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Stillwater Reduces chapter participates in Plastic-Free July

Monday, August 1, 2022

Media Contact: Kristeena Blaser | Office of Sustainability | 405-744-4728 |

Oklahoma State University has just finished celebrating Plastic-Free July, a month long opportunity to learn about the dangers of plastics while reducing environmental impact. One group in Stillwater — Stillwater Reduces — is committed to continuing the mission of Plastic-Free July year-round.

Stillwater Reduces started when an OSU student became inspired by a similar movement in Canada. Canada Reduces works to reduce waste on personal and business levels. When the student read about Canada Reduces’ ability to transition from a plastic-focused country to a more circular one, Stillwater Reduces was born.

Stillwater Reduces began holding meetings in February 2022. Since then, they have developed a plan for their group that they share through their new social media presence. 

Similar to Canada Reduces, Stillwater Reduces encourages shoppers and business owners to use less single-use plastic through education and a competitive sticker program. Similar groups around the world give stickers so participating businesses can inform customers that their business is “bring-your-own-friendly” or “BYO-friendly.” This means that customers can comfortably use their own cup, container or bag to purchase goods instead of a single-use cup, to-go box or plastic bag.

These groups exist to address a growing issue: consumer-based plastic pollution. Americans throw away 50 billion coffee cups annually. It’s likely this number is so high because only 0.25% of these cups can be recycled. Many of the plastic materials used to make these cups pollute our bodies and compost bins with microplastics. 

Stillwater Reduces works to reduce all types of single-use disposables rather than only single-use cups.

Now that they have set their goals, Stillwater Reduces is working on expanding its network of participating businesses and sharing stickers. In the meantime, they are ready to bring their “BYO” mission to campus.

Not only does Stillwater Reduces work to reduce plastic waste, but they are also trying to reshape sustainable education. For example, those who oppose a “BYO” mission say having employees touch and use items like a customer’s personal cup is not sanitary.

However, basic cleaning practices make reusables a safe alternative to disposables; they can even be described as “pandemic-proof.”

If you are interested in joining Stillwater Reduces-OSU Chapter, want to recommend a business for them to work with or have questions, visit the OSU Office of Sustainability booth during OSU’s upcoming Welcome Week activities.

Feel free to also reach out on Instagram @stillwater.reduces or to Gabby Barber at

Story By: Gabby Barber |

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