Plastic Free July

The journey with a positive impact

We are heading to the towards the final days of Plastic Free July  we have been following the updates on Facebook and receiving the informative emails, and generally we are finding we’re more plastic conscious than ever.  Being part of a community makes the journey more adaptable knowing you are involved with thousands of others as we embed the positive change.

When we are out and about running errands for home, work or out getting something to eat we are often confronted to make those impromptu decisions to not accepting plastic, especially with single use packaging which is terrible that plastic exists for single use. We find it can catch us off guard and have to find ways to get past those annoying hurdles!

What we have learnt so far – Making those good decisions can be made easy when repetition is involved… once we did something a couple of times, it starts becoming easier!  Leaving the reusable bags in a regular place where you will be able to easy remember to grab them.  I use my Fair Trade Tote Bag everytime, we found the best way to remember is by leaving bags on the passenger car seat (and one folded in a handbag for the ladies). The bags are light weight and after I have put the shopping away it goes straight back into my handbag. I use this for all types of shopping not just food!

Using a Keepcup for any take away coffees – this might sound repetitive but it really does make a big difference to our weekly landfill waste and not only that, a few cafés are charging less if you bring in your own cup! Not to mention they are pretty little crafty cups. Don’t be surprised if people around ask where you got it. The glass  with cork option is my pick!

Changing old habits

At Eco Bags we found being involved in Plastic Free July has helped our memory. When we see plastic, most of us instantly think of a way to avoid the need to use it.  Something has actually triggered a change in how I think about plastic. The plan is to obtain all the new good habits. What seemed before so hard to achieve has become part of my daily routine and I’m happily remembering and becoming more conscious about all types of plastic

Here are a few more specific insights and tips!

There are plastic items that involve single use plastic that you may not have even noticed which can be easily avoided. Here are 5 sneaky plastic items that can be avoided:

Weekly Shopping & Eating on the go:
5 Plastic items we never knew we could avoid

1.Vegetables in plastic bags – They do not need to go into a plastic bag individually, when you’re shopping place all the vegetables into your reusable or organic veggie cotton bags, or straight in the basket – you will save around 6-10 bags per family weekly shop (and time opening those silly plastic veggie bags!). Then it goes straight into the veggie draw in the fridge or fruit bowl. Also, avoid any pre-packaged veggie’s – they are not necessary. Or go one better and visit a local farmers market. Of course we wash them afterwards.

2. Chocolate – Its winter and lets face it’s obvious that people eat more chocolate in winter! Try and avoid plastic packaged chocolate, there are many brands that use cardboard packaging. A personal favourite is  Green and Black Fair Trade Dark Chocolate

3. Take out Sushi – So many of us really enjoy Sushi – but avoid all the pre-packaged sushi shops that only do plastic packaging, try to choose Sushi outlets that let you pick your own pieces, and bring your own re-usbale container.

4. Bread – Purchase bread from a local baker or artisan store, the chances are you can have the bread in a paper bag. (But always make sure they don’t try and sneak that into a plastic bag as you leave). It’s much healthier , less processed and sometimes a similar price as the supermarket.


5. Introducing Auckland’s new central plastic package free store in Ponsonby, which is not expensive with a huge selection of grains and general household supplies. The décor will make you want to visit more often its just so good in all ways possible!

Reminder: Why we love to say no to plastic

We’re into the last days of Plastic Free July and we love seeing the community through the web pages and in the hashtag #plasticfreejuly in instagram. For us, there have been victories, there have been nuisances and there has definitely been some annoying, sneaky plastic.

Here is a reminder of what plastic is doing to our oceans and our planet.

We know the impacts on our planet from plastic that range from ocean mass pollution, Air pollution, toxic gases etc…and for a long time now we have been following the leading NZ Charity, they have been huge educators and creating large ocean/ beach clean-up events around the country. Won unites nations awards for their work and are doing so many great things to prevent plastic ending up in our ocean and shores.

Here is a link to their community Instagram – The message of reducing soft plastic is huge, this is where here at Eco Bags we can make a great difference with reusable bags with all our supporters. Way to go Sustainable Coastlines, thank you for the education and awareness!!

If you have had annoying plastic end up with you, don’t worry! We can take each moment as a reason to try better the next time you are out. At least your conscious knows better for next time. For all the times we have stopped yourself using single use plastic, we should feel proud. We look forward to sharing some very cool stats and stories soon, we already know the change and input from Plastic Free July is going to be huge, the amount we will have all saved from landfill and the oceans will be so satisfying to see.

We look forward to striving through the rest of July knowing we are making a huge difference and keep telling everyone who asks what Plastic Free July is about. We look forward to seeing this through and embedded into our lives permanently.

Enjoy the rest of  Plastic Free July – and our aim is to make plastic free living a way of life!