A Plastic-Free South Africa

“Everything depends on knowing how much” and  “Good is knowing when to stop.”

– Toni Morrison, Beloved

This powerful quote by the late and legendary Toni Morrison serves as a reminder that we really do have the power to change the course of our living experiences by simply managing our behaviours and habits, for the good of ourselves, others and all that supports our livelihoods- the environment.

It is international Plastic-Free July this month. This means that the whole world’s awareness is raised to the opportunity to reassess, manage and adjust our attitudes and behaviours when it comes to plastic. In May, we at Conscious Lifestyle Collective decided to concentrate our attention on what a conscious lifestyle means for a for a South African. The month of July is no different, as we are using this month as an opportunity to localise the conversation about and efforts towards being a plastic-free South Africa.

Why We Should Care About A Plastic-Free South Africa

As South Africans, why should we be concerned about being plastic-free? What impact does plastic have on our livelihoods and the livelihoods of our environment? And what can we do to be more conscious about our relationship with plastic? The are excellent and important questions to ask.

Our relationship with plastic is a complex one. Plastic has many uses and performs many functions that make life easy and convenient for us. On the other hand, plastic is one of the country’s greatest contributors to pollution due to our behaviours and habits. This subsequently affects our ecosystems and the health of animals and human beings that benefit from these ecosystem. Not only that, but plastic also contains ingredients that are toxic and often cause them to be non-recyclable and non-biodegradable. Even the process of making plastic involves the depletion of fossil fuel and the emissions of harmful gasses into the air.

Here are some statistics to help put the idea of a plastic-free South Africa into context.

Plastic Free South Africa Stats
Statistics from: "Plastics: Facts and Futures", WWF South Africa, 2020 Report. https://wwfafrica.awsassets.panda.org/downloads/wwf_plastics_report_final_2nov2020.pdf?32751/plasticsfactsandfutures

What Can We Do To Be Plastic-Free South Africa?

This month at Conscious Lifestyle Collective, we will be contextualising and localising the plastic-free conversation by engaging key areas where plastic has the most prevalence in our lives: kitchen, bathroom, shopping habits and other areas. By engaging this topic using these key areas, we intend to task you with the challenge of living a plastic-free lifestyle in ways that are practical.

In the meantime, you can look through our previous content for tips and tricks on how to better manage your relationship with plastic.

1. Stop Using Plastic: This came from our very first campaign, #21EcoActionsFor2021, a campaign made out of 21 tips that educated, empowered and inspired us to be more eco-friendly in our everyday lives. 

2. Shop At These South African Plastic-Free Grocers: Here, we challenged our community to reassess their relationship with plastic by providing them with a list of plastic-free South Africa grocery stores.

3. Plastic Use By An Average South African:  Our aim here was to put our relationship with place into perspective. It is often said that perspective is one of the most powerful catalysts for change.  

Things To Be Excited About This July

We at have partnered up with The Refillery for the 30-Day Plastic-Free Challenge, where we will be able to track the journeys of those who have chosen to participate in the 30-day challenge. Keep Conscious Collective Lifestyle on your social media radar this July to find out what we will be up to this month, as well as some exciting conversation we will be having.

We plan to host IG LIVE with other small businesses that are building with the environment in mind. Check out our Instagram page for regular updates.


The journey to a plastic-free South Africa  starts with us all.


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