02 Jul 2019

Every year, people around the globe take time to focus on what they can do to reduce or eliminate the single-use plastic that has snuck into their daily lives at home, at work and at school. Water bottles, takeaway cartons and cutlery, shopping bags, coffee cups – single-use plastic crept into modern life under the pretext of convenience and it has taken longer than it should for people to realise that there is nothing convenient about the health and environmental impacts that plastic pollution brings.

#PlasticFreeJuly is an annual event in the sustainability calendar. With everyone being encouraged to take a new personal challenge and omit another type of single-use plastic from their life. In 2018 over 12 million people took part from over 177 countries and preventing an estimated 490 million kilos of plastic waste, (source: Plastic Free July).  

This July, we are all getting involved, and we wanted to help you make your #plasticfreeJuly challenge easier and help it have more impact. Whether at home, at work or school – here are some top tips from our friends at The Purpose Business to help you when you choose to refuse single-use plastic.

Don’t bottle out – every day in Hong Kong, 5 million single-use water bottles are discarded and most of these go into landfill. Use a refillable water bottle, and if you must use a single-use plastic bottle, make sure that you place it in one the city’s 3000 recycling containers. More information on this Journey of a water bottle infographic.
Be smart. Be app-y  - The Water for Free app is THE guide in Hong Kong to refilling your bottle on the go. There are over 1500 water refill points mapped in the app, including more than 700 small businesses and civil groups who are helping communities in Hong Kong be a brighter shade of green.
Think about food – we can all help cafés, bars and restaurants to reduce their food and plastic waste considerably with some simple but effective ideas whether you are in the kitchen, having a meal, sneaking a snack or working in the community. TPB and Mana! developed the Zero Waste Guide, and you can download the guide here.
Sign up #PlasticfreeJuly is about taking individual action as part of a concerted global effort. To meet and beat the numbers from last year, everyone needs to register. Make your voice count and  sign up for the Plastic Free July challenge.
Plan events carefully – whether it’s a party, a school trip or a meeting, we all are involved in events.  Spending time to work out where you can make the most difference to reduce your waste and single-use plastic use will help your sustainability efforts have more impact, and TPB’s Dr Merrin Pearse shows you how.
Choose your plastics wisely – when you’re trying to choose the right plastic, which is better? Terms like biodegradable, compositible and eco, sound like they are good for the environment, but which is better for you?  TPB’s handy guide will help you navigate to more sustainable purchases.

Talk to people about #plasticfreeJuly – from making recycling points easy to find, to sharing your upcycled shopping bag on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook or starting a conversation while you are getting your coffee in your reuseable cup, communicating what you doing will inspire more people than you know. Simply asking, “What are you doing for #plasticfreeJuly?”, could encourage the teacher to include plastic pollution in their lesson, the procurement manager to review their policy, or the restaurant owner to offer a discount for people bring their own reuseable container. 

Include @HongKongRugby and #plasticfreeJuly in your posts, and we’ll share our favoiries every Friday throughout July. 

We and The Purpose Business look forward to seeing your #plasticfreeJuly posts.