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Want a Plastic-Free Life? Here Are Our Plastic-Free July Takeaways

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Plastics used to be our friend, where it helped in providing virtually all materials we see every day, from bags to bottles to straws. However, now as the world has changed its understanding and knowledge, plastic has now become a foe.

Ever since the exponential growth in the 1950s, plastic trash has gained a total weight of 8.3 billion tons where more than half of it pollutes the landfills and bodies of water [1], with Indonesia being the 2nd largest contributor [2]. Though it is not the only contributor to the current situation of our environment, it has become a large factor.


Going for a plastic-free lifestyle would be a key step to solve our plastic waste problem. This solution alone would not be the answer to the current problems regarding trash, yet it is a practice everyone needs to do. It would not be easy to move entirely to a new lifestyle, but Plastic Free July has shown us that it’s possible. Here are 3 few key points to remember in starting a plastic-free life:

1. Understand the Terminology

With the growth of awareness of plastic waste and its impact, many industries have begun to use terms such as “biodegradable” to appeal to the public. Yet, what do those terms mean actually and are they the answer that we’ve been looking for to our dreadful waste problem? Or is there a better option…

  • Biodegradable: products that claim to be biodegradable can breakdown to simple components that are eco-friendly, however, the amount of time required for it to break down heavily depends on the condition of where it decomposes.

  • Bioplastics: Bioplastics are products that are made from an eco-friendlier component, such as plants, and it is made into something that mimics real plastic. Nevertheless, these products are still as sturdy as the traditional version, as it does not break down easily despite what it is made out of. [3]

So it’s important to do our research!

A hand holding a clear plastic bag filled with fruits (bananas, oranges and green apples)
Understand what your plastic really means

Source: Anna Shvets [9]

2. Reusables rather than disposables

The trend of using metal straws [4] was the start of the mass public moving towards a life that is more sustainable, but it should not stop there. Everyday items, no matter how small, when made from plastic could have an ever-lasting impact on the environment and life forms [5]. Using more reusable items rather than disposable is not only eco-friendly, but they are also a form of investment where it becomes cheaper in the far future. PLUS, with more people using reusable items, it would encourage businesses to make more mindful actions regarding what they use for their day-to-day items [6]. Easy replacements to start with are metal straws to replace regular straws, thermos to replace plastic cups and cloth grocery bags to replace plastic bags.

A woman holding a yellow metal thermos and a brush (made from metal) to clean metal straws
Use reusable items! Save the world and save money

Source: Polina Tankilevitch [10]

3. Go package-free or alternative packaging

In many industries, plastic would be the default material to use as packaging. It is cheap and very long-lasting, so much so that it takes a long period of time to break down. An example of this is seen from body wash or shampoo bottles that would possibly need around 450 years to decompose [7]. Fighting this is packaged-free products, along with packaging made from eco-friendly materials that would degrade over time, such as banana leaves, seaweed, and mushroom [8].

An open carton of 10 eggs in a cardboard packaging
Packaging safe for the product and for all

Source: Polina Tankilvitch [11]

Becoming plastic-free when the whole world is still addicted to it will not be an easy journey, but it’s better in the long run. Small changes in our daily routine would help in slowly gaining that type of lifestyle.

Life with plastic must come to an end and everyone (the government, businesses, and consumers) must work together and go plastic-free.


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