Plastic-Free July

20150617plasticfreejulyOver the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. Half of plastic is used once and then thrown away, and only 5-10% of plastic is recovered through recycling. Plastic is piling up everywhere – in our landfills, in our waterways and oceans, even in our bodies.

There is something we can do. There is a global movement to raise awareness about the problem of plastic, and create momentum for solutions. Join thousands of people from over 70 countries in taking the challenge to reduce your plastic use for Plastic-Free July!

Plastic-Free July is an annual event that began in Western Australia in 2011 and has spread across the globe. It aims to raise awareness of the amount of plastic in our lives by encouraging people to eliminate the use of single-use, disposable plastic during July each year.

Take the challenge to reduce your plastic use this July, and be a part of the movement to address the plastic problem.
Click here to pledge to take action!

The Ecology Center is hosting a series of events for Plastic-Free July to learn, take action, and get tips on reducing plastic, while meeting other community members to connect on this topic. Click on any of the events below to read more details.


Why do we send so much of our plastic waste to China for recycling? What actually happens to it once it’s there? Why don’t we handle our own plastic waste? With its “Green Fence” policy, China has become choosier about the plastic waste it accepts, while US residents are creating more plastic waste than ever. We’ll be screening a clip from Wang Jiuliang’s upcoming film “Plastic China” and hosting a panel discussion that pulls the curtain back on our ever-shifting plastics recycling system.

Moderator – Martin Bourque, Executive Director of the Ecology Center
Steve Lautze, CA Association of Recycling Market Development Zones, BIN
Patty Moore, President, Moore Recycling Associates
Peter Schultze-Allen, Former Zero Waste Commissioner, City of Berkeley

Date: Thursday, July 30, 2015
Time: 7 – 9 PM
Location: Ecology Center, 2530 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley
Cost: Free
More Details: Click here


A casual get-together with Beth Terry and Ecology Center staff. Bring the disposable plastic items you collected during Plastic-Free July. What were the hardest items or categories to reduce your plastic consumption of? Share challenges and successes and help others reduce their use of disposable plastic — what alternatives to single-use plastic did you discover or create? What products and vendors were most helpful or responsive in your search for plastic-free packaging? What is on the frontier — products and packaging that are calling out to be re-designed without plastic? The Ecology Center’s Farmers’ Market staff will be on-hand to talk about the Zero Waste efforts at the markets. Shop at the market for picnic items, or bring your own lunch from home.

Date: Saturday, August 1, 2015
Time: 1 – 3 PM
Location: Downtown Berkeley Farmers’ Market, Center St between Milvia and Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Cost: Free, picnic food available for purchase from Farmers’ Market, or bring food from home
More Details: Click here



[Photo credit: Bo Eide on Flickr]