Organizations and municipalities in Illinois are challenging communities to give up single-use plastics in July. Big clean-ups after the July 4th holiday have social media trafficking with the hashtag #PlasticFreeJuly. The McKinley Foundation at the University of Illinois, SCARCE, and the Alliance for the Great Lakes are joining the international movement to do something about the 22 million pounds of plastics experts say enter the Great Lakes every year.
What can we do? Remember to bring reusable shopping bags. Do not buy plastic bottles of water. Refuse single-use plastic cups and straws because you brought your own. These are small steps toward a larger goal of reducing single-use plastic consumption for the long-term.
Individuals and businesses interested in joining the challenge to avoid single-use plastics in July can visit
to pledge and choose what to give up. Municipalities like Oak Park have encouraged local businesses to participate. The vendors at the Oak Park Farmer’s Market will not hand out plastic bags during the month of July. Sturdy compostable bags will be available upon request. Several restaurants also volunteered to participate and proudly display their “Choose to Refuse” Plastic Free July decals.
Businesses simply not automatically giving out plastic bags and straws unless by request can have a
significant impact on reduction efforts. According to Village staff, the 2018 single-use bag fee ordinance
in Oak Park has reduced paper and plastic bag distribution by 80 percent.
Visit the following links for more information about the local and international approach.
McKinley Foundation’s Go Plastic Free in July campaign
Celebrate a Plastic Free July on the Great lakes.
Join the Plastic Free July Challenge – SCARCE
Oak Parkers are challenged to give up single-use plastics in July