount of momentum and attention on social media, we are seeing some changes already happening. It is the ‘in thing’, the hot topic, but is it just ‘cool’ to say you’re plastic free, or are we seeing the beginnings of a post-plastic revolution? This week several major news headlines featured the term ‘plastic-free’, and so we are her to share with you a summary of the first week of plastic-free July.

The major headlines of the week were centred on the start of Wimbledon. The infamous tennis tournament, synonymous for showing off the very best Britain has to offer, and of course hosting the most revered tennis stars from across the globe. However, Wimbledon hit the headlines this week not for its tennis sensations, but for its efforts towards becoming more sustainable. It announced that it would be removing the use of plastic bags from player’s re-strung rackets – supposedly saving over 4,500 plastic bags through this move alone. Gone will be the dramatic swiping of the racket from a sheath of plastic before the match – which may be the loss of a tradition, but is a step in the right direction for sustainability.

Wimbledon’s sponsor Evian, the supplier of Wimbledon’s water, and a purveyor of plastic bottles has announced that it will launch its first 100% recyclable water bottle at this year’s championships – another move that will aid the attempts to save the planet from drowning in plastic.

In another eco-minded move, Wimbledon has introduced a vegan version of the iconic strawberries and cream – catering for those cutting down or reducing their dairy consumption in support of the planet. The cups used for the strawberries and cream are also made from 100% recycled plastic.

And finally, many of the tennis stars will be sporting a kit designed by Stella McCartney for Adidas. This kit is extremely special as it is made from Parley’s ocean plastic, a material created from upcycled plastic waste intercepted from beaches and coastal communities before it meets the ocean, where it is then converted to yarn. This further adds to Wimbledon’s awareness in 2019 of the issues that the planet is facing, and it is so good to see such a big organization really trying to help make a difference.

Another headline this week comes from the supermarket giant Aldi. As part of a trial, the German supermarket announced that it will remove plastic packaging from its toilet roll packs from 174 stores next month. This means the plastic packaging will be replaced with paper, and if successful will launch across the whole of the UK – a move which could save 900 tonnes of plastic each year. The supermarkets are one of the biggest problems when it comes to consumption of plastic, so it is great to see some attempts to tackle the problem beginning to be implemented. However, all of the supermarkets still have a long way to go.

In Abingdon, the efforts of the environmentally conscious residents of this Oxfordshire town have been rewarded by being given plastic free status from Surfers against Sewage.  Their efforts to reduce plastic across their entire town have been well-received, and show what a difference you can make when a whole community is on board.

Further afield, Stockholm has canceled its fashion week in order to focus upon a more sustainable alternative. This is a huge move and reflects the current worries within the fashion industry on the damaging effect that fast fashion is having on the environment.

So, for the first week of Plastic Free July, we are seeing a real effort to rectify our own damages against the planet, and hopefully, as the month goes on, we will see more and more corporations do their bit for the plastic-free revolution.

Make sure you stay tuned, as we will be bringing you many more stories, tips, and ideas throughout the rest of Plastic Free July. We would love to hear your feedback, so please comment and let us know what measures you’ve seen your favorite brands and companies implementing in order to be more sustainable.

Daisy from the Bags of EthicsTM team

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