Plastics are getting into everything-- Let’s try out Plastic Free July

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Photo by nataliya-vaitkevich on pexels
By Sarah Phillips

Plastics are showing up in fish we eat. Microplastics come from larger items including plastic bags, clothing, plastic bottles, utensils, and gloves all break down into tiny bits that are eaten by fish we eat.

International Environment journal has found that plastics can pass through the placenta barrier and are showing up in newborn babies.

What you can do to reduce your use of plastics
  • Reduce plastics when you food shop
    • Put your reusable bags in the front seat of your car, or by the door so you don’t forget them.
    • Put your mesh vegetable bags inside your larger bag. Then you don’t need the plastic bags.
    • Don’t purchase items that are over packaged.
Be a responsible consumer

Costco has a sustainability responsibility which they define as: Operate efficiently and in an environmentally responsible manner.

You might want to send the Chief Executive of Costco a friendly note about packaging. Buying in bulk helps reduce the amount of packaging, however many products Costco sells still have lots of plastics. W. Craig Jelinek is the Chief Executive Officer 

You can thank them for not using any bags for customers at check out.

And, for a little good news, California just passed legislation requiring producers to recycle single use plastics.
“The costs of recycling infrastructure, recycling plants and collection and sorting facilities, will be shifted to packaging manufacturers and away from taxpayers, who currently foot the bill.” (New York Times, July 1,2022)

Ridwell, a local recycling organization, is supporting Plastic Free July

They suggest you bring your own cup and water bottle. There are so many places you can get a refill without using a single use cup. 

When ordering out, you can bring your own reusable bag and forget the utensils. Don’t you have a drawerful of utensils?

What can you do to reduce plastics this month?


Anonymous,  July 10, 2022 at 6:06 AM  

Amazon really needs to use paper padded envelopes and ditch the plastic ones. You can write them to encourage this change.

Just My Opinion July 10, 2022 at 11:47 AM  

Its way past time to look at the plastics industry. Yes plastic has made artificial valves for humans possible but does a plastic water bottle have to be wrapped in plastic? Take a look at how the petroleum industry finds more ways to create plastics. How's the research coming along in plastics-eating amoeba?

Anonymous,  July 11, 2022 at 6:43 AM  

All of us in the state of WA are or should be aware of recycling by now, and are doing some small part already. Yet this article make me feel like we are not doing enough when we REALLY are! The vast majority of these plastics mentioned in this article are coming from Asia, and the The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Which we have no control over neither. Its like when we talk about green house gases and finding alternative fuels and power. Anything we do will not matter when China still produces the most emissions of any country by far into the atmosphere.

Anonymous,  July 11, 2022 at 8:44 AM  

There is a new law in Maine, and Oregon - making manufacturers/food packers responsible for plastic packaging. We believe that rather than pay for recycling, they will not use plastics - hopefully paper/cardboard. Cheaper for manufacturers, better for the environment!!!

We tried to get a bill passed in WA, but it did not make it to the WA Senate.. This year we have a long session, so we are hopeful it will pass both Senate and House in WA.

If enough states have this kind of law, we hope there will be a national law. Please write to your WA reps and maybe national Members of Congress, too

Anonymous,  July 17, 2022 at 10:55 AM  

Remember - Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Repurpose all come before recycle.

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