Skip to content
Our journey towards Plastic Free July

Our plastic-free journey July

The zero waste campaign is going on every day, but if there is time to participate more, it will definitely be July. In fact, during the entire month, nearly 1,500 organizations and more than 6,000 individuals from all over the world participated in Plastic Free July, because it is possible to try a life without plastic!

As part of the campaign, Zero Waste Europe took different measures this month, inviting people to rethink their consumption habits and refuse to use single-use plastics.

Let's review what happened...

Half of the first hit

Spain is the forerunner of the plastic-free movement in July 2019. From June 3 to 9, Facebook Spain’s Zero Waste Community launched a boycott of plastic food packaging, inviting citizens in Spain and around the world not to buy any food wrapped in plastic for a week. More than 8.000 people successfully joined the challenge. Check out our interview with Juliana Maruri who initiated the event.

An extraordinary victory!

July cannot start in a better way. In fact, on July 2, the EU’s new legislation on single-use plastic products came into effect. This groundbreaking law aims to reduce the production and consumption of single-use plastic products. It includes: prohibiting the selection of disposable plastic products that have market substitutes, strong producer extended responsibilities, and incentives to implement deposit return plans. Learn how to buy reusable items in July and beyond!


On July 3rd, we celebrated the International Day without Plastic Bags. Because what better represents the current plastic crisis than the ubiquitous disposable plastic bags?

In fact, the International Day without Plastic Bags represents a unique opportunity to show that a world without plastic bags is possible and there are many alternatives to disposable products. For the 10th edition, organizations and citizens around the world took action to raise awareness of the environmental impact and harm of disposable plastic bags and promote more sustainable solutions.

In this context, we shared the story of Ukraine’s Zero Waste Alliance, which carried out a three-month national campaign with the support of the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and achieved impressive results. Read the full text.

Still eager to learn more?

The last global civil society annual report was also released in July, which assessed structural obstacles and institutional gaps in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Our production and consumption activist Larissa Copello (Larissa Copello) wrote a chapter that describes different measures to reduce plastic production and consumption.

"The way we produce and consume plastic is unsustainable. The international community needs to agree on a new framework to get rid of plastic waste"

Larissa Copello, consumption and production activist in Zero Waste Europe

last but not least

Towards the end of the month, we released the DRS Declaration, which contains 15 good reasons to switch to the deposit return program and move towards a zero-waste circular economy.

Through the declaration, we call on European decision makers to rethink the way we handle resources and establish a new system that maintains value through repeated reuse of materials, uses recycling as a last resort, and ensures that no waste leaks into the environment. Deposit return system (DRS) has proven to be the most effective and sustainable way to achieve this goal. Sign the DRS declaration

Don't stop us now!

now? July is over, but we can try to get rid of plastic every month. In fact, Plastic Free July is not to change our personal behavior within a month, but to promote systemic changes. From pursuing corporate responsibility to pushing policy makers to enact better legislation, to getting rid of wrong solutions and embracing zero waste, we can all play a role in ending plastic pollution permanently.

To learn more about how we do this, follow #breakfreefromplastic

About the latest post

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ukraine’s waste management system and what issues have been identified in this area-26/04/2021 Meet our members-Special edition-Meet our scientific coordinator: Enzo Favoino! -On March 31, 2021, recycled plastics are balanced on the thin line through the "mass balance method"-March 23, 2021

Previous article Reuse the network