Help us make our dream of a #PlasticFreeDMV possible.
From October 1 to 30, avoid single-use plastic—especially plastic bags, bottles, and straws. Join with others across NOVA to reduce your plastic footprint and protect our waterways and wildlife. Enroll today!
Plastic pollution is harming our planet.
Over the last couple of decades, cities, states, and countries across the world have been working to reduce single-use plastic consumption by introducing bans on Styrofoam and plastic bags and straws. In April 2020, Governor Northam signed into law a bill that allows Virginia localities to pass their own plastic bag bans.
Many horrifying pre-pandemic stats remain the same:
Worldwide, 5 trillion plastic bags are thrown away annually; 100 billion of these are tossed in the United States.
Plastic takes centuries to break down.
Less than 30% of plastic is recyclable, and only 1 to 3% is actually recycled.
Fairfax County incinerates plastic that isn’t recycled, releasing toxic chemicals in the air.
Plastics are made from fossil fuels, primarily oil and fracked gas; roughly 12 million barrels of petroleum oil or 69 billion cubic feet of fracked gas are used producing the bags consumed annually in the U.S. alone.
By 2050 the amount of plastic in the oceans will outweigh the fish.
While eliminating single-use plastics from our daily lives can seem like an overwhelming task—especially during a pandemic—even a few simple changes can make a big difference. When you enroll in the Plastic Free Challenge, we will help you along the way, offering encouragement, useful tips, and practical alternatives to commonly used plastic items.
The pandemic has made clear that while our individual choices are part of the solution to the plastics crisis, we cannot carry the full burden. So this year, for each week of the Plastic Free Challenge, we will share a free, easy action, such as contacting your local officials to introduce a plastic bag ban or contacting local restaurant owners about their choice of takeout containers.
Plastic Free Community Partners: 350 Fairfax, 350 Loudoun, Audubon Naturalist Society, Clean Fairfax, Climate Reality Project-NOVA Chapter, EcoAction Arlington, Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, Food & Water Watch Virginia, Friends of Little Hunting Creek, Greater Prince William Climate Action Network, Great Falls Group-Sierra Club Virginia, Green Muslims, Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, Sunrise Fairfax County