Guide to a Plastic-Free July with PATH

Guide to a Plastic-Free July with PATH

PATH launches limited-edition bottle to increase summer refilling and eliminate single-use plastic

Summer is the time to soak up the sun, dive into the ocean waves, and embrace all the joys this season brings. As we absorb the summer vibes, we also want to take care of the beautiful places where we make those summertime memories. Plastic Free July is a time to connect our adventuring with conservation, so we created a guide with the tools and mantras for a sustainable summer. In celebration of our limited-edition PATH Summer Bottle, here’s how you can go plastic-free this July. 


What is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July is a global movement that encourages people to reduce single-use plastics. The aim is to raise awareness of the problems associated with plastic waste and inspire positive change by challenging individuals, businesses, and communities to do their part to help create a cleaner world.

The initiative began in Australia in 2011 and has since spread worldwide, with millions of participants across the globe taking part each year. During July, people are encouraged to avoid single-use plastics in all areas of their life and instead opt for reusable items in their place. This can mean saying no to plastic bags at the grocery store, refusing plastic straws at restaurants, and avoiding plastic packaging when possible.


Understanding single-use plastic

Single-use plastics are typically used only once before they are thrown away. These items are made primarily from petroleum-based materials and intended to be disposed of immediately after use. The great thing is that most single-use plastic items can easily be swapped for a reusable option. For example, plastic bottled water can be swapped for an aluminum reusable bottle. 


Single-use plastic is a major source of waste and environmental pollution. Because plastic does not biodegrade, it can persist in the environment for hundreds of years. Single-use plastic often ends up in our oceans and other natural environments, where it can harm wildlife and ecosystems. This has led to growing efforts to reduce or eliminate the use of single-use plastics and to find more sustainable alternatives. This is why we have solutions for you!


The Perks of a Plastic Free July

Better for the planet

According to the Ocean Conservancy, an estimated 11 million metric tons of plastic waste enter our oceans annually. This is in addition to the estimated 200 million metric tons that currently circulate in our marine environments​. 


One of the primary benefits of reducing or eliminating the use of single-use plastics is the positive impact it has on the environment. Every piece of plastic we refuse minimizes the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills, rivers, and oceans. It also reduces the amount of plastic that animals ingest and decreases the number of microplastics in our soil. 


Better for health

The average person ingests about one credit card worth of plastic every week. - The World Wildlife Fund & University of Newcastle

The lesson? Swapping single-use plastics for plastic-free reusables can help decrease the amount of plastic that goes into our bodies, which could improve overall health. 

Plastics contain chemicals that can leach into food and beverages. Avoiding these chemicals, such as PET, from single-use bottled water can help us avoid endocrine disrupters found in plastics that impact our hormones. So when we decrease plastic encounters, we can potentially increase our health, according to the CIEL.


What are 13 reusable swaps for single-use plastic during Plastic Free July?

13 is our lucky number; it's the atomic number for aluminum, so we've extended the basic list to include 13 shifts away from single-use plastic to reusable items that help lighten the load of plastic that goes to landfills and natural spaces. 

  1. Reusable Water Bottles: Instead of single-use plastic water bottles, opt for a reusable water bottle made of stainless steel or BPA-free plastic. It’s the reason we’ve launched a special Summer PATH bottle. 
  2. Reusable Shopping Bags: Bring your own cloth or canvas tote bags when you go shopping instead of using the plastic bags provided by stores.
  3. Metal Straws: Skip the single-use plastic straw and instead carry a reusable one made of metal or glass.
  4. Reusable Metal Coffee Cups: There are many materials of coffee cups out there, but try to go for a metal one without combined materials so it’s easy to recycle when it reaches end-of-life. Many coffee shops offer discounts for bringing your own mug. 
  5. On-the-go Cutlery: Keep a set of reusable cutlery made of bamboo or stainless steel in your bag for meals on the go to avoid single-use plastic cutlery.
  6. Reusable Food Containers: Swap out single-use takeaway containers for reusable ones when ordering takeout or packing a lunch.
  7. Washable Produce Bags: Instead of rolling out plastic bags from the grocery store's produce section, bring your own mesh or cloth produce bags  This is an easy swap that you can put in your reusable grocery bag.
  8. Reusable Food Wraps: Swap the single-use plastic wrap for reusable beeswax wraps, which can be washed and reused for 1 year or longer. 
  9. Dish Brush: Ditch the plastic dish sponges for a bamboo dish brush or a biodegradable sponge.
  10. Event/Party Decorations: Opt for reusable decorations like fabric banners and tablecloths instead of balloons and plastic banners. When you add reusable party decorations to your list, you’ll always be prepared with quality decor. 
  11. Toothbrushes: While toothbrushes aren’t typically single-use, you can avoid plastic by sourcing a bamboo brush.
  12. Metal Razors: Instead of plastic disposable razors, use a safety razor with replaceable blades.
  13. Reusable Water Bottles (Again!): Yes, it's so important that it's worth mentioning twice. Remember to stay hydrated this summer while avoiding single-use plastic bottles by choosing a better PATH. 


