This month join a global Plastic Free Challenge movement to stop disposable plastic waste from ending up in our streets, oceans and landfills.

More than 120-million people worldwide have already committed to reducing their disposable plastic use during July and beyond. To join in, find local events in your city, and get plastic-free tips, visit Plastic Free July.

Here are eight ideas to get you started:

  1. In the kitchen, choose reusable glass or stainless steel storage containers for dry goods, cereals and baking ingredients. Use reusable produce bags. Choose bulk-food options to refill containers and reduce plastic packaging.
  2. When dining out, reduce plastic use by choosing restaurants that offer compostable options for take-out food or allow you to bring your reusable containers for leftovers when dining in. Check the list for responsible cafes nationwide that commit to eliminating single-use plastic.
  3. Stock a reusable bag with basic food and drink containers in your car, and you’re always prepared to reduce waste when dining out.
  4. If a restaurant only uses disposable plastic cutlery, suggest they change to reusable cutlery to save money and reduce plastic waste. If you end up using plastic cutlery, wipe it off after eating and take it with you for reuse.
  5. Find a local soap refill station to fill existing containers with dish soap, laundry soap, shampoo, lotions and other frequently purchased liquids. In Kansas City, try the Soap Refill Station, 7441 Broadway.
  6. Choose reusable cups made from ceramic, glass or stainless steel for all your beverages.
  7. At home, switch out plastic bottled liquid soap for bar soap. Select bamboo or plastic-free dental care items for toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss.
  8. When purchasing meat, fish and deli products, shop at grocers that don’t use polystyrene trays, which are difficult to recycle and can contain harmful chemicals.
  9. For celebrating birthdays and other special occasions, avoid all single-use plastic party items, balloons and glitter, which can easily blow down drains and end up in rivers and eventually ocean waters. Alternatives include swapping out glitter with confetti made from dried leaves, disposable plastic ware with a glass drink dispenser and reusable cups, plastic table ware with reusable bamboo plates and cutlery, and individually packaged treats with bulk-food-store sweets. There are lots or reusable straw options, or just ditch the straws.

Photo: Plastic Free July