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Volume 17, Issue 7
July 2019


Gather your team to go Plastic Free in July!
By Jennifer Nelson, Washington County Sustainability Program

Inspired by the Australian-founded initiative, the Plastic Free EcoChallenge is a 31-day global challenge to reduce and refuse single-use plastics. It is provided locally by the Northwest Earth Institute and supported by zoos and aquariums nationwide. I invite you to create intention and take action on creating plastic-free habits with us!

plastic free logo

The challenge runs from Monday, July 1 to Wednesday, July 31 and is a chance for a lot of people around the world to simultaneously try their hardest to create an immense amount of positive impact. Trade-off? We establish new and improved habits that support a plastic-free world.

Washington County employees are building an internal team to help reduce single use plastic waste in our operations. The County has a goal to reduce waste by 25% for Operations. Waste audits earlier this decade demonstrated that single use plastics—such as plastic-lined paper coffee cups and their lids, take-out containers, and water bottles—continue to be a substantial part of office waste.

Awareness of single use plastics is on the rise throughout our communities as well. You have likely heard about plastic bag bans at city and state levels, as well as citywide restrictions in some areas on restaurant single use plastics. Moving towards use of durable items in many cases also helps reduce the consumption of natural resources to make, ship and dispose of single use plastic items. And of course, reusable items often save money over disposable!

The Washington County team encourages all County employees to join us. Community members might consider recruiting their own teams—making a new team is really very easy and you can read all about it at plasticfree.ecochallenge.org.

Many people worry they won’t have time or energy to complete the EcoChallenge. To help both employees and members of the public along the way, Sustainability will identify a series of “one-time challenges” that you can complete during one of our workshops. You can join or start a team on the spot, complete the workshop or activity with us, and log that you completed it right away. Nothing to remember or keep track of!

More details on the Challenge, and information about other July sustainability workshops, are on our website. All workshops are 40 minutes, free, and open to the public with an email to RSVP.


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Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291
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