Member Spotlight: I’m Plastic Free, Stroodles, Waterspirit

Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) Members come from a wide range of sectors and are aligned in their mission to build a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on communities and ecosystems around the world. The Coalition Spotlight is our monthly blog to uplift and showcase their work, giving our readers an inside look at some of these influential change-makers. This month, we highlight three members who are building a plastic-free solutions platform, creating epic dining experiences through edible tableware, and reestablishing our sacred relationship with water.

I’m Plastic Free

Sustainability is becoming a substantial determining factor in consumer purchasing decisions. But making conscious decisions in today’s consumer landscape can sometimes be challenging. Confusing labels, a lack of transparency and standardization, and misleading greenwashing campaigns have created skepticism as to which brands deliver on their promises and are in fact better for the environment. 

PPC Business Member I’m Plastic Free connects eco-conscious individuals and small businesses with solutions to plastic pollution, allowing for better informed and trusted purchasing decisions. The database is simple and easy to navigate and free of charge for users. The businesses and products that are featured on the site are individually vetted according to a robust set of values, including whether or not businesses offer zero-waste and plastic-free packaging, to whether products are nontoxic and cruelty free. This process of due diligence gives users a high level of confidence when making healthier and more sustainable switches, and is why in recent weeks the site has seen exponential traction. 

Owner and founder Simona Paganetto sees biomaterials and regenerative replacements to plastic products as a necessary first step in a just transition away from a petrochemical-dependent global economy. Designed as a one-stop-shop for knowledge and vetted products, her site offers: a directory of plastic-free products and solutions; hundreds of educational blogs; creative ways to adopt plastic-free habits; advice on how to lower your microplastic exposure risk; and ways to connect with innovative sustainable businesses. 

See I’m Plastic Free’s accolades and press coverage here, and check out the site to begin making more sustainable decisions in your daily life!


On a mission to prevent pollution from disposable plastic foodware products, U.K.-based company Stroodles offers a line of products that are changing the industry, one Stroodle at a time. From pasta straws to edible spoons, cups, and even plates, their products are made from simple, flour-based, vegan ingredients that biodegrade rapidly without compromising functionality. Their pasta straws have become quite famous in the bar and restaurant world, as they hold a solid structure even when sitting in a drink for more than an hour, bringing pizzazz to any beverage and creating an unforgettable dining experience! Enjoying food and drinks from your favorite neighborhood spot doesn’t need to create single-use plastic pollution. Stroodles makes it easy for consumers and restaurants to showcase their commitment to sustainable alternatives and inspire others to do the same.

In addition to tackling the plastic waste crisis by displacing plastic tableware with zero-waste products, Stroodles is also engaging people through educational projects aimed at plastic waste awareness. Their Stroodles Sustainability Awareness Initiative helps youth and community groups understand the impact of single-use plastic on our shared planet. Projects include collaborative art sculptures made from plastic straw pollution and plastic pollution education from their fun “Mr. Stroodles” cartoon character. 

Stroodle products have been well received by the media since their inception, and Chief Stroodler Maxim even tried his luck on the BBC entrepreneurial pitch show “The Dragons Den,” putting his company on a path to mainstream success. Stroodles has expanded their customer base in recent years to include partners like the Marriott, ibis hotels, and the Southbank Centre. In September, they announced the exciting acquisition of the German company Spoontainable GmbH, positioning them to scale across Europe.


Waterspirit is a spiritual ecology nonprofit that informs, inspires, and empowers people of all beliefs to deepen their consciousness of the sacredness of water and the interdependence of all Earth’s systems. Waterspirit educates, advocates, and collaborates in order to promote the individual transformations and systemic changes needed to sustain water and all life on Earth. 

Waterspirit’s advocacy campaigns are guided by principles of integral ecology and environmental justice. They seek to hear the cry of the Earth and respond to the most vulnerable populations through community-driven initiatives and public policy efforts. Recent efforts include supporting a Bottle Bill, the Green Amendment Campaign in New Jersey, and working on the Poor People’s Campaign to help promote the Right to Clean Water. Learn more about their major campaigns and ways you can get involved in your community by visiting Waterspirit’s Advocacy page.

