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Take the Plastic Free July Challenge!


Are you ready to take the Plastic Free July challenge? This summer, we invite you to join this global movement encouraging people to reduce their dependence on single-use plastics and build more eco-friendly lifestyle habits. This blog will highlight some easy steps you can take to be part of the solution to plastic pollution.

Why Reduce Single-use Plastics?

Reducing the use of single-use plastics is important to maintaining the health of our communities and environment. Single-use plastic items generate a massive amount of waste and do not break down naturally over time. Instead, they become toxic microplastics that harm our watersheds, wildlife, and ecosystems. Additionally, the production of plastics requires extracting crude oil and emits high volumes of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

The overuse of single-use plastics also carries negative implications for human health. Many single-use plastics contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs), also known as "forever chemicals", that never leave the environment and can lead to a variety of health issues. Cutting down on the production and consumption of single-use plastics, therefore, is an impactful way to limit environmental exposure to PFAs, microplastics, and other harmful chemicals found in plastic.

Tips for Reducing Plastic Use 

There are many different actions you can take to refuse single-use plastics in your day-to-day life. Consider choosing just one, or for more of challenge, try going completely plastic-free! Here are a few ideas:

  • Bring your own. Refuse single-use takeaway items by bringing your own when you go out. This can include reusable coffee cups, bags, utensils, straws, food containers, water bottles, and more.
  • Buy less. Before going shopping, stop and think: Do I need this? Is there a low or zero-waste alternative? Consider what other options to buying new might be, such as borrowing something from a friend or neighbor, shopping secondhand, or avoiding packaging by shopping at a bulk food store.
  • Reuse. Extend the life of your items as much as possible to avoid sending them to the landfill unnecessarily. Get creative and think of new ways to repurpose different items. For example, plastic bags can be reused as trash can liners, and empty jars can become containers for food or other knick-knacks.

For a more comprehensive list of ways to avoid single-use plastics, check out the official Plastic Free July website.

Take the Plastic Free Schools Challenge 

Schools often rely heavily on single-use plastics, from the cafeteria to the classroom and beyond. Getting your school to reduce waste and educating students, staff, and parents about the effects of plastic pollution can make a huge difference! Here are a couple of ideas for getting started:

  • Conduct a waste audit. Evaluate how well your school is recycling and/or composting by taking a look at your trash, and implementing changes based on your discoveries. Clark County Green Schools can help you with this effort - email us at to schedule a waste audit for this fall!
  • Get crafty. In the classroom, educate students about the importance of avoiding single-use plastics. There are many fun craft activities that highlight the reusability of common household items, such as toilet paper rolls, plastic bottles, and cardboard boxes. DIY workshops are also a great way to take this a step further.
  • Ditch the disposables. Take a look at your school's cafeteria to see how much single-use plastic is being served with lunch every day. Build school support to transition to reusable serviceware and work with your administration, nutrition service provider, and kitchen staff to make the switch. For help with paying the upfront cost of reusable serviceware, check out Plastic Free Restaurants.

You can read more about these ideas here. To sign up for the Plastic Free Schools challenge and gain access to a range of free resources, stories, activities, and more, click here

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