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Blog / Plastic Free Ecochallenge 2020: Our Collective Impact and Reflections

Plastic Free Ecochallenge 2020: Our Collective Impact and Reflections

have a look at our collective impact:


Total Participants


across 46 countries, and 52 states/regions


Total Teams


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Total Actions Completed



Total Reflections Shared


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Average Behavioral Insights

Average # of daily check-ins: 10
One-time action success rate: 52%
Daily action success rate: 32%

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Top 5 Actions across All Action Categories

Use reusable containers: 1,250
Skip the straw: 1,157
Use reusable utensils: 890
Reusable face coverings: 847
Say no to plastic bags: 815


Each year, an estimated one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die from plastics in their environment. Recent research also suggests that terrestrial species are negatively affected as more microplastics make their way into their ecosystems. Offered in partnership between and Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and through our collective effort, Plastic Free Ecochallenge gives us the ability to make a difference for these species most impacted by our plastic pollution.


We dedicated the entire month of July to plastic-free efforts, in the face of unprecedented challenges from COVID-19 and social and racial justice movements. 5,000+ of us put our plastic-free intentions into action and together, we created amazing positive, collective impact,


Plastic Free Ecochallenge was a 31-day environmental and social engagement program. From July 1 - 31, participants selected actions to take that aligned with their individual values and made a 30-day commitment to complete those actions, all the while practicing and reinforcing good habits. For every completed action, participants earned points and created impact. Their points contributed to their team's total points, and their impact contributed to our collective impact.

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"Being part of this challenge makes me more aware to do tasks daily that I previously did occasionally."

— Pat

"Day 6, I went for a walk today. On my walk, I brought a trash bag with me to pick up the small bits of trash that are thrown on the ground from others. My dog likes to eat the bits of trash if it's not picked up. So cleaning my neighborhood to other dogs and people are not surround in trash."

— Jessica

"The challenge has turned me into a more intentional buyer. I ask myself if the item is something I need or something I want. Then I look for an alternative that involves no plastic. It makes it easier to turn down purchases of items made with plastic."

— Betty

"We watched "A Plastic Ocean" on Netflix, it was very sad to see what we are doing to our planet. While we where watching my 8 year old made a comment about people being so rude by not putting their trash in a trash can. Our oceans are turning in to trash bins. If an 8 year old can clearly understand that, why are we not doing more to stop this?"

— Catalina

"We planted a garden on our apartment balcony and are now able to use our own herbs instead of buying them (rosemary, thyme, and basil) as well as our tomatoes that are almost ready to be picked!"

— Rachel

"I have to say, I am so impressed with everyone participating in this challenge. I'm learning so much and getting great ideas from each of you!"

— Carrie

"I avoid single use packaging and buy from the farm stand. They source it from other local vendors. It is a bit pricier but knowing that it has not traveled several hundred miles and placed a large carbon footprint means something."

— John

"I love these challenges as I always learn something new and I enjoy having a way to interact with coworkers, especially now that we're all working from home."

— Sam

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Join People's Ecochallenge

Take actions that align with your individual values and make a 21-day commitment to complete those actions, all the while practicing and reinforcing good habits.

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Read Seeing Systems

Dive deeper into the complexities of Peace, Justice, and Sustainability with our discussion course and customizable Ecochallenge, Seeing Systems.

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