Plastic Free July® is a key initiative of the Plastic Free Foundation that allows us to work towards our vision of seeing a world free of plastic waste. From humble beginnings in 2011, the award-winning Plastic Free July campaign is the result of years of hard work. Our 2021 Impact Report shares our story.
Plastic Free Foundation
After six years Plastic Free July outgrew its home and we setup the Plastic Free Foundation Ltd as an independent, not-for-profit charity in 2017 to better support participants and grow the campaign. The mission of the Plastic Free Foundation is guided and informed by our core values:
- Honesty and integrity
- Inclusivity of people, ideas, visions and approaches
- A focus on providing solutions
- Authenticity and collaboration
- The belief that small changes add up to a big difference
Plastic Free July is a key initiative of the Plastic Free Foundation that allows us to work towards our vision of seeing a world free of plastic waste. From humble beginnings in 2011, the award-winning Plastic Free July campaign is the result of years of hard work.
It was started by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz (the founder of the Plastic Free Foundation) and a small team in local government in Western Australia, and is now one of the most influential environmental campaigns in the world. Millions of people across the globe take part every year, with many committing to reducing plastic pollution far beyond the month of July.
There’s no doubt about it – Plastic Free July is changing the planet for good. That’s why we’ve been awarded:
- Finalist 2020 Mumbrella CommsCon Awards: Best Government Sponsored Campaign; Pro Bono Campaign of the Year
- Finalist 2019 Banksia Sustainability Awards: Minister’s Award for the Environment; NFP & NGO Award
- Winner 2018 Infinity Award: Avoid Recover Protect – Community Waste Award
- Winner 2018 Environmental Action Award, United Nations Association of Australia WA Division
An IPSOS survey in 2021 revealed that 29% of global consumers in 28 countries and 13% participated. In July 2021, an estimated 140 million people across the globe took part in the challenge from 190 countries.
Plastic Free July participants:
- reduce their household waste and recycling by 15kg per person per year (3.5% less waste)
- globally they reduced 2.1 billion tonnes of waste and recycling including 300 million kgs of plastic consumption
- 86% people made changes that have become habits/ a way of life
- after 11 years Plastic Free July has reduced global demand by 2.3% of all bottled water, 3.1% of all fruit and vegetable packaging, 4.0% of all plastic straws
We’re proud of how this impact addresses UN Sustainable Development Goals 11, 12, 14 and 15 (sustainable cities and communities, responsible production and consumption, life below water, and life on land).
Make an impact; join the challenge today.
Our Annual Impact Reports
Plastic Free July is run by a passionate team from our offices in Australia, but we operate across the globe. The Foundation is a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC). The Plastic Free Foundation Board oversees our operations and guides us towards achieving our purpose.
Geoff has over 30 years experience at board and senior management level within public companies and the securities industry. He wants to use that experience to contribute to the Plastic Free Foundation’s efforts to help make our world sustainable for current and, more importantly, for future generations.
Founder, Executive Director
Rebecca is a change-maker, author, TEDx speaker and sustainability professional who is motivated to care for people and planet. Rebecca believes that as individuals, by changing our relationship with plastic and challenging our consumption, together we can work towards a world without plastic waste.
Andrea is an advocate for Corporate Social Responsibility and works as a hospital CEO. She is committed to influencing others to reconsider their commercial choices and their impact on both society and the environment.
Dan has practised commercial/corporate law in Perth for almost 30 years, including advising the public and private sectors on waste management. Having grown up on a market garden, he understands the importance of, and is passionate about, sustainability and the environment.
Leigh has held various leadership roles to drive strategy, shape stakeholder engagement, build relationships and create opportunities for sustainable business growth. She is passionate about connecting people and organisations to create change and positively impact the future.
Leesa has 20+ years’ global experience working with purpose driven organisations and leadership, ranging from FTSE500 to privately owned, global businesses and global NGOs. Motivated by concern for her own children and future generations, Leesa strives for strategic and catalytic changes, activated by a deep desire to positively impact our communities, oceans and world around us.
Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley
Patron, Plastic Free Schools Challenge
“A world free of plastic waste is an ambitious vision. Plastic Free July shows that we can get there if we all work together. There are practical, easy steps that all of us can take – join Plastic Free July and let’s all work towards real change.”
Musician and PFJ Ambassador
“Plastic Free July inspires me to step up my commitment to reducing single-use plastic in my daily life and on tour. I’m also working with the music industry to reduce plastic waste through the BYOBottle campaign.”
Hundreds of businesses, local governments and community organisations participate in the Plastic Free July challenge each year. A number of those also partner with the Plastic Free Foundation to help reduce single-use plastic in their communities, providing generous financial support in doing so. Partnerships allow us to provide resources to participants and assist in running programs to engage staff, customers and members. The Plastic Free Foundation is a 1% for the Planet nonprofit partner.
Partner with Plastic Free July
While anyone can join the Plastic Free July challenge for free, the Plastic Free Foundation offers paid partnership opportunities with local governments and businesses. By partnering with us, you can help to create a world without plastic waste.
Rebecca Prince-Ruiz – speaking opportunities
Plastic Free July founder, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, is an author, TEDx speaker, Churchill Fellow, changemaker and 2021 Local Hero for Western Australia. Rebecca is available for speaking opportunities at events or conferences and has previously been invited to present on the Plastic Free July challenge, waste avoidance, plastic pollution, and behaviour change in Australia, New Zealand, India, USA and the UK. She’s passionate about everything from inspiring international leaders to initiate change, through to working with communities to clean up their local environment.
Media releases and selected news articles
For more information, access our global media press release and Q&A. For further media enquiries, please email media (at) plasticfreejuly.org and include your COUNTRY in the subject line. Participation rates from Plastic Free July 2020 are available in our Australian media release.
Plastic Free July in the news
- Toronto Sun – Towards not just a plastic free July … but future
- Financial Express, India – No more plastic: Plastic Free July movement seeks to inspire people to refuse single-use plastics
- SABC News – Two Oceans Aquarium pleads with people to reduce dependence on plastic
- ELLE Australia – A Plastic Free July Guide To Take Beyond Just This Month
- Huffington Post – Let’s “de-plastic” as much as possible in July. Estimated 300 million participants, the movement spreads around the world
- UNILAD – One Month Without Plastic Helps Reduce Landfill Waste By 4.2 Millions Tonnes A Year
- BBC News – Food giants respond to worries over packaging
- The Guardian – ‘It gives you a sense of pride’: what four people learned from quitting plastic for a month
- ABC Radio, Life Matters – How one woman’s quest to go plastic free turned into a global movement
- The New York Times – Another Reason to Cut Down on Plastics
- CNN – The Plastic Free July challenge is here to help you rid your life of single-use plastic waste
- NewsHub – Air New Zealand ditches plastic bottles for ‘Plastic Free July’
- Vogue Australia – 6 ways to go plastic-free this July
- EuroNews – Millions pledge to go plastic-free for July in global challenge
- SBS – Going plastic-free in July is easier than you think
- The Guardian – You don’t use so much plastic, do you? How to ditch it for July – and beyond