Single-use plastic was SO last month.
As you know, here at From Belo, we’re all about helping people and the planet, that’s why this month, we’re taking part in plastic free July!
© Plastic Free July
But what is Plastic Free July, you might ask? An organisation set up in Australia, Plastic Free July, aims to inspire as many people as possible globally to refuse single-use plastic. The aim is to replace single-use plastic products for July, hoping those who take part will continue this behaviour in the months to come.
How can you get involved?
There are several ways to get involved during Plastic Free July. From taking part in the Plastic Free Challenge to donating, and even face-to-face events in your local area. All information can be found at Plastic Free July's Website.
New me VS old me:
We have recognised that we can help pave the way to ‘cleaner streets, oceans and beautiful communities’ through small swaps and changes. Therefore, our team at From Belo will be encouraging each other, through Plastic Free July and onwards, to replace single-use plastic products with those more durable and reusable. Through this time, we will be recognising the products the ‘old me’ would use and replacing them with greener products that the ‘new me’ will use.
Here are some changes we’ll be making that can help you to kick start your journey through Plastic Free July:
1) Old me: Single-use takeaway coffee cup. New me: Reusable coffee cup
Over 3 billion single-use coffee cups go to landfills each year. Before these cups have been used, 6.5 million trees, 4 billion gallons of water and enough energy to power 54,000 homes is used to produce them. 
With the average UK adult consuming two takeaway coffees a day, by swapping to a reusable cup, one adult alone could save 730 plastic cups from going to landfill!
Your reusable cup doesn’t have to be expensive either! Even a mug from home works; just make sure it’s safe to hold the beverage and will sustain itself through your journey!
2) Old me: Plastic shopping bag. New me: Reusable bag
Most shops these days sell reusable bags, but we can all be guilty of leaving them behind and having to use plastic shopping bags. This comes at both an extra cost for us and the environment. Why not try the simple step of writing a reminder note for your bags at the top of your shopping list!
Many reusable bag alternatives are available; you can even make them yourself through old scrap fabrics! Or, of course, there are our tote bags, perfect for every shopping occasion and highly long-lasting.
By refusing single-use shopping bags for a year alone, an average of 500 plastic bags will be prevented from ending up in landfills or the ocean!
3) Old me: Bottled soap New me: Bar soap
Liquid soap is always contained in a plastic bottle, with over 1 billion bottles heading to landfills each year. In comparison, a bar of soap is often either wrapped in compostable cardboard or entirely free from packaging.
Did you know that a bar of soap can be more effective in cleaning your hands than bottled soap? It also takes up to five times more energy to produce liquid soap than a bar of soap. As well as this, it takes 30% more water to wash your hands with liquid soap than a bar of soap. 
The switch from bottled soap to barred soap is more environmentally friendly and cost-friendly – bottled soap is often more expensive than barred soap.
4) Old me: Packaged fruit New me: Reusable fruit bags
Most fruit is packaged in plastic for convenience, but its actually very easy and convenient to avoid packaged fruit.
There are still various fruit options in supermarkets that don’t get packaged; there’s no harm in putting your bananas in the trolley with no packaging. After all, even if they were packaged, you’d unpackage them and wash them at home anyway!
However, if you prefer to package your fruit, there are some alternatives. Many supermarkets now offer reusable produce bags to keep loose packaged items in. Sainsbury’s bags are even made from recycled plastic bottles! 
These few changes are all very accessible and inexpensive, with many more options available as alternatives to single-use plastic. If you’re still not sure what to do, take Plastic Free July’s ‘pesky plastic’ quiz and see how you can get involved.
Have a happy, healthy, and plastic free July!
Sophie is a 20 year old student from london, currently studying Fashion Journalism at University for the Creative Arts. A big believer in fair trade, ethical fashion & sustainability, Sophie has joined From Belo to learn more about the industry, with the aim to make a positive change to the lives of those less fortunate. Find out more at Sophie's Website.