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Plastic Free Morning Tea

Across the globe, communities are inspired by the Plastic Free Morning Tea: a popular way of making and sharing food, fun and conversations about plastic free solutions. People who host their own at work, home or out in the community find it’s a great way to invite others to get involved.

Getting organised

Many businesses, schools and local governments around the world have found sharing food, fun, and conversations about plastic free solutions a simple way to create new habits and kick-start bigger changes. Reducing our reliance on single-use plastics can have a significant impact on creating a healthy and sustainable future.

The Plastic Free Morning Tea is a time for people to share a meal of food and drink that hasn’t been wrapped in plastic. It’s a tangible and delicious way to get others involved and start having conversations around plastic free ideas, sharing solutions, and making a real difference together.

People also call it the Plastic Free lunch, tea break, elevensies, coffee break, recess, fika, smoko, coffice and many more.

Tag @plasticfreejuly and let us know if we’ve missed a name and we’ll add it to the list!

Some choose to work with a caterer who will deliver food in reusable containers, others visit a local bakery or store that allows BYO containers for takeaway such as dips, cakes and olives, whilst some invite everyone to bring a plate to share. Participants have shared more plastic free ideas are on our website: Picnic, Food Service, Food Storage, Event vendors.

Top tips include checking with your local Plastic Free groups or search online for a list of local restaurants, bakeries and cafes that don’t use plastic packaging and allow you to BYO a container.

Making the invitation positive and appealing can help drive attendance.

It can be as simple as “Join our Plastic Free Morning Tea – where we will be sharing food, fun and conversations about plastic free solutions”

Check out the links for:

  • Sending out invites by email or workplace intranet.
  • Putting up or sending out digital posters.
  • Posting social media tiles about the event.
  • Download and print the Plastic Free Morning Tea posters from our website. Fill in the details of your event and post them around your workplace.

Making it fun and motivating

There are many great ideas to help make the event fun and motivating such as inviting attendees to share ideas and pledges, bringing plastic free treats for the group, asking a question about a tricky plastic item that people are struggling to avoid, or sharing ideas or successes people have had in their journey to be more plastic free.

Plastic free morning tea sharing stories illustration

Decorations can be created from scrap materials, borrowed from many libraries, or attendees can be asked to bring something festive from home. Check out our guide for more ideas.

Hold a competition in the lead-up to the morning tea. (e.g. ‘ugly mug’ contest, the ‘most delicious’ item or challenging people to bring a piece of plastic they couldn’t avoid).

Providing helpful reusables as a competition prize or door prize can help incentivise attendees (e.g. beeswax wrap, insulated water bottle or metal straw).

At some Plastic Free Morning Teas, people give out pledge slips to take them home or to display on a wall in their workplace to check again at the end of July.

Popular pledges are ‘to remember a reusable coffee cup, skip the straw, sign up for the challenge or tell someone about what they have learned’.

Employees of organisations in the process of setting or implementing new sustainability targets find that from from little things, big things grow. Starting with personal and team pledges can help create new habits and cultural norms and kick-start bigger changes.

Get curious! Encouraging people to share their own stories of how they reduce single-use plastic waste at home, work, or in their community can be inspirational. People often ask questions about the steps they took, the challenges they overcome and lessons learnt.

Don’t forget to take photos so you can share your story with us later!

A demonstration or hands-on workshop such as making your own beeswax wraps, lip balm or natural cleaners is a great way to engage your guests.

Screen the 1 minute Plastic Free July animated video to introduce the challenge and start the conversation.

People around the world are showing how small steps make a big impact by taking a photo or video of themselves choosing to refuse a single-use plastic item.

Be part of the social movement and take your own photo/video and share with your friends, family, colleagues and community. Don’t forget to tag us at @plasticfreejuly on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

What’s next? 

Spread the word that small steps make a big impact!

Enthusiastic Plastic Free Morning Tea hosts often send a ‘thank you’ to attendees.

Here are some helpful links and ideas to help people take a next steps on the plastic free journey.

What others do – participant stories

Changemaker toolkit

Let us know how your Morning Tea was planned and any successes or learnings. Submit your story and photos here

Could your story inspire and empower others?

Share with your community and let them know your commitment to a healthier and more sustainable future. Don’t forget to tag @plasticfreejuly

Your Morning Tea participants may be excited to continue on their plastic free journey. Ideas for continuing the conversation include a monthly meet-up, making plans for Plastic Free July, or forming a Green Team. Whatever small steps you can take, you will be contributing to a big impact!

Resources Library

Social media invitation tile

Poster invitation

Plastic Free Morning Tea Poster

Morning Tea general poster

Plastic free July morning tea pledge cards

Pledge cards

Implementation guide

Think about it. Why would you make something that you’re going to use for a few minutes out of a material that’s basically going to last forever, and you’re just going to throw it away. What’s up with that?

Jeb Berrier, Bag It movie

To find plastic free ideas,
sign up to Plastic Free July

To support our efforts, donate to Plastic Free July

To find events near you, check out our map

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