Together We’re #PlasticFreeJuly Everyday
#PlasticFreeJuly sets out to be the month where consumers like you and us refuse single-use plastic. The aim is to make this a year round habit. Recently, we caught up with the people who are making the planet plastic-free; Carolynn Box from 5 Gyres as well as Melati and Isabel Wijsen from Bye Bye Plastic Bags (BBPB). We will also share five ways to get rid off single-use plastic in our lives.
1. Hi Guys! Please tell our readers about your mission?
BBPB: It is a youth driven NGO with the mission to say no to plastic bags. We started 5 years ago and as of now we’ve created an educational booklet, reached out to over 16,000 students in 12 countries. Additionally, we’re working hard with local government to make Bali plastic-free by 2018. Bye Bye Plastic Bags is not just about the environment, it also wants more youths involved in creating change.
Isabel and Melati Wijsen Credit: Andrew Wyton
5 Gyers: 5 Gyres is non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, California, with a global network of supporters dedicated to a planet free of plastic pollution. Our mission is to empower action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, art, education, and adventure.
Carolynn throwing in the trawls collect samples and analyze the findings in the ocean
- What does going plastic-free mean to you?
BBPB: Going plastic free means changing our mindset, subsequently, lifestyle towards a more sustainable life cycle. It’s not impossible, but it definitely isn’t easy - especially when we live in a world driven by consumerism. That is why we believe in starting with the most essential step: refusing plastic bag and making a difference with one bag at a time.
The Bye Bye Plastic Bags Crew!
5 Gyres: To us, going plastic-free means that you choose plastic alternatives - plain and simple. Since plastic is everywhere, we really encourage people to focus on the single-use plastic items first and to take steps reducing its usage. It is almost impossible to go completely plastic free these days but there are people out there trying their best to live a life free of plastic!
5 Gyres Team having fun and showing the over use of single plastic bags
- What is your goal for our world?
BBPB: The initiative is the manifestation of youth empowerment and it has really caught our passion. Our goal is to ensure that each and every young person knows their own power to bring change to the world. We hope to inspire youth to find that ONE thing they are truly passionate about and go for it! And through this, we believe that our goal and vision for a better, cleaner, greener world will happen.
5 Gyres: 5 Gyres is ultimately working towards a planet free of plastic pollution.
Thanks for your time guys, we are so inspired by what you do. Thank you!
Bye Bye Plastic Bags and 5 Gyres are doing all they can to reduce plastic in our planet. Here’s what you can do:
- Refuse straws at eatery (Alternative: Reusable metal/glass/bamboo straws)
Straws are one of the most littered items picked up during beach cleanups. We should refuse plastic straw by bringing our own reusable straws. Or just don’t use straws :)
- Bring your own cutlery (Alternative: Bamboo cutleries)
Always on the go? Grab your own cutleries. Bamboo cutleries are hygienic, reusable and light!
- Bring your own cup
Disposable cups is one of the biggest pollutant in our environment. Production and recycling of disposable cups are not energy efficient. Bringing your cup surely is efficient.
- Bring your own shopping bags
Pretty sure we have reusable cloth bags lying around in our homes. Bring them with you wherever you go shopping.
- Stop buying bottled water
More than 480 billion plastic drinking bottles were sold in 2016 across the world and only 7% of those collected were turned into new bottles. One way to reduce it from landfill, bring your own refillable water bottle.
Don’t forget to be updated with Bye Bye Plastic Bags, and 5 Gyres initiatives here: