Plastic Free July

This month, we’re celebrating Plastic Free July—a few weeks dedicated to reducing our reliance on single-use plastics.

Published July 01, 2016

microplastic

Image via Flickr.

Many of the disposable plastics that make their way into landfills ultimately find their way to the sea. Once there, they break into smaller and smaller pieces but never completely decompose. Scientists estimate more than 5 trillion tiny pieces of plastic already occupy the ocean, and as more single-use plastics enter the waste stream, that number grows.

The challenge (should you choose to accept it) is to refuse single-use plastics throughout the month of July. Here are a few quick tips to get you started:

Skip the straw. This one seems simple, but sometimes you’re given a straw without asking. Next time you’re out to eat, ask your server not to put a straw in your drink. 

Bag the plastic. Replace plastic and paper with reusable bags (and not just at the grocery store). Keep one at the ready in your purse, car or at the office for that next impromptu shopping trip.

Pack it up. On-the-go lunches can contain a lot of plastic. Start with a reusable lunch box, and try to eliminate single-serving snacks. Take it one step further by ditching disposable snack bags and choosing a reusable option instead!

Choose your cup. Designate a coffee mug for the office and a refillable water bottle for the gym. Hosting a party? Make it B.Y.O.C. (bring your own cup).

Say no to single-use silverware. Keep a set of silverware at the office or in your car, so when you’re grabbing lunch on the go you can skip the plastic alternative. Some companies even make multi tools for an all-in-one fork, knife and spoon! 

Do you have more tips for ditching disposable plastics? Share them in the comment section!

Previous Post

Featured Stories

Humpback whale Help Preserve the Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act has supported work that has prevented the extinction of 99 percent of the species it has protected. That work is now under threat.

Read the full story

Atlantic puffin chick born at the National Aquarium Meet Our Trio of Puffin Chicks!

We are excited to welcome three new Atlantic puffin chicks to our Sea Cliffs exhibit!

Read the full story

Related Stories

National Estuary Week: Bringing the Chesapeake Bay to the Inner Harbor

Published September 19, 2018

Forests in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Published September 17, 2018