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Waste-Free Lunch Challenge

Are you up for the challenge?

It’s estimated that an average school-age child using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of waste per school year. That equates to 18,760 pounds of lunch waste for just one average-size elementary school. Much of this waste is plastic.

Plastic bags, straws, bottles and other plastic items often escape recycling and landfill centers. Much of this plastic trash makes it to the ocean where they can harm wildlife such as seals, sea lions, fish, seabirds and sea turtles.

We are working hard to create a waste-free Zoo by reducing the waste that goes to the landfill and the availability of single-use plastic, including items used once and recycled.

We invite you and your students to join us by taking the Waste-Free Field Trip Lunch Challenge!


Before Your Field Trip

Help your students:

  • Learn about single-use plastics and how they impact marine life. (Download the plastics info sheet.)
  • Re-think how their lunches are packed at home. (Print out the Waste-Free Lunch poster.)
  • Reduce the amount of single-use wrappers and containers in their lunches.
  • Choose to use reusable lunch containers, drink bottles and package-free food.
  • Share with other teachers at your school.