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SANTA BARBARA, Calif (June 30, 2023) – More than 10 million metric tons of plastics enter the ocean each year, and the United States is one of the top contributors to plastic pollution. The Plastic Free July movement is an annual reminder that individuals can play an important role in the solution to plastic pollution. Since the movement’s inception in 2010, over 100 million people in 190 countries have pledged to refuse single-use plastics in July (and beyond).

During the month of July, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) and its partners are hosting several events focused on building awareness about the impacts of plastic pollution and how we can take steps to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics. 

“We must continue our efforts to reduce plastic waste and move us toward a circular system in which packaging is a service instead of a product. This will save valuable resources and reduce climate emissions caused by plastic production,” said CEC’s Director of Leadership & Education, Kathi King. “That’s why we are proud of the role we played in successfully advocating for a comprehensive plastic reduction law in the City of Goleta and supporting SB 54, a landmark statewide regulation that requires manufacturers to take responsibility for their packaging and to significantly increase recycling percentages by 2032. And there is more work to be done.”

On Thursday, July 20 from 12-1:15 p.m. CEC will host a free webinar, Plastic Free July: How You Can Reduce Waste to Make a Lasting Impact, in English with Spanish interpretation. Speakers will share what local organizations are doing to reduce distribution of single-use plastic items in our region—and how the public can get involved. The webinar features Lindsay Johnson, Executive Director at Explore Ecology; Mac Sellars, Manager of Partnerships at rCup, America’s #1 reuse platform;  Kiersten Ozhelevskiy, Owner, Sunkissed Pantry, a refill and zero waste shop in Santa Barbara; and Sarah Palladino,  Sr. Mgr. of People, Planet and Community, Toad&Co.

On Thursday, July 27 at 5:30 p.m. CEC and Santa Barbara Channelkeeper will present the second annual Plastic Free July Expo, held at CEC’s brand new Environmental Hub  at 1219 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. This in-person event features a number of local partners—including Heal the Ocean, City of Santa Barbara Recycling, City of Goleta, and Marborg Industries—who will share about reducing plastic waste and making sustainable choices. Participants will learn about eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics and discover ways to reduce their plastic use through games, interactive booths, and more. Space is limited, so RSVPs are strongly encouraged.

trivia night on July 12, hosted by Boone Graphics, will benefit the Community Environmental Council and feature trivia questions about plastic pollution, recycling, and sustainability. Boone Graphics has partnered with SB Biergarten to produce a weekly Trivia Night to help bring awareness and support to  nonprofits throughout the Central Coast.

California communities alone spend more than $428 million annually to clean up and manage plastic pollution. Fortunately, the State of California, and the Central Coast region in particular, has become a leader in preventing ocean plastic pollution by passing bans on single-use plastics and enforcing stricter requirements for plastic producers.

In addition to policy advocacy and outreach work focused on zero-waste efforts, CEC takes local action. In 2022, CEC led the effort to install eight public water stations in the City of Santa Barbara, bringing the total to 123 bottle filling hydration stations in schools, parks, and public spaces throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties—saving over seven million single-use plastic bottles from reaching landfills. In addition, CEC recently worked with the El Gato Channel Foundation to provide two new refill stations: one at the Stevens Park trail head, and one at Oak Park on West Junipero Street.

About The Community Environmental Council: CEC advances rapid and equitable solutions to the climate crisis – including ambitious zero carbon goals, drawdown of excess carbon, and protection against the impacts of climate change. CEC was recognized as a 2020 California Nonprofit of the Year and a City of Santa Barbara Climate Hero, and is led by CEO Sigrid Wright who was recently named 2022 Congressional Woman of the Year. CEC has worked since 1970 to incubate and innovate real life environmental solutions that directly affect the California Central Coast. Our programs lead to clean vehicles, solar energy, resilient food systems and reduction of single-use plastic. Learn more about the work of CEC and why it receives high ratings from both Charity Navigator and Guidestar at Find CEC on the web at and on,,, and


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