As we navigate life during the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of waste we're producing continues to increase, consisting largely of single-use plastic from carryout containers, disposable masks and delivery packaging. In fact, we are on pace to see a 30% increase in waste in 2020 compared to 2019. Considering a great deal of this plastic does not get reused or recycled, it will eventually pollute our lakes, rivers and oceans.
Though we are faced with unprecedented challenges, Shedd remains committed to tackling plastic pollution for the long-term and we bet you are, too. Together, we can stop the flow of plastics into our lakes, oceans and rivers to protect the animals and people that call these places home. Together, Let’s Shedd Plastic.
Ways to get involved
Working towards a plastic-free future
We are partnering with restaurants to reduce single-use plastics in their operations, provide learning opportunities for staff and patrons, and collectively advocate for more sustainable policies and systems. We are also working with policymakers, businesses, school and scout groups, community leaders and many others to tackle plastic pollution from every angle.
Through these collaborations, we will work together to continuously take action to prevent plastic pollution for wildlife and humans alike.
Pledge your commitment!
Join the Let's Shedd Plastic movement and receive conservation action alerts.
“There are many sources of plastic pollution so there are many solutions available to us.”Jaclyn Wegner, director of conservation action
Together, we can make a difference
Our everyday actions can make a difference and demonstrate a demand for big changes to protect our environment and the people and wildlife who inhabit it. It is critical that we take action today to advocate for sustainable solutions to the plastic crisis. Here's how you can help:
Opt for reusables
- Reuse single-use plastic items like cutlery with your carry-out meals. Check out Shedd's gift shop for reusable mugs, bags, and more!
- Support businesses that are using or developing plastic-free alternatives or nominate a local restaurant or business to become a Let's Shedd Plastic collaborator.
Raise your voice
- Contact elected officials, local businesses and your community--ask them to join us in working toward a plastic-free future.
- Sign the petition to bring Dispatch Goods' reusable food packaging to Chicago's restaurants.
Restore local aquatic habitats
Join one of Shedd Aquarium’s Action Days. We’ll pick up litter or remove invasive plants that pose another threat to local wildlife.
Do you represent a restaurant or business?
Become a Let's Shedd Plastic business collaborator! Sign up to join our growing alliance of plastic reduction collaborators--or nominate a local restaurant or business!
Learn more about our efforts
“Shedding” Single-Use Plastics to Protect Our Waters
Plastic waste, large and small, has become embedded in every environment on Earth, harming wildlife. But it’s especially insidious in the world’s w...
Shedd Teams Up with Restaurants to Decrease Plastic Pollution
Shedd Aquarium is teaming up with Chicagoland restaurants on World Oceans Day, June 8, to decrease Chicago’s contribution of plastic waste that win...
Shedd Aquarium Makes New Commitments to Cut Back on Plastic
On Earth Day 2019, aquariums across the United States are leading by example in the fight against one of the threats facing ocean and freshwater an...