The organization also offers educational programs for schools, camps, clubs, and community groups on the topics of water conservation, nature exploration, ecosystems, environmental justice, green infrastructure, youth civic engagement, and religion and ecology. They lead public events which include seasonal celebrations, rain barrel workshops, seal monitoring, beach clean ups, eco-anxiety support groups, and more. To see upcoming public programs visit Waterspirit’s Event Calendar.

Recently, Waterspirit’s Executive Director, Blair Nelsen, attended the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago. This week of presentations, ceremonies, and prayers brought together thousands of people from many different faith traditions for connecting, community-building, and for envisioning a better future. During the Parliament, Blair presented on a panel entitled “Sacred Water in a Climate Changed Era” with inspirational panelists. Learn more about Waterspirit’s involvement at the United Nations here.

Does your business or organization align with our mission to build a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts? Apply to join our global movement.


November 10 , 8:00 am November 12 , 5:00 pm EST

Joing PLAN (the Post Landfill Action Network) for the Students for Zero Waste Conference. From the first gathering in 2014, the Students for Zero Waste Conference has served as a space for network-building, inspiration, and solution sharing to push the movement forward. Join students, staff, industry innovators, activists, and community members from across the country each Fall. We prioritize holistic solutions to zero waste that center the needs of those most impacted by the Waste Crisis and systems of oppression.

October 3 , 3:00 pm October 4 , 5:00 pm EDT

REUSE23 educates, inspires, and connects professionals in the reuse, repair, and rental sectors. The event offers informative keynotes, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities geared toward strengthening and expanding the reuse economy.

REUSE23 will bring together thought leaders and experts across multiple disciplines. This includes business professionals, nonprofit agencies, government workers, and students. REUSE23 is hosted by Reuse Minnesota.

This is an in-person conference in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.

September 6 , 2:00 pm September 8 , 5:00 pm Vietnam/Ho Chi Minh

The Regional Climate and Energy Project of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Asia in collaboration with Climate Action Network Southeast Asia (CANSEA) are excited to be hosting the third edition of our flagship international virtual event – Just Transition Forum Asia (JTFA).

Landmark developments on Just Transition that have taken place worldwide at the global, national and sub-national levels, since our previous event a year ago, will be highlighted during the two plenary sessions. They include the Just Transition Work Programme adopted at the United Nations climate conference and expansion of the Just Energy Transition Partnerships. While this forum has a primary focus on Asia, developments at the global and national levels elsewhere will influence progress on Just Transition in this region.

Representatives of different stakeholders directly involved in these processes – the United Nations, national and sub-national governments, trade unions and civil society – will update participants with the latest information on these developments. Accompanying these sessions will be eight Transformational Labs presenting good practices on implementing Just Transition across different sectors. Given the critical role of cities in addressing climate change, various labs will be exploring groundbreaking Just Transition trends and models in cities across Asia. They will be complemented by Labs on other critical sectors such as health, plastics and lighting.

Since its inception in 2021, JTFA has been a springboard for leading experts from governments, climate funds, businesses, think tanks, trade unions, civil society and communities in Asia and beyond, to make policy recommendations on shaping a socially inclusive and climate-resilient future in the Asian region, based on Just Transition. Combined with the good practice-focused dialogue on implementing Just Transition through the Labs, JTFA has presented practical evidence and pathways on making the transformation from carbon-intensive industries and practices towards a decarbonizing future.

September 10 , 9:00 am 12:00 pm America/Portland

Join the Conscious Coffee Fest in a community roasting facility to celebrate the best that coffee can be.

