Take the July challenge and choose to refuse single-use plastic during July - and beyond - if you really want a challenge!

The problem: we all use plastic bottles, bags, utensils, and takeaway containers, but these plastics are designed to last forever.

The goal of the challenge is to raise awareness of the problems with single-use disposable plastic and challenge you to change something you actually have control over. Join millions of people from 159 countries worldwide in making a difference together!

Click here to join now and choose to refuse.

Why are single use plastics a problem? Well, simply put, plastics don’t break down. They become permanent pollution in the environment, and can be ingested by wildlife. They are mostly downcycled, which means they are made into low-grade products or they’re sent to landfill to take up space forever.

Since the U.S. has 3,091 active landfills, what’s the big deal? Every year the average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic and we toss an immense 2.12 billion tons of waste. If our throwaway culture continues we’ll eventually run out of landfill space.

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Single use plastics are also known to be escape artists - they blow out of bins, trucks, or away from events, and become accidental litter! That means that items you have thrown away could easily end up downstream in our waterways and oceans. At this rate, there will be more tons of plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.

And plastic can transfer into the food chain, carrying pollutants with it. The bottom line is that by using single use plastic, you are increasing your eco-footprint because plastic manufacturing consumes about 6% of the world’s fossil fuels.

Feel like you’re already making a difference? A lot of us are, more than 60% of us are already refusing plastic bags, avoiding pre-packaged fruit and veggies, and avoiding buying bottled water!

Here are a few more for swapping disposables for alternatives to plastic:

• Doggy doo bags --> Folded up newspaper

• Toiletries --> Bars of Shampoo and Conditioner (Yes they do exist!)

• Toilet paper --> Look for toilet paper wrapped in paper and then use the wrap for your pup’s poo

• Fabric softener --> Add one cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle

• Plastic Wrap --> Beeswax paper!

To read more about going plastic free checkout My PLASTIC Free Life.

It may seem hard to reduce plastic use, but try to challenge yourself to take a few small steps. Here’s a good way to get started.

By making the choice today to be a part of the solution, you can reduce your plastic use, refuse plastics like straws, takeaway cups, utensils, balloons etc. and always recycle what you can!

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Most disposable plastic items are not recyclable in your brown bins. Use the Waste Wizard in GSO Collects to search if an item should be trashed, recycled, or disposed of another way! Search GSO Collects in the App Store, or find it online.

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