Plastic Free July Challenge

As much as I’ve resisted this, I’m a jar person now. Like Bea Johnson and Lauren Singer before me, I’m now one of those people who keeps their trash in a jar. This jar.


Plastic Free July is a great reason to try tacking my garbage for the first time, and here are the rules.

Rule 1: Priorities

I’m going to prioritize reduction, refusing, and reusing this month. Recyclable and compostable items are nice, but single-use is not going to fly. It’s about more than just reducing plastic, it’s about reducing everything.

Rule 2: Plastics

Some of my reusable items are made of plastic. My cold drinks tumbler and my to-go containers for example. Since those items are reusable I’m not going to count them as trash. Now, if I bought bottled water I’d have to put that plastic item in the trash jar. Even though it’s recyclable? Yes, even though it’s recyclable the point of Plastic Free July is to avoid single-use plastic items and a plastic water is absolutely a single-use plastic item.

Rule 3: The Jar

Here’s what goes in the jar: single-use plastic items, plastic film, plastic bags, small plastics like bottle caps and twist ties, multi material items like shelf stable packaging and tea bag wrappers, other trash items. I have access to compost where I live so no compostable items or food items will go in the jar.

Ok! Here I go! A whole month! I can’t wait to see what the challenges are, what small and big actions I’ll be taking to avoid trash and single-use items outside of my normal behavior, and if this is viable for longer than a month.

I’ve got an empty jar and a lot of enthusiasm. Happy Plastic Free July everyone!

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