Celebrating Plastic Free July!
Nature Bee is so excited to celebrate Plastic Free July. A huge part of our mission is reducing single use plastic. We believe our bees wraps can help homes reduce their dependence on sandwich bags, plastic wraps, and other plastic products. We love being able to be a part of people’s low waste journey or journey to sustainability. Our business strives to reduce plastic and all waste whenever we can through the whole production process, so when you receive and use your wraps, the waste reduction does not just start in your home. We are dedicated to bettering the earth and our environment whenever we can.
We recognize that plastics have allowed society to move forward and provide us with valuable advancements, but when we can reduce our use we should. Our foods should be supported, not suffocated when we wrap them up. Our Canadian made beeswax wraps allow for your food to safely interact with the air around them so they stay fresher for longer. They do not suffocate the food but instead allow it to breathe.
Wondering what Plastic Free July is? It is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. To learn more, check out Plastic Free July. Plastic Free July provides resources and ideas to help you (and millions of others around the world) reduce single-use plastic waste everyday at home, work, school, and even at your local café.
“Our movement has inspired over 250 million participants in 177 countries. You making a small change will collectively make a massive difference to our communities. You can choose to refuse single-use plastics in July (and beyond!). Best of all, being part of Plastic Free July will help you to find great alternatives that can become new habits forever.” - Plastic Free Foundation
If you are unsure how to start Plastic Free July, we have a few tips and tricks! We by no means expect everyone to turn their life upside down to go totally plastic free, it is a gradual transition that allows us to grow and learn as we need. Especially during COVID-19, it can be harder to be sustainable but there are lots of incredible ways to reduce your plastic use. Many grocery stores no longer accept reusable bags, cafés are no longer accepting reusable mugs. This just means we have to get creative around our house on how to reduce waste!
Ways to reduce waste and plastic can include:
- Using reusable face masks and gloves when you go out in public, and washing and reusing them instead of disposing of them.
- Opting for a paper bag at the grocery store rather than a plastic bag. Smaller brown bags usually meant for mushrooms can be a great swap instead of plastic produce bags. Asking your cashier for a paper bag if possible for your groceries prevents a plastic bag from being used.
- Be mindful of the packaging on what you buy! This means trying to buy items with packaging that’s either non-existent, paper and recyclable, or easily recyclable hard plastic. Soft plastics that are flimsy like plastic wrap are very difficult to recycle. And even then, only 9% of all plastics ever created are recycled.
- Swap out your plastic containers for glass ones or bees wraps! Plus you will prevent exposing your food and yourself and the environment to plastic chemicals like BPA’s and Phthalates.
What are Phthalates:
- Phthalates are a group of chemicals most commonly used to make plastic more flexible and harder to break. They also act as a binding agent or a solvent. They were first introduced in the 1920s as an additive in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and some healthcare products, such as insect repellent.
- Exposure to phthalates is widespread and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studies have found phthalates present in the majority of the population, particularly among children and women of child-bearing age. They are very common in personal care products and cosmetics.
- Are they safe? Phthalates’ effects on humans have not been studied extensively, but they are believed to be an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) that can alter hormonal balance and potentially cause reproductive, developmental and other health issues.
How to avoid Phthalates:
- Minimize exposure by avoiding plastic food containers (plastics marked with a 1, 2, 4 or 5 recycling code are probably safest).
- Use glass instead and never reheat food in plastic.
- Check product labels – avoid anything with “fragrance” or phthalates listed.
What are Bisphenols (BPA’s):
- Bisphenols are a group of chemicals used to manufacture plastics, epoxy resins and other products since the 1960s. Bisphenol-A (BPA), the most infamous of a group of 40 or so chemicals, was initially investigated for pharmaceutical use as synthetic estrogen in the 1930s. Many plastic products marketed as BPA-free contain similar replacement chemicals.
- Where are they found? They are in receipt paper, food and beverage can liners, food packaging, DVDs and CDs, medical equipment, toys and automotive parts, water bottles and some dental sealants. BPA is considered a building block of plastic and is one of the most used industrial chemicals today.
- Are BPA’s safe? Though the health effects of BPA are still debated, it is thought to be an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen in the body, potentially causing adverse health effects. It is often recommended to keep your infants and children away from products with BPA.
How to avoid BPA’s:
- Cut down on canned food or, if you can’t, rinse the food in water. Don’t microwave food in plastic containers or cans.
- Avoid plastics with a 3 or 7 recycle code on the bottom, and use non-plastic containers and/or bees wraps when possible for food and drinks.
- Choose BPA-free water and baby bottles.
Plastic Free July is a great time to reflect and consider what products we consume and use, and what we are able to realistically eliminate from our lives. It also can allow us to realize how hard it can be to shop plastic free, for example where I live it seems nearly impossible to be able to buy cherry tomatoes without plastic packaging! At the end of the month if you realized there were items you couldn’t swap out, that’s ok. Keep working and trying to do what you can to keep up the great habits you already have. Sometimes it is the smallest changes that can have the biggest impact
Another tip to keep yourself motivated through Plastic Free July is to keep in mind the reason you are wanting to make a swap. Whether that be the horror of realizing how much plastic ends up in our landfills, or the fear of chemicals entering our food and bodies through plastic containers. Or even more pleasant motivators like leaving a better world for future generations, or for the sake of the environment and all the plants and animals on this earth. Whatever drives you forward, keep your foot on the gas and you will see more success!
Here are some other great swaps that you can try out during plastic free july!
- Switch from plastic bottled shampoo and conditioner to bars such as Green Room Body.
- Switch from plastic toothbrushes to Bamboo ones such as BAM brushes!
- Switch from plastic deodorant to a natural glass jar one such as Island Soap Co.
- Switch from plastic scrub brushes to Swedish Dishcloths. We have these on our site.
- Switch from plastic wrap to Nature Bee Reusable Food Wraps.
- Switch from single use coffee cups to Kleen Kanteen Coffee Mugs
There are so many other switches that you can make but these are just a few of our favorites.
If you are looking for more companies who are reducing plastic waste in our ocean you can check out these companies below:
PLASTIC FREE JULY 2020 we will be donating 10% of our sales to SurfRider!
If you are looking to start with some simple transitions for PLASTIC FREE JULY we have created a bundle check it out here.
We hope you learned something new and were inspired for your #Plasticfreejuly!