Thanks for Joining Us for Plastic Free July 2023!

Image of Recycling Center Tour participants smiling in high visiability vests in front of an Ecology Center Recycling Truck.

This summer, the Ecology Center celebrated Plastic Free July with a month filled with dynamic events and engaging educational content. Over the course of five remarkable events we connected with more than 300 community members, volunteers, and supporters as we explored the many opportunities to address the problems with plastics. We are grateful to have engaged with so many passionate individuals who are committed to exploring how each of us can play a vital role to Be Part of the Solution. Whether through daily lifestyle changes, holding plastic producers accountable, or advocating for a transparent recycling system, together, we are making a difference. Here are a few highlights.

Reaching the East Bay & Beyond

We kicked off the month with a virtual screening of the short film “Chasing Arrows: The Truth About Recycling.” This watch party and panel marked the first-ever collaboration between TheEcology Center and our AMBR (Alliance of Mission-Based Recyclers) partners. What was even more exciting was that we had more than 150 attendees from across the country, spanning from the Bay Area to Colorado and New Mexico to Michigan. Our zero waste expert panelists delved into how the petrochemical industry influenced the acceptance of even the most problematic plastics as recyclable and explored the necessary changes for an effective recycling system. In case you missed it, you can check out the recording below.

Investing in Solutions

The Ecology Center EcoStore launched our Pilot Refill Program, bringing bulk home and personal care products to West Berkeley! With more than 10 products available for purchase, we hope this pilot aims to make avoiding single-use packaging more convenient and accessible. To celebrate the launch, we shared valuable sustainable living tips and tricks for shopping refill and uplifted other key players in the local refill scene through our Refill Walking Tour event. You can learn more about the role of refill in our transition to a circular economy with our Introduction to Reuse and Refill factsheet. Plus, don’t forget, you can enjoy aa 15% discount on your first refill purchase at the EcoStore using the code “EC Refill.”

We’re Part of the #BreakFreeFromPlastic Movement

Image of Youth Environmental Academy Scholars sorting through plastic litter with a representative from Berkeley's Zero Waste Division. Through our neighborhood clean up and #BreakFreeFromPlastic brand audit, volunteers and Ecology Center Youth Environmental Academy scholars picked up and logged more than 300 pieces of litter– over 70% of which was food packaging! The data collected, including identifying the companies responsible for this litter, has been shared with #BreakFreeFromPlastic to be included in their annual global report. Historically, this report has been instrumental in advocating for plastics legislation and holding plastic producers accountable. Our event participants were excited to take the traditional litter clean up a step further by not only learning about proper waste sorting but also utilizing their findings to expose polluters. As one participant put it, “I want to do this every clean-up; it’s such a good idea.”


While July has passed, our commitment to building a truly circular economy continues year-round! Don’t miss out on our year-round programming by joining our newsletter  and consider becoming an Ecology Center member to support our ongoing efforts to create a plastic-free future.


Return to Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *