Plastic Free July has been an incredible success for our #BioPakHeroes - with over $2000 raised for a great charity (WWF) and more awareness raised for a pressing issue (the proliferation of plastics in our lives).
There is no 'Planet B' and thus why 3 team members have taken on the Plastic-Free July Challenge. The plastic we mindlessly generate and consume through our lifestyles has a permanent and adverse effect on our planet. In an effort to raise both money and awareness, the BioPak Heroes chronicled their month-long journey on EverydayHero.
See how they progressed on their journeys here: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/biopak-heroes.
We had the chance to catch-up with the team and hear first-hand how they found the month overall and their key takeaways.
Question: How did you find Plastic Free July and what were your key takeaways?
It was enlightening to say the least. I cut down on a lot of luxuries - snacks, in particular. As someone who lives alone and never cooks, I found I could no longer just order takeaway food reflexively. I had to make much more conscious choices when ordering food but it wasn’t at all more expensive since I was smart about it. For example, a kebab or gozleme is wrapped in paper and is a healthier option than Maccas.
This month, I realized that my consumption of plastic is much higher than I had imagined and I’m definitely changed for the better. I’ll be shopping at more organic shops and always bring my own bag. Better for the environment and better for my health, too.
I’m glad that I partook in this exercise and found it quite challenging considering how our society isn't set up for completely "plastic-free". I did take it a little more extreme and generally avoided plastics even if they weren't single use. Being so strict with plastic-free meant that I had a difficult time purchasing most items and it was often more inconvenient or expensive. Convenience certainly went out the door as the major supermarkets weren’t incredible accommodating (even fruits were wrapped in plastic!) and takeaway meals weren’t always wrapped in eco-friendly options. A positive side effect was I often shopped very local and made a return to eating slow food. I did severely miss all my crunchy snack foods!
A result of this experiment is that I have become much more conscious of the end-of-life of all products, the materials and how they are sourced in all products, the plastics and chemicals in household and beauty products, and the plastics, chemicals, and food miles in groceries. Great learnings from an eye-opening month.
It was an awesome exercise - a real eye-opener to see how much plastic we unintentionally use. For example, grabbing a chocolate was pretty much off the cards because they are often wrapped in plastic. A side effect of the challenge was that I certainly ate less chocolate!
A key takeaway from this month is that I need to be more mindful of what I consume in terms of single-use plastic and how important it is for everyone to join the movement. A great success from this was having one of the takeaway restaurants convert from plastic packaging to sugarcane packaging after seeing how sturdy our BioCane bowls were.
It was an eye-opener for all members of the team but we are proud of them for their efforts in driving change! It’s pretty clear how plastic has seemed to ingrained itself into our lives and that we have a long journey. We hope that the rest of the world joins in the journey to a zero waste economy and we can break free from plastic. Together we can save this planet.