Friends of the Earth invites everyone to ditch plastic for #PlasticFreeFriday

The #PlasticFreeFriday campaign launches to help people cut down on plastic waste by making simple lifestyle changes, while treating yourself to a little more “me time”.
  Published:  16 Feb 2018    |      3 minute read

Starting today (16th February) Friends of the Earth will be encouraging everyone to go 'plastic free' each Friday; and to share their #PlasticFreeFriday experiences on social media.

With up to 12m tonnes of plastic waste ending up in the sea each year, reducing the amount of throw-away plastic we use is critical. Every inspirational participant in #PlasticFreeFriday is living proof that life with less plastic is possible, whilst also highlighting how much more governments and companies need to do to get polluting plastic out of our lives.

Throughout the campaign, Friends of the Earth will be sharing simple hints and tips to help everyone on their first steps towards a plastic free lifestyle.

Taking part in Friends of the Earth’s #PlasticFreeFriday is simple:

  1. Avoid single use plastics on Fridays, by following hints and tips from Friends of the Earth
  2. Share your commitment to the cause on social media; by posting a picture of your #PlasticFreeFriday, along with any hints and tips you have which can help others cut down on their plastic waste
  3. Tag @friends_earth and use #PlasticFreeFriday in your post
  4. Visit the Friends of the Earth website to make your plastic free pledge

Julian Kirby, waste campaigner at Friends of the Earth said: “Doing our bit to ditch plastic can seem daunting, especially given the amount of unnecessary packaging that companies are using in products such as fresh fruit and vegetables. The ultimate responsibility for removing plastic from our world lies with the companies that make and market it, and governments whose job it is to regulate industry to protect our health and homes.

"Nonetheless there are a number of simple changes people can make to their daily lives to help reduce the plastic chocking our oceans, and in doing so they’ll put further pressure on governments and companies to act too.

“From taking a moment to sit in a café and enjoy your coffee from a proper cup, to saying no to plastic straws, taking part in #PlasticFreeFriday, is a great way for everyone to take their first step on the journey towards a plastic free life.”

#PlasticFreeFriday has already seen commitment from several plastic free champions ranging from Instagrammers to eco-friendly business owners.

Grace Brown owns Zero Habits, a lifestyle store in Leeds helping people on their way to a zero-waste lifestyle: “I am supporting Friends of the Earths #PlasticFreeFriday initiative as a platform to draw ever needed attention to the wasteful actions of retailers and manufacturers, to raise awareness, inspire open discussions and to encourage others to ditch plastic.”

Michelle Costello is a Cornwall based artist who creates art out of plastic waste. You can view her work on Instagram via @smartie_lids_on_the_beach: “I'm taking part in Friends of the Earth’s #plasticfreefriday as I can't wait for the day I walk on the beach and find only shells. Small changes in our lifestyle can help to make this happen.”

Kate Arnell runs popular zero waste blog and YouTube channel Eco Boost: "Quitting plastic doesn't happen overnight, but the decision to start, does! I've been living a zero waste lifestyle for 4 years and started by making simple swaps, just a few at a time, which is why Friends Of The Earth's #PlasticFreeFriday is a great idea - an opportunity to start reducing our plastic habit one Friday at a time. It's incredible how simple changes to our daily lives can really add up!"

Hints and tips from Friends of the Earth for a #PlasticFreeFriday:

  • Go for a reusable coffee cup for your morning caffeine kick, or have a little “me time” and sit down with a drink-in coffee before heading to work.
  • At lunchtime, ditch the plastic heavy supermarket meal deal and bring in your own tasty food; or get away from your desk for lunch with some colleagues and enjoy eating off a proper plate with real cutlery!
  • Quenching your thirst after a morning workout, or perhaps feeling fragile after a work night out? Instead of buying a disposable bottle of water, bring a reusable one with you and fill it up. No bottle? No worries, take 10 minutes to stretch your legs, get some fresh air and see if you can find your nearest public water fountain.
  • Use your Friday night dinner to support local businesses. Rather than buying pre-prepared plastic wrapped foods from the supermarket, head to the local bakery, greengrocer or butcher where products are more likely to come loose; and you can even request them to be wrapped in paper (or not at all).
  • Headed out to the pub after work? If yours is a G&T or a cocktail, say no to that plastic straw in your drink.