Wednesday 26th June 2024


Plastic Free July – How Differentology is Working Towards a Cleaner Future

Every minute of every day a truckload of plastic is dumped into the ocean.

This is a fact that you may or may not already know, but either way it is likely that you are aware of the extent of the plastic pollution problem on our planet. It is more important than ever, that we understand the negative impact that our plastic consumption is having on the environment, but it can be all too easy to shy away from those hard to hear facts.

The idea of taking action to tackle the problem can feel too overwhelming and so it is easier to simply ignore the issue and live life as we always have. Barriers to embracing greener habits are numerous, but the most cited is cost, with 55% of people saying this is a top barrier for them in Hyundai’s 2,000-person study conducted in 2022. 27% said they were confused about how best to be green.

This is where Plastic Free July comes in.

Plastic Free July is a global movement run by the Plastic Free Foundation that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution.

The idea of the movement is to encourage individuals to make small changes in their everyday lives that can, over the course of the month, become habits that live on beyond July. This has been the case for the last 5 years, with 87% of participants saying they made at least one lasting change. Impressively, these changes alone avoided 1.4 billion kilograms of plastic going to waste.

While the idea of going plastic-free can be a bit daunting, it’s important to realise that the movement isn’t necessarily asking you to go cold turkey, but to instead reduce your plastic usage a little at a time and wherever you can feasibly do so.

As a result of the initiative, 100s of millions of people have been inspired to make small changes that will collectively make a huge difference to their communities and to the world’s plastic pollution problem. If you’re interested to read more about Plastic Free July’s influence, here is the 2023 impact report

The Plastic Free July website provides resources and ideas to help to reduce single-use plastic waste every day in all areas of life – home, work, school and even at your local café. It has a whole host of suggestions that are broken down into easy-to-digest sections to make it all as actionable as possible in real life whether you are a total beginner or are well-versed in avoiding plastics.

As well as inspiring individuals, there are also suggestions for businesses on the website, which we at Differentology will be looking to adopt. We are devoted to finding out what matters to people and many of our clients and suppliers are working hard to encourage consumers to think about protecting the future of our planet. This aligns with the MRS Net Zero Pledge that we signed in 2022 – a commitment to climate action and a pledge to meet net zero by 2026.

Some developments that we have already made at our office headquarters include:

• 14% of our energy is sourced from renewable energy
• Low energy light bulbs and intelligent lighting to aid energy management
• A green sedum roof to reduce energy consumption
• Recycling and food waste points throughout the building
• Cleaning materials selected based on their carbon and water footprints
• Biomass boiler provides a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels
• Natural ventilation (rather than air conditioning – a major contributor to climate change)
• Parcelforce is our main postal delivery service, due to their reliance on hybrid and electric vans and stop-start technology
• Flow regulators added to taps/showers and low-capacity toilet cisterns fitted
• A new company travel policy aimed at minimising air and road travel and promoting video conferencing and rail travel wherever possible

As of 2024, we are one of only 24% of MRS registered businesses to have actually taken steps to measure and report our emissions and our very own Paige Fiedorowicz has recently been highly commended as a sustainability changemaker by the MRS!

To ensure we fulfil our pledge, we have baked sustainability into our culture, going as far as revamping our internal appraisal system to include the company-wide objective. Additional targets have also been set at individual levels (right down to those booking business travel or ordering office coffee supplies). Committing to the Plastic Free July challenge will only bring us closer to our goal.

So, what are you waiting for? Join us and millions of others reducing their plastic waste and take the Plastic Free July challenge.

By Beth Abell, Research Manager

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