Bartender, what’s this?
If you have ordered your usual refreshing drink at a bar or restaurant recently, you probably noticed that the push to get rid of plastic straws has at last reached your favorite watering hole. Maybe you wondered why no straw leaned idly against the glass collecting bubbles in your beverage, or you had to race to down your drink before your paper straw became wet and chewy, or perhaps you got one of the new compostable corn-based plastic straws that is currently experiencing a very hopeful popularity despite some not-insurmountable drawbacks.
Welcome to Plastic Free July.
Born in Australia, Plastic Free July is a campaign that was brilliantly conceived of by the Plastic Free Foundation. As a not-for-profit organization, their selfless mission is to drive people towards refusing single-use plastic items. Thankfully, they are not alone. The sustained effort of many determined and conscientious people around the world has made movements like these much more widespread and urgent recently. Any soul who has walked a beach lately, deftly dodging (or cleaning up!) bottles, flip flops, tampon applicators and many, many, many straws is aware that the Earth’s natural resources are suffering tremendously. It’s undeniably high time to reverse the tides.
Plastic Free July doesn’t mean no more plastic.
Plastic Free July’s critical mission isn’t aimed at getting rid of all plastic. Instead, they seek to see a world without the rampant plastic waste that has somehow become the daily norm for the general population on every continent. Most pressing for the organization is to drastically reduce the waste of single use plastic bottles and convenience items, think floss-picks, k-cups and plastic cutlery.
So simple, yet….
Can you imagine how incredibly simple and satisfying it would be to replace all the disposable plastic you use daily with reusable alternatives? Doesn’t sound fun? We get it. There are a lot of reasons for this. Habit and convenient use are big ones. For instance, if you are accustomed to the ease of a floss-pick, it’s a bit of a struggle to wrestle with slippery floss and strangled fingertips before you go to bed, but soldier on! Your grandpa did it every night! Of course, he didn’t have huge corporations shoveling convenient disposables into every part of his life either! That’s another thing you’re up against, by the way. Always see K-cups and huge flats of water bottles on your store end-caps? Yeah, there’s a reason for that.
Lilly Brush brushes up against the ugly truth of enforced consumables.
Frustration with wasteful lint roller paper refills and their cheap plastic handles that broke way too often drove us at Lilly Brush to come up with our first pet products, the Fluffy Pets line of Forever Furless Home brushes for cleaning up long, soft clingy pet hair. We designed our brush so that it would be fast, effective, and built to last a decade. Our next product, the Mini Pet Hair Detailer, is designed to remove straight, short and wiry pet hair when it becomes stubbornly embedded in carpets and fabrics. No more duct-tape mittens, and hours of vacuuming for those pet owners! Solid move, right? Welp, turns out that’s not what most of the big box store buyers we met with wanted. In meeting after meeting, we were told that if there was some way we could make our products disposable, we’d have a good shot at getting on their shelves. We declined. Btw, little shout-out to some of the good guys who love our products and our mission…Thanks Duluth Trading Company, Orvis, and Chewy!
To leave the month of July on a high note, just try to eliminate one item that is a single use product found in your everyday life. Find a new alternative to the things that are wasteful. Get a Hydroflask or a Contigo glass water bottle to hang with. Grab some refillable k-cups and your most favorite ground coffees. Wrestle with that floss. Say no to plastic straws. We know you’ll think of something, and it’ll make you feel great to know you’re one of the good guys too.
The Lilly Brush Team