Included in your ticket:

  • Tastings from six local roasters- 12 pours total
  • Educational panels from industry specialists and a Q & A
  • 50% off discount code for an OKAPI membership- a reusable cup network in Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA
  • Tour of the roastery (limited to the first 20 sign-ups on site)
  • Raffle entry
  • Tasty treats

OKAPI Membership Discount- Included with Ticket – Ticket is $25-30

Conscious Coffee Fest’s tasting cups are provided by OKAPI Reusables! OKAPI is a member-based reusable cup network in 33 Portland-area cafes. Purchasers of a CC Fest ticket can opt in at checkout to receive an email with a 50% discounted membership code for the OKAPI app. Cup reuse can begin immediately.

Current OKAPI Members receive a $5 discount at checkout!

By Daniel Elbaz, PPC Intern

While your fit may “be fire,” as GenZers like to say, beware of open flames: At least 69 percent of clothing is currently made of highly flammable and toxic plastic. We urgently need to phase plastic out of fashion: Plastic pollution has surged with the rise of plastic fast fashion—bringing with it devastating impacts on our health and the environment when produced, used, and discarded.

Many of us try to reduce our usage of plastic by saying no to plastic straws, water bottles, or shopping bags, and using reusables instead. These are great steps to take to reduce your exposure to plastic as we work toward wider systems change to reduce production of hazardous plastic and its toxic chemical additives. Yet, we must also pay attention to the “hidden” or “invisible” plastics in our lives, such as those commonly found in our clothing.

Fast Fashion Is Growing—and So Are Its Harmful Impacts

The fashion industry is growing and so are its harmful impacts. Of the approximately 100 billion items of clothing produced each year, nearly 70 billion are made of plastic—and that percentage is on track to rise into the future. At least three out of five articles of clothing are discarded within a year of being produced and sold.

Take a look at the tags on your clothing. Is any of it synthetic? Synthetic clothing is made of some percentage of manmade materials, most often, plastics—including polyester, nylon, acrylic, spandex (also called Lycra or elastane), fleece, or polyolefin. Clothing made of these fabrics tends to wear out quickly, and is most likely to be rapidly used and discarded. When thrown away, fast fashion pollutes air, soils, waters, the oceans, and our bodies. Synthetic clothing is commonly sent to landfills, where it sheds tiny plastic particles called microplastics and nanoplastics and toxic additives, like PFAS. Synthetic clothing is also incinerated, or dumped and open-burned, releasing climate-warming greenhouse gases and producing toxic emissions and ash. And a significant amount of fast fashion clothing, often poor-quality donated clothing, is sent to countries in the Global South—especially to parts of Africa including Kenya and Ghana, causing massive amounts of pollution and injustice.

Fast fashion’s plastic pollution travels far and wide: Discarded plastic clothing alone is estimated to have released at least 1.4 quintillion (or a million trillions) plastic microfibers into the ocean. Each time an article of synthetic clothing is washed, it sheds hundreds of thousands to more than a million tiny plastic fibers into wastewater—which is eventually discharged into waterways. Most washing machines cannot catch tiny microfibers, nor can sewage systems (where they exist). To quantify the scale of microfibers in the ocean caused by laundry alone, 35 percent of global releases of microplastics to oceans are thought to be caused by washing clothes.

Plastic Microfiber Pollution Is Everywhere

At every stage of production, use, and disposal, plastic clothing—like all plastic—negatively impacts human health and the environment. To create the plastic for clothing, large amounts of fossil fuels are extracted and processed, releasing greenhouse gases, which contributes to the climate crisis and drives injustice and pollution. The process of producing and transporting the plastic used in clothing requires significant amounts of energy, causing further environmental degradation. Fashion is the world’s second-biggest industrial consumer of water (behind agriculture) and is responsible for polluting 2–8 percent of climate-warming carbon emissions globally.

