Wednesday is Plastic Free Lunch Day!

Have you heard of Plastic Free Lunch Day? Join millions of public school students across the US for this special Earth-month climate action on April 19th!

Plastic Free Lunch Day is a day when school lunch is prepared without plastic! School cafeterias serve over 7 billion meals per year that are loaded with single-use plastics. Single-use plastics such as utensils and straws are usually not accepted in many recycling programs because they’re typically too small to be captured by recycling facility equipment. These types of items can end up in a landfill, waste combustion facility, or become litter in the environment. Plastic does not readily biodegrade and breaks into tiny pieces called microplastics that end up in our oceans and other water bodies, soil, and air. Scientists have even found traces of microplastics in the human body.

Plastic Free Lunch Day doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing, and you can also start your school’s plastic-free journey any time.

There are many ways to participate and promote plastic free initiatives.

Why bother for just one day? One day of plastic free lunch can lead to another…and another…and another! NYC public schools now have monthly Plastic Free Lunch Days and San Diego public schools will have an April plastic free week. Students can collect before and after data/photos and use them to inform and persuade more plastic free days! Collectively, US school cafeterias have the potential to significantly reduce plastic waste and plastic pollution.

New York State is also working to reduce problematic plastic waste and litter through efforts such as:

Together, we can make a difference!

Message from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation