Do you know how much plastic comes into your home? 

There are some good alternatives to using plastic available.

There are some good alternatives to using plastic available. - Credit: MARTIN COOPER

I suspect there is more plastic coming into your home than you realise. The reason I say this is because we recently took part in the Greenpeace sponsored Big Plastic Count, where we counted every piece of plastic we were going to dispose of in a week.

Now we make a conscious effort to be plastic free, but we were still surprised at the fact we got through 71 items of single use plastic during that week! 

And it made us think - sometimes we can make decisions about what we buy in plastic and what we don't, but sometimes we don't have a choice.

The Big Plastic Count helped us really see just how many items we have to buy in single use plastic and how many we are throwing away - either into the recycling or into the bin if it can't be recycled - to understand the extent of the plastic problem we face.

Plastic is a huge part of the climate change problem, emitting greenhouse gases at every single stage of its lifecycle. 

By producing less plastic, emissions will reduce, as will the waste it creates which often ends up in our rivers and oceans.  So how can we help to do that? 

Next month is Plastic Free July - a campaign that’s part of a global initiative from the Plastic Free Foundation, whose vision is to see a world free of plastic waste.

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From swapping our toothpaste tubes to jars, new plastic bags of food to reusable containers refilled with goods and plastic sticky tape to paper tape, there are a lot of easy ways to reduce our plastic consumption. 

Plastic Free July gives us all the opportunity to think about what we use in our daily lives that we just throw away because it can't be reused or recycled, and to discover whether there is a plastic free alternative out there.

Each day in July we will be giving you simple, plastic free alternative ideas on our social media channels and we encourage you to share your plastic free swaps with us and other too.

We can't all expect to stop using plastic overnight, but if we each make just one change, it all contributes to reducing the global problem of plastic waste.

The campaign starts on Friday, July 1, and hints and tips can be found at: @refillshopofikigai on Facebook and: @refill_shop_of Ikigai on Instagram.