Love the Planet! Go Plastic-free in July

The Ecology Center offers a great selection of reusable items for beverages and foods.

Plastic is pervasive and difficult to recycle; much of it ends up polluting oceans and rivers and harming sea life. Throughout July, the Ecology Center hosts multiple events as part of Plastic-Free July, an international effort focused on how and why to reduce single-use plastics in daily life. Learn about disposable-free dining, plastic-free personal products, and where plastics go once you’ve put them into your recycling cart. Attend a zero-waste demo at a local farmers’ market and take part in a shoreline cleanup at the Berkeley Marina Shorebird Park. Details, including event schedule: here

The City of Berkeley declared July “Plastic-free Month” and is considering new legislation co-authored by Mayor Jesse Arreguín and Councilmember Sophie Hahn to reduce plastic use. The ordinance, proposed in April, is known as Disposable-Free Dining. It mandates that dine-in eateries use non-disposable flatware and plates, and that takeout containers must be either compostable or recyclable. To encourage people to bring their own reusable containers, customers will be charged 25 cents for to-go containers or cups. “While plastic may be quick and convenient, it does not biodegrade, wreaks havoc on the environment, and poses enormous financial and environmental costs,” said Arreguín. “This is a necessary step as we work to get to zero waste and reduce our greenhouse emissions, outlined in the city’s Climate Action Plan.”

Teaser photo courtesy of the Ecology Center.