Setting a Plastic-Free July Goal

Every step in the right direction to eliminate single-use plastic is a win. It's not about perfection; it's about progress. You might start by focusing on eliminating just a few single-use plastics from your daily routine, or you might decide to go all in and try to eliminate all single-use plastics for the month. Whatever your goal, be sure it's realistic and achievable for you. Remember, companies and governments are responsible for improving our plastic waste problem, but every bit we take action on can help, and even small changes can have a big impact. 


Taking Political Action: Contacting Your Representatives about Single-use Plastic

To make a difference in the fight against plastic pollution and promote sustainability, it's important to engage in political action. You can express your concerns and advocate for change by contacting your elected representatives. Here are some quick steps to effectively reach out:

  • Identify your representatives
  • Understand the issue: Educate yourself about the specific topic you want to address, such as plastic pollution. Gather facts, statistics, and arguments to support your position. You can use PATH’s fact-based resources here
  • Prepare your message
  • Find your representative's contact information
  • Reach out
  • Follow up
  • Engage in community advocacy
  • Stay informed and vote

Remember, contacting your representatives allows you to influence decision-making processes and contribute to a more environmentally conscious society. By taking political action and advocating for sustainable practices, you can help create a better future.


Involving Family and Friends

Involving your family and friends in your Plastic Free July journey can provide valuable support and make the experience more adventurous. Consider inviting them to join you in the challenge or ask them to support you in your efforts. You could even make it a friendly competition to see who can reduce their plastic use the most. Highlighting your swaps on social media can also help spread the word about Plastic Free July and inspire others to make changes.



Tips and Tricks for a Successful Plastic-Free July

Invest in Reusable Products

Instead of single-use plastic items like water bottles, straws, and food containers, invest in reusable alternatives made from materials like aluminum, glass, or bamboo.


Buy in Bulk

Buying food and other items in bulk can reduce the amount of single-use plastic packaging waste. Use your own containers to store these items at home.


Bring Your Own Bags

Instead of relying on the plastic bags provided by stores, bring your own reusable shopping bags. Remember to bring produce bags for fruits, vegetables, and bulk items.


Choose Package-Free Options

Opt for fruits and vegetables that aren't packaged in plastic. If you're buying meat or cheese, see if the butcher or deli counter will put it directly into your own container.


Support Brands That Use Eco-Friendly Packaging

Choose to buy from brands that prioritize reuse and plastic-free packaging.


Say No to Plastic Cutlery and Straws

If you're ordering takeout, request that they not include single-use plastic cutlery or straws. Consider carrying your own reusable cutlery and straws.


Choose Restaurants That Use Sustainable Packaging

Support businesses that use eco-friendly, plastic-free packaging for their food.


Choose Accommodations That Prioritize Sustainability

Stay at hotels or accommodations that prioritize sustainability and minimize the use of single-use plastics. 


Avoid Miniature Toiletries

Instead of using miniature toiletries provided by hotels, bring your own toiletries in reusable containers.


Plastic Free July Mantras 

☀️sustainable summer vibes.

🌍my choices shape the future. 

🦾 I'm the ultimate fighter for a Plastic-Free July.

🔄Reuse game-strong, single-use plastics gone.

🦖 I'm repping sustainability, leaving single-use plastic in the past.

✏️I'm rewriting the future with every refill.


Plastic Free July and the PATH summer bottle empower us to embrace a sustainable summer and reduce single-use plastics for a cleaner world. By making simple swaps to reusable alternatives and engaging in political action, we can significantly impact our environment. Let's rewrite the future by prioritizing progress over perfection and inspiring others to join the REvolution.



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