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Welcome to Hennepin County’s Plastic-Free Challenge!

Hennepin County’s Plastic-Free Challenge will help you notice the plastic you use in everyday life, connect you with resources to help you reduce it, and provide support and motivation along the way.

Learn practical solutions to prevent plastic waste

This challenge will help you uncover opportunities to cut back on the amount of plastic you bring into your home.

Although plastic is a versatile material with many uses, it is also concerning because it presents health risks, contributes to litter and pollution, and is challenging to dispose of. Unlike items made from natural materials like plants that can be composted and returned to the soil, plastics don’t go away. Instead, they break down into smaller pieces of plastic. These microplastic pieces are now found almost everywhere, including in our air, water, soil, and bodies. Plastics in the environment are troublesome because the health impacts are largely unknown. Some plastic additives have been shown to be endocrine disruptors, or chemicals that mimic or interfere with the body’s hormones.

Worldwide, plastic production has skyrocketed since the 1970s, and a lot of the growth has come in the form of packaging and single-use plastics. Since packaging and single-use plastics are used for a short period of time and then discarded, they contribute significantly to the increasing amounts of plastic waste. Although recycling can be a good option for managing certain plastic items, many types of plastic are hard to recycle. The numbers 1 through 7 found on many plastic items, often confusingly inside a triangle, only indicate what type of plastic the item is made from, not whether it can be recycled. Only a small percentage of plastic products are recycled, and even then, they are often made into things that cannot be recycled again.

Explore the Challenges

Join Hennepin County’s Plastic-Free Challenge

This online Plastic-Free Challenge is open to everyone in Hennepin County! Sign up, invite your family, friends and coworkers to join you, and get ready to reduce your plastic waste. You can join an existing team, start your own, or be a part of the Hennepin County community team.

Join the Challenge!