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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Here you’ll find common questions about Plastic Free July. This includes taking and sharing the challenge, endorsements and collaborations, working with us, school projects, and more. To find out how Plastic Free July started, who we are and media enquiries, go to the ABOUT US page. 

Taking the Plastic Free July challenge​

We’ve provided lots of information to help you reduce plastic waste in the Get Involved section. We are unable to answer individual questions but our Facebook community is a good place to ask.

To change details about your challenge choices or update subscription details click on the ‘update your preferences’ link at the bottom of our newsletter.

​Sharing the Plastic Free July challenge

Whilst most people start by taking the Plastic Free July challenge in their own lives, some go on to sharing the challenge in their community. Businesses, councils and municipalities, community groups, schools and other organisations around the world sign up for the challenge to engage employees, share with their network and reduce plastic waste in their operations.

Check out our ideas to get you started as well as resources to learn more and share the message (non-commercial use only, please refer to our Brand rules).

Read inspiring stories of what others are doing for Plastic Free July and also check social media hashtags #PlasticFreeJuly and #MyPlasticFreeJulyChallenge for other ideas.

Endorsements and collaborations

It is great to see the growing number of organisations tackling the plastic waste issue and retailers providing solutions.  We believe there is no single ‘silver bullet’ solution to the plastic waste problem and often collaborate with other not for profits and community organisations and share their efforts via social media. Plastic Free July does not use pre-written guest post content, include backlinks or contain advertising on this website.

Working with us

While anyone can join the Plastic Free July challenge for free and share the challenge in their community, 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, look at our partnerships page for more details.​

We have a number of organisations providing pro bono services to support the work of the Plastic Free Foundation including research, legal and communication. If you would like to offer your services please contact us.

School projects and resources

Sign up to the Plastic Free Schools Challenge! Many students are sharing their concerns and raising awareness about the plastic waste problem through school projects. We’ve also provided information on our website such as useful resources and how to get your school involved to help with this. The topic has also received a lot of international attention from organisations like the United Nations, so you might be able to find more information there. Unfortunately we are unable to answer individual questions but you are encouraged to share stories of your Plastic Free July efforts.

Other common questions

What are the rules for Plastic Free July?

It is a challenge (not a competition) intended to make you think about all the single-use plastic we use every day. Whatever you can cut out is a job well done! We’ve deliberately left the challenge simple so you can choose what single-use plastics you will try to avoid and for how long.

Why July?

Because that was the next month after we first decided to avoid single-use plastic back in 2011! Find out how it started and who we are on our About Us page.

What about compostable and biodegradable plastic?

There are an increasing number of other single-use packaging types becoming available and some can have a place depending on local waste facilities. The idea of Plastic Free July is to avoid single-use items where possible, by simply avoiding or by choosing durable reusable alternatives. ‘Biodegradable’ and ‘compostable’ are terms without a single definition, have wide ranging meanings and often don’t break down in the environment. The UN Environment Program has concluded that biodegradable plastics are not the answer to reducing marine litter.

Although the size of the plastic waste problem is frightening, the numbers tell us that small steps can make a big difference.

Rebecca Prince-Ruiz

To find plastic free ideas, take the Plastic Free July challenge

To support our efforts, donate to Plastic Free July

To find events near you, check out our map

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