Can you reduce your plastic waste volume? Take the Plastic-Free July Challenge

Image of beach with waves with GO Plastic Free July.

Are you up to the challenge? Plastic Free July started in 2011 as a challenge that encourages participants to lessen their use of single-use plastics throughout the month of July. Last year, around 326 million people worldwide participated in Plastic Free July and reduced their plastic waste by approximately five percent per household.

How to meet the challenge

Count the number of single-use plastic items you use and throw away each day…coffee cups, straws, water bottles, etc. Start by trying to replace just one of them with a better alternative. Then you can work your way up to eliminating more, then onto a final goal of eliminating all plastic items from your daily routine.

Useful tips:

  • Plastic bags:  If you cannot replace zip-locks with silicone bags, choose to re-use them.
  • Pasta/salsa jars: Save these jars and lids. Wash them, peel the paper linings, and re-use them as food storage.
  • Plasticware: At your next family BBQ, opt for washable kitchenware instead of plastic utensils, cups, and plates.
  • Grocery bags: When going to the store, bring a tote bag from home.

Reducing plastic use can be a challenge. But don’t worry if you don’t get it perfect.  Just by joining in the challenge you have taken the first step towards reducing your plastic waste.

Learn more about the Plastic Free July Challenge at

Great ideas on how to recycle, including tips on composting and more, are available at our OC Waste & Recycling educational hub. Our OC Recycle Guide is a great resource with an A-Z list of recycling options for Orange County residents. And be sure to follow @OCWaste on social media for more news and updates year-round.