Get ready for plastic free July!

By Jessica Beau Paul

Plastic Free July is a worldwide challenge with millions of participants in over 170 countries. The aim of the game is to refuse single use plastics for the month.  Lets create some waste-reducing habits.  

We’ll be focussing on the things we can do in the workplace to eliminate single use plastics. Items such as single-use lunch containers and coffee cups, plastic wrap and plastic bags are some of things commonly found in lunchroom bins across the country.  Together we can be the change, so let’s find solutions to eliminate this kind of waste. The more we do it, the more it will prompt businesses and government to re-think and re-design single-use packaging.

We’ve got a few ideas to get you started  in your workplace. Sign up for our Bring It challenge, there are prizes to be won!

Lunchbox library

Gather up those unclaimed reusable containers left in the lunchroom or ask staff to donate some, so that way lunchboxes are available for people to use to buy their takeaway lunches. Voilà, no more single-use sushi containers or burger boxes.

Cup library

Ask staff to bring in a real cup or keep cup to use for take-away coffees. If it’s kept in the office, it’s more likely to be used. Put up on your staff noticeboard a list of cafés within walking distance that offer a discount for bringing your own cup or have a cup borrowing scheme like Again Again.

Re-usable bag library

Keep some cloth bags in the office for all to use, so those who need to pop out and do some lunchtime shopping can avoid getting a single use bag.

Plastic free morning tea

Organise a plastic free shared morning tea. Everyone brings something they have made to share for morning tea. Use this time together to discuss plastic free events and initiatives. You could even share recipes as a way to make morning tea treats at home, rather than store-bought plastic packaged options.

Brown bag ‘lunchinars’ on plastic

See if you can get someone to come in and speak about single-use plastics and some alternatives. If you don’t have access to an expert, see if a sustainability champion in the office is willing to do some research and present some ideas to the team. There are also Podcasts, Youtube videos and TED Talks on the topic you could watch together.

Organise a plastic free event

Help to raise some awareness around the topic of single use, and have a go at organising a plastic free event. Both our Auckland and Wellington SBN offices are kicking off with plastic-free parties!

If you want to find out more about plastics, early bird tickets are now on sale for our annual conference in Auckland on 26 August: The End of Plastic As We Know It.