Climate Action Corner: Plastic or Planet?


We’re coming to the end of

Plastic Free July,

an international movement that encourages each of us to reduce our use of plastic, especially single-use plastics.

Start this month. Then can you continue through August? How about through the rest of this year?


Every change you make helps. Will you accept the challenge?

Plastic or Planet?

Learn how much plastic you use in a week. Then ask yourselves:

— What can I avoid? Where can I switch to non-plastic alternatives?

Start with one item that you commonly use, and commit to avoiding it for a month.

Here are some useful examples:

- avoid fruit and veggies in plastic clam shells (you cannot recycle them!)

- switch to bars and concentrates for all manner of cleaning products;

don’t pay for expensive water transported in plastic bottles!

- Look for plastic-free personal care products: refillable shampoos, bamboo

toothbrushes, tablets for toothpaste, deodorant packaged in cardboard

— REFUSE new single-use plastics. Seek out non-plastic, compostable alternatives and packaging. Ask your favorite vendors and manufacturers for plastic alternatives, and set an example! Gift plastic-alternatives.

— Buy in bulk, bringing your own reusable containers to stores as allowed.

— Bring your own food containers/utensils to restaurants, also as allowed. Ask when you can bring your items, and you might be surprised! The law now allows you to bring your own bags (but you must do the bagging).

Take advantage of TWO Videos packed with information on moving towards a plastic-free future: Plastic and the Pandemic. Timely information about how PPE and the plastic industry are trying to change our environment. Hear about current laws, and what really is recyclable. Arlene Baxter is in conversation with Martin Bourque, Exec. Director of the Ecology Center, and Berkeley Vice Mayor Sophie Hahn. Includes a Q&A session.

Join a free watch party on Thursday, July 30th at 6 pm, with a panel discussion on policy changes: Story of Plastic, to wrap up Plastic-Free July, this discussion will move beyond the problem of the plastics crisis and instead focus on opportunities and strategies towards solutions! The Story of Plastic presents a cohesive timeline of how we got to our current global plastic pollution crisis and how the oil and gas industry has successfully manipulated the narrative around it- so where do we go from here? Moderated by Martin Bourque, and featuring experts in policy and legislation who will speak to efforts in the fight against plastic pollution.

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