Harrisonburg store encourages people to participate in 'Plastic Free July'

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — The Plastic Free Foundation has dedicated July to encourage people to go plastic-free for the month.

The Plastic Free Foundation takes the month of July to encourage people to take steps toward a plastic free lifestyle. Photo: WHSV

Allie Emerick. who owns Bring Your Own in downtown Harrisonburg, located at the Agora Market, said that a month can make it easier for people to set a goal to obtain the lifestyle.

"I think it's a good starting point. A good way for people to be introduced to it and really start thinking about it and focusing on it and then get in the habit of doing certain things," said Emerick.

She said she encourages people to start going plastic free by using reusable water bottles and items for packing lunches. Bring Your Own offers a lot of different products that can lead to a zero waste lifestyle.

People are encouraged to take small steps to reduce plastic throughout "Plastic Free July" until they are completely plastic free, with the hope that the habits will continue.

"A month goal seems more obtainable to some people than just, like going plastic free indefinitely, it's, more manageable for some people," said Emerick.

Emerick said it is important to think about reducing the use of plastic, because a lot of places in the Shenandoah Valley have stopped recycling it or only recycle limited types of plastics.

"It's important to think about recycling as kind of like a last resort, and so just reducing your plastic use entirely is a lot better for the planet than just relying on recycling," said Emerick.

Although Emerick said recycling should be thought of as a last resort, Bring Your Own does have unique recycling for items like plastic straws, dental hygiene products, plastic sandwich bags and writing utensils.