The effects of single-use plastics are well documented. They include adverse health impacts, marine degradation (most visibly, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch), and climate change. These problems stem, in part, from our inability to effectively recycle common plastics.
To help combat this crisis, we invite ECU community members to participate in Plastic Free July, an international initiative aiming to cut out, or cut down on, single-use plastics.
Last year we took part both as a library and as individuals resulting in some significant changes within the library, and eye opening experiences as consumers.
For example, over the last 11 months we’ve conducted a plastics audit and have significantly reduced the amount of plastic we use when processing new books.
Many of us have also made permanent changes in our own lives, such as learning where we can purchase unpackaged food items (finances permitting), and bringing reusable produce bags when shopping.
We now hope that other ECU members will join us in cutting out single-use plastics. To sign up, visit the Plastic Free July website. Fill in your basic contact information, and during the month of July you will receive weekly tips on how to reduce plastic consumption. You can unsubscribe from these emails at any time.
Participating in PFJ is also one of the options on the library’s sustainability bingo card. Complete five activities and submit to the library before September 30th for a chance to win fun, sustainable prizes!
If cutting out plastics altogether sounds too difficult, don’t worry! You can participate in several ways. You can avoid single-use plastic packaging; target the four main offenders (bags, bottles, to-go cups and straws); or, eliminate plastics completely. You can also choose to participate for one day, one week, all month, or, on an ongoing basis.
We hope that you will join us and millions of others this year in combating this ecological and cultural crisis. It’s one of many things we can do together as a community to forge a more sustainable future.