Plastic Free July

A group of 7 people stand in a semi circle looking at a bulk refill station


Join the Ecology Center in 2024 for PLASTIC FREE JULY, a series of events for community members to learn, take action, get tips on reducing plastic waste, and connect with others who are concerned about the global problem of plastic pollution. 

In 2017, the City of Berkeley officially declared July Plastic Free Month joining international efforts to reduce plastic. 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 reduce their reliance on single-use plastic disposables, reduce plastic pollution, and push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis- during July and beyond. Having launched one of the nation’s first curbside recycling programs in 1973, the Ecology Center has been a long-time champion of zero-waste policies and models. We worked to bring Plastic Free July from Australia to the East Bay in the early 2010s to bring you into our fight against plastics!

While climate action movements have been unified against fossil fuels for decades, this staunch opposition has not extended to plastics as an arm of the petrochemical industry. As a product of petroleum, plastics have a plethora of problematic impacts on our climate, health, and environment. This year, our Plastic Free July programming will shed light on the connections between plastics and big oil, and what we can do to combat the two. Although envisioning a world without plastics may seem challenging, each small stride we take brings us closer to achieving that vision.

This Plastic Free July, the Ecology Center invites you to join us for a month chock-full of activities to get us collectively closer to zero waste. Our 2024 PFJ series offers interactive opportunities to learn about deeply intertwined connections between oil and plastics, what this means for our health and the health of the environment, and what we can do to fight! This year’s programming highlights include a tour of the Berkeley Recycling Center, Plastics & Petrochemicals-themed trivia night, a waste audit demonstration, and an informational session on toxics in single-use plastic foodware. Join us to build a plastic-free future!

CLOSED: Win-Win for a Plastic-Free Future: Join Our Plastic Free July Fundraising Raffle!

Be a changemaker this Plastic Free July by participating in our exciting fundraising raffle! By purchasing a ticket, you not only have a chance to win fantastic prizes like gift cards, gardening classes, and delightful wine, but you also contribute to our efforts in creating a plastic-free future.

Thanks to our dedicated members and generous support from our local community,  for more than 50 years, the Ecology Center has long led the charge on plastic waste reduction efforts, tracking problematic plastic scrap exports, pioneering bag reduction initiatives leading to statewide carryout bag bans, recent advances with Berkeley’s Better Bag Ban ordinance, and so much more.

Help us reach or surpass our $2500 fundraising goal! Together, let’s show that small actions can lead to significant change. Get your tickets today and Be Part of the Solution!

Tickets are available for purchase at the Ecology Center Store Tuesday-Saturday 11 am-6 pm or at select Plastic Free July Events and Farmers’ Markets through July 31st, 2023.  Must be 18 or over to enter. See full list of Raffle Rules below for more information.

Special THANK YOU  to our generous community donors who have made this fundraising raffle possible!


Check back in with us in 2024 for any potential raffle.

      • Ignite Your Inner Chef and join a professional chef instructor for a fun and nutritious hands-on cooking experience at Kitchen on Fire!  (value up to $195)
  • 2-Hour Private Consult with Sustainable Gardening Expert 
      • Receive a one-on-one gardening consult or garden maintenance with Lori “CompostGal” Caldwell, Alameda County Master Composter, Bay-Friendly Certified Landscape Professional, self-taught edible gardener, and residential sheet mulch maven. (Value $150)
  • Bottle DeNovo Earth Cabernet (Value $37)
      • An inspiring guide to sustainable land management and ecological balance, this signed work makes a wonderful addition to any collection! (Value $30)
  • Bamboo Bounty Gift Basket (2)
      • Score a generous Bambu haul of plastic-free, nontoxic products such as an organic cutting board and coasters, to support your sustainable living journey. (Value $35-50 each)
      • Surrounded by rolling vineyards and picturesque countryside, enjoy $100 toward any service or accommodations at Carneros Resort and Spa where they offer a private retreat that delivers a relaxed and luxurious quintessential Napa experience.
  • Sport our Swag and Show Your Support, with a pair of Ecology Center-branded Trucker Hats!
  • Northern California Hiking Guide

Raffle Rules

  • Eligibility: The raffle is open to all individuals aged 18 years or older, except for employees, immediate family members, and board members of the Ecology Center.
  • Ticket Purchase: Tickets are available at the Ecology Center Store Tuesday-Saturday 11 am-6 pm or at select Plastic Free July Events and Farmers’ Markets through July 31st, 2023. Raffle tickets may not be purchased online. Each ticket will be assigned a unique number.
  • Ticket Cost: Tickets are priced at $5 per ticket, $10 for 3 tickets, and $15 for 5 tickets. No refunds will be provided once a ticket is purchased.
  • Prize Drawing: The raffle drawing will take place by August 31, 2023. Winners will be selected randomly using a fair and impartial method.
  • Winner Notification: Winners will be notified via email or phone within 1 week of the drawing. If a winner cannot be contacted or fails to respond within a 2-week time period, an alternate winner will be chosen.
  • Prize Collection: Winners must claim their prizes within 30 days of notification. Prizes can be collected in person at the Ecology Center EcoStore and Resource Center.
  • Prize Redemption: Prizes are non-transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash or other alternatives.
  • Taxes and Fees: Any taxes, fees, or other costs associated with the prize are the sole responsibility of the winner.
  • Publicity: By participating in the raffle, winners grant permission for their names and likeness to be used by the nonprofit organization for promotional purposes.
  • Compliance: All participants agree to abide by the rules and decisions made by the nonprofit organization. Non-compliance may result in disqualification.
  • Legal Restrictions: The raffle is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
  • Proceeds: The raffle proceeds will go towards supporting the mission and initiatives of the nonprofit organization.
  • Must be 18 years of age or older to participate.
  • Must be 21 years of age or older to receive a raffle prize of alcoholic beverages.
  • Winners need not be present to win.
  • Raffle ticket sales end Jul 31, 2023.
  • Winners will be announced by Aug 31, 2023.

Past Events

Chasing Arrows: The Truth About Recycling- A Plastic Free July Watch Party & Panel Discussion

Celebrate Plastic Free July with the Ecology Center and other Alliance of Mission-Based Recyclers on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at 6 pm PT — Join a virtual watch party featuring our short film, “Chasing Arrows: The Truth About Recycling,” then stick around for an engaging panel discussion and live Q&A.

Access the event recording here.

Plastic Free Resources

Alliance of Mission-Based Recyclers Resources

Resource Hubs



Articles and Blogs on the Plastics Crisis

Articles and Blogs on Solutions

Reuse Resources

Additional Resources