Plastic Challenge litter background

Plastic Challenge

3 minute read

By joining our Plastic Challenge this July, you can help stop plastic waste and become part of a global movement to protect our beautiful blue planet.

Sign up to a month of simple steps for positive change

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What is the Plastic Challenge?

Every year, as part of Plastic Free July, we help our supporters to look closely at their buying habits and help them to make informed choices to cut out single-use plastic. We give you great tips, fantastic facts and easy guides so you, your colleagues and classmates can start to think more about what you eat, where you shop and what you actually need.

This year's challenge will be a little different – after over a year of Covid which has led to a flood of single-use plastic polluting our rivers and seas – we all know it's time to take action.

Let's start afresh and use July to invest in our planet – we'll be sharing some low-cost options to help reduce our plastic footprint and encouraging others to do the same.

We must ditch our single-use addiction – we cannot recycle our way out of the current plastics' crisis. And we cannot replace plastic with another single use material.

Each week we send an email with interesting facts, low cost options, simple tips, and quick ways to make a difference to your plastic consumption – for the good of our ocean.

Are you ready to be part of the solution, not the pollution?

Join the Plastic Challenge – create new habits and use less

Get involved

What is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July has become one of the world's biggest environmental movements. What started as grassroots actions by ordinary individuals has grown into a global initiative. In 2020, an estimated 326 million people took part in the campaign to create a world without plastic.

Over the last 10 years, plastic waste has become a mainstream issue but the statistics are still shocking. Plastic contaminating the ocean is expected to triple in the next 20 years and we can't just rely on recycling – less than 15% of plastic is currently recycled globally.

We need to cut our consumption and stop single-use plastic at source.

When millions of people make small changes, the difference can be huge.

I'd like to learn how to make simple changes to cut back on throw-away plastic

Sign me up!

With thanks to Oceans for their support

Oceans luxury loo roll is supporting this year's Plastic Challenge. Their toilet paper is 100% plastic free, fully recyclable and sustainably made in the UK.

Every Oceans purchase you make supports our work here at the Marine Conservation Society and what's even better is it gets delivered direct to your door.

Find out more about our ocean friendly partnership on their website.

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Plastic – a lasting problem for our planet

We use single-use plastics for just about everything, from cleaning our teeth and showering, to buying and storing food. It is durable and lightweight, but these properties allow it to persist in the environment for hundreds or even thousands of years.

Plastic bags, cutlery and food wrappers have a lifespan of just minutes but often end up in our rivers and seas. Every year 11 million tonnes of plastic are dumped in the world’s oceans, causing devastating harm to wildlife, polluting our water with chemicals and breaking down into microplastics that enter into our food chain.

We all have a part to play in cutting back on single-use plastic and changing our throwaway culture. When you refuse to reuse, it's the ocean you abuse.

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Since the pandemic instances of throw-away plastic littering our countryside have increased

We're taking urgent action to safeguard our ocean's future

Learn more about our campaigns

Why this year counts more than ever

From face masks and hand sanitiser to gloves and takeaways, hygiene measures to keep us safe have been a backwards step in the battle against plastic pollution. But one thing we have learned from lockdown is that large-scale change is possible.

When millions of people across the world go plastic-free this July, we have a real opportunity to put plastic pollution back on the political agenda and campaign for meaningful change.

Covid may have set us back, but it's not too late to continue the fight.

Our impact on our ocean



of inland litter picks found PPE litter last year



drop in plastic bags found on UK beaches since 5p charge introduced

Sign up to a month of simple steps for positive change

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The benefits of giving up throw-away plastic

Let's face it: the idea of going plastic-free can be daunting, but once you get started we think you'll love the benefits.

Cutting out plastic can save you money and will force you to slow down so you become mindful about how you live, rather than rushing around, taking shortcuts and constantly feeling guilty.

Seeing your weekly waste diminish, connecting with your community and spending less time in supermarkets will give you a sense of satisfaction and boost your wellbeing too.

Going plastic-free isn't just good for the planet, it's good for us too.


Save time, money and the planet by going plastic free

Together we can fight for the future of our ocean

Support our #plasticfreeseas appeal