So, why should we care? Plastic microfibers are now everywhere—in fish, bottled water, tap water, salt, beer, you name it! Obviously, humans commonly eat or drink all of these things, so the microplastics from the synthetic fibers end up in our body. Researchers estimate that each human likely ingests 14,000 to 68,000 plastic microfibers every year and inhales about a credit card’s worth of plastic per week. One study revealed that in a household, 33 percent of microplastics in floating dust come from synthetic fabrics. Plastic particles are all around us, and we now know there are plastic particles in human hearts, bloodstreams, veins, lungs, placentas, feces, testes/semen, and breast milk

Plastic particles act as delivery devices for toxic chemicals that are added to plastics during production. All plastics, including microplastics, contain a mix of any combination of more than 13,000 additive chemicals—more than 3,200 of which are already known to be hazardous. These include hormone-disrupting classes of chemicals BPA, phthalates, and PFAS. Not only do these plastics harm humans, they also harm wildlife, causing starvation, hormone disruption, broken down digestive systems, and stunted growth.

Before our present Plastic Age, clothing was primarily made out of natural materials, such as cotton, leather, linen, silk, and wool. These materials are long-lasting. It was more common for people to make, or hold onto and repair their clothing. However, now the fashion industry has been taken over by rapidly purchased and discarded clothing and accessories made from synthetic fabrics, including polyester, nylon, and acrylic.

This shift to synthetic fabrics has allowed for the mass production of low-cost fashion, letting people easily access outfits to keep up with the latest trends. But these characteristics come at a great cost to our planet and our bodies. What’s more, making and disposing of plastic apparel disproportionately harms rural, low-income, BIPOC, and Global South communities, driving severe environmental and social injustices. And, sadly, people who make fast fashion clothing are often exploited and subject to working in poor, toxic conditions.

How to Reduce Plastic Clothing in Your Life

Shopping, clothes and black woman for choice, wardrobe inspiration or retail design ideas in thrift store or boutique. Happy customer, student or person service in fashion discount, sale or promotion.

1. Think—Then Buy, Swap, or Share

The main strategy for reducing plastic clothing in your wardrobe is to think before you buy, swap, or share your clothes. Read the tags for each article of clothing you buy, and try to find items that are made 100 percent out of natural, regenerative materials, such as cotton, wool, hemp, or linen. These materials have historically come with their own negative ecological and social impacts; however, today we can take steps such as implementing fair labor and organic standards to make these materials more sustainable. Ideally, these materials should be organic, and fair trade to ensure reduced impacts on people and the planet.

2. Opt for Second-hand First, Buy New Responsibly Second

Attempt to buy or procure second-hand clothing whenever possible. Not only is buying clothes at thrift stores a fun and more affordable way of shopping, but it also is a more sustainable source of clothing. Giving clothing a second (or third, or fourth) life is much better for people and the environment than buying new. If you do choose to purchase new clothes, the best approach is to buy clothing from reputable companies focused on environmental and social responsibility. Some of these include Outerknown, Pact, and Tentree, but it’s best for each person to explore and find ethical and sustainable brands that match their sense of style and budget. Instead of throwing your clothes away in the trash when you outgrow or no longer want them, if they are in good shape, donate them to thrift stores or any charities that will responsibly distribute or sell them again.

3. Prevent Plastic Microfiber Pollution

As you work to reduce the amount of plastic clothing in your wardrobe, make use of washing machine bags, such as the one made by Guppyfriend, to reduce the amount of microfiber shedding of your clothes by 86 percent, and the bag captures almost all the microfibers that do shed. Another item you can buy for your washing machine is The Cora Ball, a product that catches microfibers in the washing machine. Some washing machines are also made with built-in filters that catch these fibers, or you can add a filter like those made by PlanetCare. The only caveat is that unfortunately there is no good way to then dispose of these fibers—this is a major reason why it’s so important to phase plastic out of fashion. Find more information on reducing the impact of your clothing, watch Plastic Pollution Coalition’s recent webinar on the topic.

Having fire fits and choosing sustainable clothing are both very important, so you don’t need to choose one or the other. Find ways to do both! You can be a part of solutions to plastic pollution