Happy Plastic Free July! As plastic pollution continues to be a major environmental issue, it’s key we each do our part and reduce single-use consumption. There will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 according to the World Economic Forum. That’s why we’re committed to providing a sustainable shopping experience for consumers when we open, as well as on an individual level.
The Plastic Free July campaign was created in 2011 by the local Western Australia government, and has since grown into a worldwide initiative by The Plastic Free Foundation. It’s meant to help us analyze the amount of plastic waste we create and be more mindful of our usage.
Cut Back on Plastic
We can all make small changes to impact the war on plastic. Here are a few ways we can decrease plastic consumption on an individual level:
- Bring our own reusable water bottles and coffee cups
- Avoid produce in plastic packaging
- Choose plastic wrap alternatives for food storage
- Remember to carry reusable bags on shopping trips
- Shop secondhand
- Purchase clothing in natural fibers
- Ask for a digital receipt instead of a printed one
- Make your own dryer sheets and/or cleaning supplies
- Opt for reusable silverware and straws in lieu of plastic ones
- Learn about recycling programs in your area
How Food Cooperatives are Reducing Plastic Usage
As a business, co-ops are more eco-friendly than conventional grocery stores and have been from the beginning. Food cooperatives source more bulk foods than any chain in the industry.
Buying in bulk — from cooking oils, coffee, tea, and beer to beans, grains, nuts, rice, spices, and dried fruits — eliminates a huge amount of plastic packaging. As a matter of fact, nearly half of all manufactured plastic is used for food packaging.
Research shows food co-ops have tremendously higher recycling rates than conventional stores as well — 81% of plastic is recycled compared with only 29% at conventional stores.
Related: 5 Ways to Go Green with the Nashville Food Co-op
Food co-ops also partner with other sustainably focused organizations to provide educational classes and in-store collaborations. It’s our goal to be a trusted source for the community on all sustainable food and environmental topics.
In honor of Plastic Free July, we’re hosting an event with Nicole of Zero Waste Nashville at the McCabe Park Community Center on Sunday, July 21 from 2pm-3pm. We’ll be chatting about the global plastic issue and what small steps can help. We will also be sharing a few zero waste recipes you can make at home to save money and help the planet!