Plastic Free

Kickstart: Goodbye to another ‘plastic-free July’ – Plastics News

We’re almost finished with another “plastic-free July,” a global effort to encourage people to live without single-use plastics for an entire month.

This is year No. 10 for the effort. I’ve noticed a decent number of stories on the project this year, and a social media presence, too. As of July 29, Instagram has featured more than 400,000 #plasticfreejuly posts.

I admit it’s unfair to compare, but #blacklivesmatter has more than 23 million Instagram posts and #covid19 has more than 29 million. Obviously other issues are getting more attention on social media in 2020, and they should.

But Jacqueline Savitz, chief policy officer at Oceana, wrote a column for DailyKos making the case that plastic-free July remains important in 2020.

“The idea of ‘Plastic-free July’ may not seem at first to measure up to matters at hand … but on closer examination, curbing plastic production is an intrinsic part of achieving social justice, and it’s achievable, even in the context of a pandemic,” she wrote. “It will likely take longer to break free from plastic than it will to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, but we have no time to waste.”

Plastics issues aren’t exactly invisible in 2020. We’ve reported frequently on the unprecedented level of attention that plastic waste is seeing in the U.S. Congress.

When we write about chemical recycling of plastics, we emphasize how the technology creates feedstocks that can be used to