Impact of 2021 WA Local Hero on plastic waste sees monumental growth

  • 5 December 2023

In 2021, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz OAM was named the Local Hero for WA in the Australian of the Year Awards, for her efforts in reducing plastic waste through her campaign, Plastic Free July.

Today, her impact is experiencing monumental growth around the world, as shown in the new release of the campaign’s Impact Report 2023.

This year alone, an estimated 89 million individuals participated globally, with engagement in over 190 countries. More than 14,000 workplaces, 7,000 communities and schools, and 5,500 retail stories actively participated. Of the participants, 87% made at least one lasting change.

In 2023, 1.4 billion kg of plastic waste was avoided, totalling 10 billion kg over the last five years.

Plastic Free July increased awareness throughout the year, with support from elected officials and local government, and additional engagement in schools and in community.

woman speaking at lecturn
Rebecca Prince-Ruiz speaking at the launch of the Impact Report 2023.

“Making change and sharing stories from our diverse communities – schools, workplaces, cafes, councils – has grown this approach into a global invitation,” Rebecca says of the Impact Report. “We’ve shown that change doesn’t have to be overwhelming: it’s about making better choices in our own lives, no matter how small, and inspiring others to do the same.”

Read the full Impact Report 2023 here and find out how to get involved at

Photos by Tashi Hall.

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