Brush up on Plastic Free July® 2022
Plastic is pretty much everywhere. It’s even found in us! Touted as the new wonder material in the twentieth century, plastic was an affordable alternative to ivory that was adaptable for a myriad of different purposes, and quickly became universally adopted as the material of choice in most industries and products. But plastic has proved to be far from perfect.
In 1937, the vast majority of people were using bamboo or bone toothbrushes made with boar bristles (coarse neck hairs). Fast forward a year, and in 1938, we began our toxic love affair with plastic toothbrushes – Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush revolutionised dental hygiene by introducing the revolutionary nylon bristle. No more chasing after hogs in the woods! However, plastic – especially when single-use – presents us with a pile of health and environmental problems. Pollution from plastics is now found in all our ecosystems and, perhaps most alarmingly, microplastics are even starting to be detected in our blood.
Governments and businesses across the globe are waking up to the pressing need to sever our reliance on plastics and clean up plastic waste. Plastic Free July® 2022 is designed to get people involved on an individual level as part of a global movement. The campaign, run by Plastic Free Foundation, encourages everyone to put down the polypropylene and switch to greener and plastic-free alternatives for a whole month; every year, millions of people take part. While returning to using boar bristle-headed toothbrushes might be a sustainable swap for some, thankfully there are many new, alternative plastic-free products available. We’ve rounded up a selection of our favourite plastic-free alternatives and exciting plastic recycling initiatives for you to watch. Brush up on the latest plastic problem-solving research below.
The Danish company, Cellugy, has developed a biocellulose material, EcoFLEXY, as a barrier coating or strengthener for paper and board. EcoFLEXY is manufactured from renewable raw materials, has a low carbon footprint, does not contain volatile solvents, is biodegradable and recyclable. Cellugy invites you to work together to create more circular products.
UPLIFT is a project to improve the recycling of plastics for the food and drinks packaging industry. It aims to design new de- and repolymerisation routes to upcycle food and drink packaging plastics with better end-of-life characteristics.
Classroom of Hope aims to help both end the plastic crisis and provide education to children in Indonesia, building schools from recycled plastic blocks. Not only are these building blocks affordable and durable, the finished schools are also earthquake resistant, providing a permanent place of education to local children