Choose to Refuse Plastics and the #DOTchallenge

This year the Plastic Free July campaign, an international initiative aimed at mobilising citizens to say no to single use plastics, has more virtue than ever and a wonderful example that we can all “Do One Thing” for our precious planet.

Plastic Free July Logo

The Plastic Free July Movement is supported by Braam Malherbe’s #DOTChallange

Why all the fuss about plastic and Plastic Free July?

It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean, by weight, than fish. This is not only unsightly, but poses real-life threats to humans and animals alike since plastic is entering our food chain. Plastic breaks up into tiny pieces (miroplastics) but is designed to never break down. Looking exactly like plankton, these tiny plastic specs end up being eaten by animals such as wales, turtles and fish, and in turn by humans.

Over a million seabirds are killed each year due to plastic pollution and with over 51 trillion pieces of microplastics in the sea it’s inevitable that plastic (and the chemicals that it produces) also ends up in our own food chain.

Ocean Plastic Cartoon - Gatis Sluka

A personal account

Just over 1 year ago, on 9 May 2017, I completed my most recent world first: rowing a boat, unassisted, for 8 100km from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro with rowing partner Wayne Robertson; all in the name of ocean conservation and the DOT (Do One Thing) challenge.

“We were on the ocean for 92 gruelling days and for over 60 of those days we saw no life at all, not a fish, turtle, bird or whale. All we saw, occasionally, was plastic. When we finally did see an animal, it was dead. The turtle washed up against our little boat and when we cut it open it was full of plastic.” – Braam Malherbe

Braam Malherbe DOT Header Nature Ocean

What can you do for Plastic Free July?

I invented the DOT Challenge specifically to help mobilise people in a practical and impactful way.

“Our planet is just a DOT in the universe and we are just DOTs on the planet, but if each person steps up to Do One Thing, collectively we can be a force for good for mother nature.”

  1. Sign up to Plastic Free July and join the movement here.
  2. Follow our DOT challenge pages on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to see loads of practical daily DOTs that you can do.
  3. Say ‘no thanks’ to barrier bags (those thin plastic bags), straws, cups, take-away coffee lids, ear buds, sandwich bags, and plastic wrap.
  4. Use your personal influence: share your commitments on social media, tag #DOTchallenge and encourage others to do the same. Start a small movement in your school, office or family.

All South Africans, young and old, individuals, families and companies, can take up the DOT Challenge and say no to single use plastics during July – indeed forever…

Share your plastic-free commitment on the DOT Challenge page, discover daily tips from Braam, and use #DOTchallenge to spread the message and challenge your friends.