From little things big things grow

Wednesday 7th of August 2013

POSTED BY: Rebecca Prince-Ruiz (Earth Carers Coordinator)

At Earth Carers one of our aims is to educate people about the journey of their waste by showing them where "away" is and inspiring them to take action. In 2011 we came up with the idea of challenging ourselves to say no to plastic packaging in July. A handful of Earth Carers volunteers and friends joined in the challenge and shared ideas, tips and recipes on living plastic-free.

This year thousands of people from all around the world, from New Zealand to Turkey, Michigan to Egypt. Every continent is represented. Every state in Australia, from big cities to remote townships, have participants. And the numbers grew daily. So what have people done?

  • Whaingaroa Environment Centre in Raglan, New Zealand promoted the challenge to local businesses and the community (including holding a weekly ‘Plastics’ Anonymous' support meeting for participants at the local pub).
  • In the USA the online store My Baby First is using paper bags rather than plastic for customer purchases.
  • A local activist has started Plastic Free Moncton in Canada.
  • Vancouver Aquarium staff have pledged to use reusable cups and limit purchases containing disposable plastic.
  • The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River pledged for all its staff to participate in Plastic Free July and to assist any community group willing to host plastic-free events. 
  • Students from Moerlina School in Nedlands learned how to make bin liners out of newspaper pages and drew up a list of products to avoid such as dishwasher tablets individually wrapped in plastic in a cardboard box.

Individually, there were wonderful examples of people going plastic free and promoting it to their community creatively, such as Merren from A Year Without Buying Plastic, making a costume to show how much plastic a family of four use on average for the annual chilly mid-winter swim festivities in Raglan, New Zealand! Over 50 bloggers have shared their journeys into plastic-free living.

It’s clear that people around the world want to use less plastic, and are mindful of the effects plastic can have on the environment and our health. Plastic Free July is a great example of how local actions and endeavours can spread! "Plastic Free July has grown from a local grassroots effort in suburban Perth to educate residents on the importance of reusing goods into an international observance" ( 

From little things big things do grow, thanks everyone who participated...and good luck for a less-plastic future!

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