Plastic free July is a global movement to help tackle plastic pollution. People are encouraged to refuse single-use plastics throughout the month of July.

Although one month plastic free may not seem like a lot – the ideas and alternatives that individuals discover and implement can often become new habits, to help reduce plastic waste way into the future.

To celebrate Plastic Free July Alice, one of creative designers  highlight some brilliant campaigns that draw attention to plastic waste


‘The Forever Octopus’ – Designed by Plastic-Free Me Director and artist Harriet Lily

This display was created with the help of the Plastic-Free Youth in Leeds. The Octopus is a visual representation of how much disposable plastic we use in just one month. It was first installed at The Human Aquarium Exhibition in Leeds.

five primary age children sitting underneath a an octopus sculture made from chicken wire and filled with plastic

Clean it. Scrunch it. Co-op it.

This is a new in-store recycling scheme launched by the Co-op for soft plastics (plastic bags/food packaging). ‘Soft’ plastics are often a problem as they typically not able to be recycled at home. This includes crisp packs, bread bags and biscuit wrappers.

Following similar supermarket initiatives, this service makes plastic recycling more accessible. The simple messaging also makes it clear how to test for ‘soft’ plastics (‘scrunch it’), reducing the confusion around plastic recycling and ensuring the wrong plastics don’t get mixed together.

Large point of sale arrow hanging from co op store ceiling with words recycle your soft plastic right here and image of crisps, cereal and bread. Caption says Clean it scrunch it co-opit.


National Geographic: Planet or plastic?

Using their reach and expertise National Geographic launched ‘Planet or plastic’ in 2018. This is a global commitment and initiative raising awareness of plastic pollution and encouraged individuals to take a pledge against it.

This campaign educates the public about the role single-use plastic plays in our society and the environmental repercussions that come with it, whilst also dedicating resources to scientific research, taking on corporate partnerships to raise further awareness, and making an internal commitment to reduce plastic use in the organization.

a plastic bag floating through ocean but designed to look like a jelly fish

Here are a few single-use swaps that you can do in your day to day life:

  • Bees wax wraps instead of cling film (they also include a lot more exciting patterns than your basic cling film!)
  • Reusable bottles and mugs 
  • Reusable washing sponges and clothes (these are also often anti-bacterial which is a plus!)