Plastico? No Gracias! The Facebook group Zero Waste España launched a week to boycott plastic food packaging
This year, Spain has been a forerunner of the Plastic Free July campaign. Indeed, from the 3rd to the 9th of June, the Facebook Community Zero Waste Espagña, launched a boycott of plastic food packaging, inviting citizens in Spain and worldwide not to buy any food wrapped in plastic for a week.
We interviewed Juliana Maruri who launched the “Boicot al plastico” campaign.
What is the campaign about?
The idea of launching a boycott came from the Zero Waste España Facebook Community: a very active group in which people share ideas and best practices to reduce our waste and to consume in a more sustainable way.
We started the campaign to challenge people not to buy any products wrapped in plastic for a week. The boycott was created as an active protest against the production, sale and marketing of plastic food packaging and as a reaction to the lack of responsibility of retailers and producers.
It all started as an initiative on Facebook but the campaign quickly got a massive response: on the first day, there were already more than 25,000 people interested in taking part in the challenge and more than 8,000 people were already actively joining the boycott.
Therefore, we translated all the information in English and French to spread the challenge also outside of Spain.
Again, people responded positively and similar initiatives took place in France, Italy and Sweden among other countries.
What actions were taken during the week?
Our main action was avoiding to buy any food wrapped in plastic. We mostly developed social media content using the hashtags: #boicotalplastico and #boicotalplastico2019 to motivate people to reduce plastic consumption and put pressure on producers and retailers to eliminate plastic from the food distribution chain.
Moreover, during the week, we organised daily challenges such as:
- Writing and sending complaint letters to local supermarkets customer services.
- Taking pictures and publishing them on social media to report the amount of plastic food packaging used in supermarkets
- Sharing experiences and tips on how buying products and food without plastic since for most of the participants, the boycott was the first approach to a plastic-free lifestyle.
Finally, we invited people to send us ideas and proposals to improve the campaign. Again, the community responded positively, sending us many ideas but also organising several initiatives independently.
For example, in Cadiz, some local shops were invited to take part in the boycott by avoiding the use of plastic bags and supporting those customers who decided to bring their own reusable containers.
Who was involved in the campaign?
Some local organisations supported the campaign and helped us to share information about the boycott, even though the event was basically created and managed by the Facebook Community itself. The Zero Waste España Facebook group gave us constant support by sharing content and welcoming all the people that landed on the “zero waste world”.
What are the next steps?
A small group of people decided to move forward and createThe Boycott Community to keep up with the great work and push producers and retailers to remove unnecessary plastic from the food distribution chain.
A new boycott week will be launched in September to support the international climate change strike.
This time, the focus of the campaign will be on schools and families. We will suggest initiatives to avoid unnecessary plastics, increase awareness regarding the current plastics crisis and reveal green washing practices.