strategies for change

Changing Behavior


At the end of the day, it is individual people using single-use plastic and throwing it away that is leading to the volume of plastic entering our waste streams and the planet's oceans. Do we need single-use plastic? If we do, are there alternatives that don't end up in the trash? What if customers refused straws with their drink orders? Or demanded water refill stations be widely available?

Changing people's behaviors - getting them to actually think about their actions and the implications of those actions - would be a HUGE step towards ending the use and disposal of single-use plastic. Behavior change is hard and patient work but it can be done!

Things You Can Do

  • Develop a pledge to stop use of single-use plastic
  • Have a booth or some other presence at a local events like farmers markets or festivals
  • Create a presentation about single-use plastics
  • Create a Public Service Announcement video
  • Get a Club to Pledge not to use single-use plastic
  • Partner with an Organization or Sponsor to create a PSA
  • Get your entire School to pledge not to use plastic water bottles
  • Post on social media about single-use plastics and their alternatives
  • Write a letter to the editor of a major local newspaper
  • Do a plastic audit for a school/business/community
  • Create a Litterati Club
  • Host a movie screening
  • Create a publicly displayed work of art made out of trash to raise awareness
  • Organize a social media challenge

Tools to Inform

One of the most useful tools to get change behavior is to inform people about the dangers of single-use plastic. Many people do not realize the scope of the problem, or are misinformed about it. Use the resources below to both educate people about single-use plastic, and the ways we can put a stop to it!

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle

Brita gives some use tips and tricks on how to incorporate more sustainable practices into everyday life!

A Million Bottles a Minute

This article from The Guardian explains the vast problem of single-use plastic water bottles, and what we need to do to fix it.

#ZeroPlasticLunch Challenge

This infographic contains useful tips on how to reduce single-use plastic in your lunchbox!

Tools to Make a Difference

These resources can help you and your community take action to help both your local and global community.

Litterati App

Use the Litterati App to photograph and keep track of the litter in your area; join or start a Litterati club to get more people in your area keeping track too!

The Water Project

This organization works towards providing access to clean water for those who need, while urging against the wasteful consumption of bottled water. Use the information provided to inform others, and encourage those to donate money towards clean water, instead of buying a single-use plastic bottle!

Skip the Straw

Use the Plastic Pollution Coalition's toolkit to stop people from using plastic straws!

Students Take On Plastic

Students Take On Plastic (or S.T.O.P.) is a Green Schools Alliance initiative that gives tips and resources on how to make change in your school or community.

Six Ways to Reduce the Plastic Impact

National Geographic shares some useful tips to reduce your use of single-use plastic in daily life.

Tips to Use Less Plastic

Tips from the Green Education Foundation on how to reduce plastic waste!

Plastic Alternatives

Paper Straws

An Ocean Heroes Bootcamp Sponsor

Stainless Steel Bottles + Straws

An Ocean Heroes Bootcamp Sponsor