To reduce your plastic use and help the city achieve its goal, here are some tips to a #PlasticFreeJuly

Boulder became one of the first communities in the nation to offer curbside recycling in 1976. Our city is committed to a future where we reduce the waste we create and then reuse, recycle and compost most of what we throw away.

The City of Boulder is committed to achieving Zero Waste by 2025. According to 2009 EPA calculations, current producing, consuming and disposing practices account for over 40% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Eliminating plastic, which some estimate may take hundreds or thousands of years to decompose, keeps our community cleaner for all to enjoy.

Whether you take on the full challenge or just make a few changes, you can make a difference! Change takes planning and practice, but small steps add up. The actions listed below can help you get started:

  • Use reusable shopping bags and baskets instead of plastic bags. This will also help you save money on the 10-cent disposable bag fee charged for plastic bags at all grocery stores in Boulder.
  • Eat ice cream in a cone, not a cup.
  • Use bar soaps and shampoos without packaging.
  • Bring your own coffee mug or tumbler to coffee shops.
  • Decline receipts as much as possible. Some receipts are coated in a thin layer of plastic, which also means they are not recyclable.
  • Never litter.
  • Refill plastic bottles of personal care products and household cleaners at grocery stores and refill-specific shops.
  • Carry your own reusable utensils, cups, napkins and leftover containers.
  • Use a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic toothbrush.
  • Avoid any personal care products with “polyethylene” in them. Polyethylene is the most common plastic.
  • Use a stainless steel, glass or bamboo water bottle. Plastic bottles and bottle caps make up over 15% of plastic pollution.
  • Choose rubber, cork, jute or recycled footwear instead of plastic flip-flops.
  • Buy bread from bakeries that package in paper.
  • Support companies that are developing alternatives to plastic six-pack rings.
  • Use a razor with replaceable blades.
  • Volunteer with Eco-cycle to become a community ambassador or get involved in a campaign to reduce plastic use.

Communities around the globe are concerned about plastic ending up in landfills and polluting the oceans -- and that’s why 120 million people worldwide are choosing to be part of #PlasticFreeJuly. By committing to at least one of these actions, you can help Boulder have a #PlasticFreeJuly too. Visit to learn more.