As consumers we have a lot of power. We can simply refuse the standard products offered to us and choose better ones – it's all about choice. That's the message for this year's Plastic Free July: Choose to Refuse.
From its earliest shoots in Western Australia in 2011, Plastic Free July is now a global movement with millions of people all over the world pledging to refuse single-use plastic as much as they can for one month.
It might be harder than we think – many of us habitually buy takeaway coffees in 'disposable' cups or pick up snacks on the go in non-recyclable packaging – but it doesn't have to be a chore. It might even be a route to discovering new foods, new shops and new ideas.
For example, if your go-to coffee shop doesn't let you bring in your own reusable mug, find one that does. Rather than buying a pre-packaged sandwich, check out some amazing new recipes and make your own lunch. Or discover a bar that offers biodegradable paper drinking straws instead of plastic ones.
You might even be encouraged to make, do and mend, or join in with community action – do you know about plogging?
If you sign up on the Plastic Free July website you'll receive advice and recipes via email and there's also a downloadable action plan with some challenges for you to choose from and the impact they will have. There's also heaps of support online – follow @PlasticFreeJuly, #PlasticFreeJuly and #ChooseToRefuse.