The dust is settling on another Plastic Free July. This year was bigger than ever, and we saw first timers, veterans, extremists, and people from all walks of life come together in the fight against plastic. Many of us march on triumphantly, satisfied that we did our bit in saving the turtles. Others, who realise more and more the enormity of the problem, have a serious case of the environmental blues. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, we feel like it is a good time to reflect on the actions you are taking toward saving our environment, and how to continue habits developed during Plastic Free July. The Sealand Crew had a busy July, and all the initiatives are ones that won’t end with the month. This blog is dedicated to what we did, and how you can continue doing them with us:
Sealand Recycle Range
The Sealand Crew has long been experimenting with the most effective way to increase our role in the fight against plastic. While the materials that we upcycle all contain some plastic, we are always looking for ways to do more. We wanted to find a solution that deals with the plastic problem head on, while remaining true to the high quality, durable, products we have gained a reputation for producing. Following extensive research and development, testing and re-testing, we came out with a material that met our rigorous standards – one that is made from a blend of recycled plastic bottles (RPET) and upcycled cotton waste. We are proud to say that this material now forms the basis of the Sealand Recycle range, which we launched during Plastic Free July. All of our products are now available in Sealand Recycle. Grab them online.
We are in the middle of the Beach Clean-Up revolution. In recent years we have seen increasing numbers of videos and images emerging of the devastating effect that plastics are having on the ecology of our oceans. Throughout the world communities, organisations, and individuals, are coming together to clean our beaches in an attempt to reverse the damage done. This month we got behind, and participated in, two beach clean-ups.
The first clean-up we supported was hosted by the Beach Co-Op. The Beach Co-Op was founded by Sealand Ambassador Aaaniyah Omardien, and both Sealand founders sit on its Board. The Beach Co-Op is doing incredible work in cleaning up Cape Town’s beaches and conducting vital research into the effect plastics are having on the ocean’s delicate ecosystems. The second clean-up we joined was hosted by Hi-Tech South Africa, and was in support of Plastic Free July and Nelson Mandela Day (a day which encourages all South Africans to get out and perform a civil service for 67 minutes).
Clean-ups are hosted year-round, and are a great opportunity to do your bit for the environment, get some fresh air, and make new friends. If you are in Cape Town, follow the Beach Co-Op on one of their social channels to get monthly updates on clean-ups. If you are not in Cape Town, then a quick google search will reveal similar organisations in your area. Don’t live near the ocean? No problem. There are clean-ups of public parks, rivers, and other areas popping up throughout cities across the globe.
Plastic Free July Giveaway
Finally, we joined forces with some of our favourite environmentally focused local businesses. We decided to encourage people to not only come up with innovative ways to reduce their plastic use, but to spread the word on how they were doing it. The campaign challenged participants to post on their social media channels using #makingmovesfortheplanet, with the opportunity to a win a prize worth R10 000, including some gear from the Sealand Recycle range.
Plastic Free July is over but the world is far from plastic free. The month has brought into focus the enormity of the problem as well as the innovative ways to solve it. We feel quietly optimistic. We were inspired to see how many participated in initiatives, and put forward viable answers. It has set the tone going forward and, if we can build on this momentum, there may be hope for a plastic free planet.