#plasticfreejuly2020 – tip #1: shopping time

July is the month dedicated to the #plasticfreejuly2020 challenge and VegON wants to contribute by publishing useful tips and news about the world of plastic every day.

#plasticfreejuly2020 is an initiative born in 2011. The Australian Rebecca Prince-Ruiz gradually became aware, from personal experience and specifically documenting herself, of the amount of plastic waste that each of us produces daily and therefore decided to launch a challenge to reduce plastic consumption. The initiative was so successful that nowadays, every year in July, it is replicated all over the world. Events, awareness campaigns, cleaning days etc. alternate for a whole month, with the aim to educate the largest number of people and thus create a movement of aware consumers.

To those who are more attentive to these issues, it might seem that some of the advice shared during this initiative is elementary, but we know that this is not the case for everyone, otherwise the world would not be in the condition it is in.

Let’s start, then, with our first advice, which concerns the moment when we go shopping

It is useful to always keep one or two reusable shoppers with you: they represent an excellent alternative to the classic disposable bag and can be very useful even if we had not planned to go to shops.

Today they are made of all materials and in all shapes, and they suit every taste. They are almost always designed in such a way as to be foldable and therefore take up very little space and do not clutter up. There are also many tutorials that can be found online for home-made reusable shoppers, made using old remnants of fabric or parts of clothes that we no longer wear.

We should then pay attention to the type of packaging used for the individual products. More and more manufacturers have become aware of the importance of having to use biodegradable containers and this makes things a little easier for us. Keep in mind, however, that many still use plastic. Furthermore, it must be considered that the so-called bioplastics also remain in the environment for a long time and take time to break up and in any case release materials which are not completely natural.

Therefore, we should try and opt as much as possible for the shops that sell “on tap”: we have no more excuses because they are more and more popular and among other things they should entice us because the prices are very competitive. In fact, not everyone knows that the cost of packaging greatly affects the final price of the product. In these shops you can go with your own cans and containers. And if we really don’t have any, the shopping is put into recycled paper bags and / or bottles that we can reuse the following times.

According to the European regulation “bulk” cosmetic products cannot be sold, due to hygiene and health safety rules. However, these products can be sold with a returnable packaging, i.e. once the content is over, you return the container or bottle to the shop and get a discount on your next purchase.

If we cannot avoid the traditional supermarket, but have no reusable shopper with us, we’d better choose biodegradable bags, as they can normally be reused to collect organic waste at home. Furthermore, even when we need to buy fruit and vegetables let’s prefer fresh products with no plastic trays and wrappers. Similarly, those who cannot give up fish and meat may choose not to buy pre-packaged products but can order at the fresh counter, and then at least reuse the bag food is wrapped in.

Those who buy from a trusted shopkeeper or with home delivery can instead agree on the collection of boxes, so that nothing ends up unused in the environment.

As for water, there are several options available to us:

  • if we have reusable glass bottles, we can find water in a so-called water house
  • if we have a special filter jug ​​we can drink tap water
  • when we travel let’s take a reusable water bottle or a thermos with us
  • if we really can’t give up disposable bottles, let’s at least try to buy those brands that use biodegradable bottles, made for example with a particular biopolymer deriving from the natural fermentation of sugars contained in plants.


Related topics:

The #plasticfreejuly2020 challenge is starting today

#plasticfreejuly2020 – tip #2: oral hygiene


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