A LOCAL environmental group has called on people in Dumbarton and the Vale to think about ways they can change their lifestyle to cut down on single-use plastics and their impact on the environment.

Plastic Free July provides resources and ideas to help local residents, as well as hundreds of millions of people around the world, reduce single-use plastic waste at home, work and school.

The movement has inspired an estimated 326 million participants in 177 countries with the idea that making a small change will collectively make a massive difference to our communities.

Elizabeth Lambert from the Cardross Climate Action Network told the Reporter: “It’s not about changing your lifestyle completely, it’s about thinking about everything you do and thinking if you really need it and thinking about the waste hierarchy.

“Try and reduce what you’re buying and bringing into your house.

"Plastic bags aren’t necessarily bad if you can reuse.

“Tupperware boxes are pretty good to take your own packed lunch into work.

"Often what we were doing ages ago was the right thing to do.

“Taking your own water bottle and your own coffee cup is helpful.

“Around Dumbarton there are places trying to do this – there’s apps to show people where they can refill their bottle.

“In Dumbarton you’ve got Made Guid and other places.

"Some things are really actually quite cheap but you’re paying for a jar, so if you head to Made Guid with old containers you’ll save some money as well.

“Some of it is about disposing of your litter properly even if you don’t have bad intentions.

“Plastic is still a big problem.

"It doesn’t disappear; it lasts for hundreds of years.

“In Scotland we don’t have ‘energy for waste’ incinerators, and if we don’t have that they’ll still exist in landfill.

"The plastic that was made still exists.

“We’re not trying to be complete killjoys.

"You’re not expecting everyone to be perfect so Plastic Free July is about making people think ‘oh I can do that’.

“Just make one new habit to cut down waste.

"See what you can cut out and you’ll slowly get there towards having less plastic waste.”

Dumbarton’s MSP Jackie Baillie added: “Plastic Free July is an important month to raise awareness of what individuals can do to reduce their use of plastic.

"Cutting down the use of plastic in our everyday lives will go such a long way to protect both our natural environment and the animals that inhabit it.

“If each of us can make small changes to the way that we cook, shop and live, this will add up to a really positive change and will see a serious reduction in the amount of plastic that we use.

“It is also vital that we all understand exactly how we should be recycling our plastic to ensure that it does not end up in landfill.”

To learn more about Plastic Free July visit plasticfree july.org.