We’ve been thinking a lot about plastic lately.
First, our team of staff and summer associates all watched “The Story of Plastic”, an award-winning documentary directed by WashU alumna Deia Schlosberg (free streaming opportunity provided by Ecocyle until the end of June).
The movie tells the story of a product that was introduced to us just a century ago and has since occupied every aspect of our lives, quickly becoming a curse instead of the blessing it is was marketed as. It illustrates the dramatic health and economic impacts of plastic at every step of the way, from communities with emerging respiratory diseases, birth defects, and cancer cases living near production sites in America and India, to the communities of coastal Southeast Asia, on which mountains of plastic trash are washed ashore.
The movie sheds light on the large responsibility of the fossil fuel industry in this crisis, while elevating the voices of activists and experts across continents who are fighting against plastic proliferation. Facts, images, and testimonies together dismantle the myths around the recycling industry: no, most plastics cannot get recycled; no, most recyclable plastics are not being recycled and the large majority end up burnt, in landfills, or in the environment; and no, the recycling process is not a clean process.
Recycling properly is far from enough, we need to #breakfreefromplastic!
July is Plastic-Free Month!
Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and healthy communities.
We are inviting everyone in the WashU community, across campuses and university affiliations (partners and neighbors included!), to join our team “WashU Together” in the online Plastic Free Challenge so we can collectively celebrate and “make our actions speak for a plastic-free world.”
Once you’re in, you can select actions to take that align with your individual values and make a 30-day commitment to complete those actions, all the while practicing and reinforcing good habits.
For every completed action, you earn points for the WashU Together team and create impact. You can choose actions that are taken one-time or daily, and choose them from categories such as Food, Lifestyle, Community, Family, Pets, and Personal Care.
WashU Together has a record of ranking high in ecochallenges, so let’s keep raising the bar!
Keep track of the team’s progress by following us on Instagram @wustlsustain.