If we learnt one thing during plastic free July it’s this: PLASTIC IS EVERYWHERE.

Of all the stats, two that shocked us the most were 1) half of all plastic that exists was made in the last 13 years and 2) single use plastics are useful for just 11 minutes. That’s crazy.

Not to be all doom and gloom about it, but we found it incredibly difficult to avoid plastic in our everyday lives.  

We’re doing what we can to alter our buying choices, and excitingly there are lots of great folk using design and ingenuity to help us solve our plastic problem.

1) Ditching the disposable

We throw away 2.5 billion single use coffee cups a year in the UK. KeepCup is here to break that habit, change the way we think about convenience culture and bring about the demise of the disposable. There’s enough plastic in 28 disposable cups with lids to make one small KeepCup and you only have to use that reusable 15 times to justify the energy used in it’s production. AND they are really very nice to look at. Join the reuse revolution and help keep those disposable cups out of landfill.

2) Changing the way we shop

It really struck us this month how utterly impossible it is to do food shopping, plastic free. Almost everything in the supermarket is wrapped in plastic. And it’s mostly only useful until you get your shopping home. We’d love to find a way to reduce the amount of plastic we take home and that’s why we love A Plastic Planet who are campaigning for a plastic free aisle in the supermarket, so that we can make better choices about the products we buy.

We’re also excited about Bulk Market – a pop-up mini supermarket in London that will run for three months from August to introduce and test the idea of a zero waste supermarket. It’s BYO reusable packaging.

3) Helping our waterways

Plastic pollution is a growing problem around the world and over 8 million tonnes of it winds up in our oceans, threatening the health of marine life, and human life too. Plastic Ocean Festival are raising awareness of this problem in a unique way by teaming up with Active360 to organise paddle board litter-pick sessions in Paddington. Sound fun? Plastic Patrol are running sessions across the country this summer – sign up for one near you.

4) Up-cycling to avoid landfill

Thanks to the introduction of the 5p charge on single use plastic bags, taking a reusable shopping bag to the supermarket is no longer seen as ‘alternative’ behaviour. But we still need shopping bags right? So why not make them out of something that would otherwise go to landfill. Wyatt and Jack make totally brilliant totes out of old bouncy castles and deck chairs and we love them.

5) Making new out of old

Reducing our use of plastic and reusing what we’ve got are our priorities, but people who are using recycled plastic to bring us new products also get our vote. We love Dick Moby who make their beautiful sunnies out of recycled acetate. Watch their cheeky story here.

If you liked these guys and gals, check out Clearly So’s round up of 10 businesses tackling the plastic waste problem.