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Action alert

Eco-Challenge: Break free from single-use plastics

 Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet


As part of our commitment to Earth via our Laudato Si’ Action Plan, we are inviting everyone who shares in our charism to take a monthly Eco-Challenge with us.

The problem with plastic

The scope of the problem of single-use plastics is enormous. Most people do not realize that plastics originate from fossil fuels and that during their entire life cycles, plastics create enormous amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, which are contributing to rising temperatures. The equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic waste gets dumped into the ocean every minute, where it breaks down into microplastics, damaging the marine environment and reducing the ocean’s ability to combat climate change. Researchers are finding plastic in our food chain, our water supply and the air we breathe. There are growing concerns about plastic pollution’s impact on our health.

It’s easy to think that when we recycle plastic, we are being responsible and keeping plastic out of landfills. However, studies tell us that only 9% of all plastic is recycled, including the plastic sent to recycling facilities. Most plastics can only be recycled once or twice before it is downcycled, and most downcycled items cannot be recycled again. 

Two hands hold up a sign reading "Plastic free" in front of a pristine body of water surrounded by leafy trees
Plastic Free July 2022 badge. Join the challenge at

Plastic Free July

As a congregation, we join with people around the world to recognize Plastic Free July. According to the Plastic Free Foundation, “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 beautiful communities. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?”

Take the Eco-Challenge

How far can you go to reduce your single-use plastic purchases?

  • Analyze the amount of single-use plastics in your regular shopping purchases, and then search for and buy alternative purchases without plastic. Try our handy printable analysis chart
  • Shop plastic-free for one week.
  • Sign on to our petition to the United States’ UN Permanent Representative supporting the Global Plastic Free Treaty. (If you live in Peru, Chile or Japan, use our Spanish- or Japanese-language tools to contact your country’s representatives.)

Spread the word

  1. Choose your challenge level above
  2. Share your commitment in the comments section below.
  3. Claim your July Eco-Challenge badge by sharing our post on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.
I completed the July Eco-Challenge Break Free from Single-Use Plastics

2 thoughts on “Eco-Challenge: Break free from single-use plastics”

  1. Avatar

    There’s so much more to do, but it’s getting harder to change my habits… Signing the petition (and meaning it) is fairly easy, but doing more is a harder choice. I did get a washable mesh bag for loose produce, though. I’m not sure how to categorize the wrappings on my Oreo cookies… It it plastic or some other non-recyclable material? How do I get around that?

    1. Avatar

      Plastic wrappers are not recyclable with normal city programs. The only way I’ve found to recycle that kind of material is through buying and using a Terracycle box.

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About us

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are a congregation of Catholic sisters. We, and those who share our charism and mission, are motivated in all things by our profound love of God and our dear neighbors. We seek to build communities and bridge divides between people. Since our first sisters gathered in 1650, our members have been called to “do all things of which women are capable.” The first sisters of our congregation arrived in St. Louis, Missouri in 1836, and we now have additional locations in St. Paul, Albany, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Japan and Peru. Today, we commit to respond boldly to injustice and dare to be prophetic.


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