Plastic Free July at the Co-op

Humans make a lot of trash. On average, a person in the U.S. throws out 4.9 lbs of trash a day, or 1,800 lbs a year. At least 25% of that trash is plastic.

On a global scale, a mere 9% of plastic undergoes recycling, while a staggering 70% of plastic finds its way into landfills or pollutes our oceans. Plastics gradually fragment into minuscule particles that pervade numerous environments, including our oceans, drinking water, food, and even our own bodies. Unless we take decisive action, it is projected that by 2050, the amount of plastic in our oceans will surpass the quantity of fish swimming in them.

Plastic Free July, a nonprofit initiative, addresses the escalating global plastic problem. Their call to action? Embrace the challenge of going plastic-free for a single day, a month, a year, or even a lifetime. It’s through these small steps that we have the potential to bring about significant change.

How to participate in Plastic Free July at Monadnock Food Co-op:

Carry your silverware, or choose to use ours! Whether you bring your own silverware or opt to use ours, The Co-op is delighted to offer silverware to our café patrons. You can find them conveniently located near our microwave. If you don’t spot the specific utensil you need, don’t hesitate to ask one of our staff members for assistance. Additionally, we have a sink and soap available in the café, allowing you to rinse your own set before safely stowing them back in your bag.

Bring your reusable water bottle and fill it for free using one of several fountains in our store when shopping! We also offer water brands that use recycled material to sell their water.

Monadnock Food Co-op has already made several changes throughout the store to try to eliminate single-use plastics. We offer paper bags or boxes for transporting your groceries. We also encourage you to bring your own bags. Most of our straws, silverware and to-go packaging are compostable as well. In our prepared foods grab-and-go section, look for packaging with raised lids; these are compostable! Bring these packages back to the co-op when you are done to compost them, they are commercially compostable. If you are curious if a grab-and-go product is compostable, just ask staff member! We also offer plates and bowls to use at our hot bar and salad bar, and provide metal silverware in the cafe. When you’re done, you can put them in our dish caddy next to our recycling, compost and trash station in the café.

At Monadnock Co-op, it is a joint effort between the staff and our community members to divert recycling and plastics from the landfill as best we can. We have multiple trash, recycle and compost stations across the store. If you’re ever unsure about what can be composted or recycled, ask a staff member!

It’s no small feat to be plastic free, it is fused into most of our consumer needs. It envelops our products, wraps our food and even encloses feminine care and hygiene items – it’s everywhere. There are small adjustments we can make in our daily lives that have the potential for significant impact. We can begin by consciously limiting our use of plastics, initiating a positive change.

Learn more about Plastic Free July (, discover alternatives to single-use plastic, and create new habits that positively impact the local and global environment.