Plastic Free July is an initiative originally started in Australia in 2011 that has grown to a worldwide effort to reduce plastic waste.
This global movement helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution with the plastic-free challenge. The challenge is for all of us to select one single-use plastic item and stop using it. For example, use metal straws instead of plastic ones, purchase unwrapped produce and use reusable bags for shopping.
The Plastic Free July site has lots of information and ideas on taking the challenge. Participants are also encouraged to enter their own ideas and successes. Once one item is eliminated, you can add another and another.
Gainesville has also joined the challenge with programs at the Headquarters Branch this month and beyond. Join us to turn your old pet food bags into reusable totes at on these dates:
Canceled: Wednesday, July 10 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 24 1:30-2:30 p.m. in Meeting Room B
Wednesday, July 31 1:30-2:30 p.m. in Meeting Room B
Look beyond to July for more recycling programs at your library. Use your crochet skills to turn old grocery bags into reusable bags 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at Headquarters Branch. Join us for a collaboration with Zero Waste Gainesville to learn how to reduce your waste 5:30-7 p.m. Sept. 24.
Find tips and inspiration for reducing your plastic use with our collections, including these resources:
- Trash Revolution: Breaking the Waste Cycle / Erica Fyvie
- 100 Things to Recycle and Make / Fiona Hayes
- Life without plastic: the practical step-by-step guide to avoiding plastic to keep your family and the planet healthy / Chantal Plamondon and Jay Sinha.
- Plastic-free: How I kicked the plastic habit and you can too / Beth Terry
- Recycled Science: Bring out your science genius with soda bottles, potato chip bags and more unexpected stuff / Tammy Enz and Jodie Wheeler-Toppen
- Give a Sh*t: Do good, live better, save the planet: A practical handbook / Ashlee Piper
- Plastic: A toxic love story / Susan Freinkel
Check out Zero Waste Gainesville, and The Repurpose Project for more eco-friendly activities and suggestions. Find updates on the City of Gainesville's proposed ban on expanded polystyrene containers and single-use carryout plastic bags here.
"Think about it. Why would you make something that you’re going to use for a few minutes out of a material that’s basically going to last forever, and you’re just going to throw it away? What’s up with that?" Jeb Berrier, "Bag It movie"