Valparaiso University Joins Local Organizations for Plastic Free July

Beacon Mascots

July 5, 2023 – Valparaiso, Indiana – Valparaiso University, alongside Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction (PCRWR) and local company Mermaid Straw are encouraging local businesses to take up more sustainable habits with Plastic Free July. The event is an international movement that encourages alternatives to single-use plastics so that we can all enjoy a cleaner, healthier world.

“The Valparaiso University community has been studying and addressing the problem of plastic waste in partnership with the Porter County Waste Reduction and Recycling District and Mermaid Straw,” said Julie Peller, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at Valparaiso University. “An important part of the solution to this massive problem is the reduction and elimination of single use plastics. We are excited about the county’s Plastic Free July campaign and green certification program and will be part of the education, awareness and growth of these important steps to clean the local environment.”

Specific steps that local businesses can take to reduce their plastic use include offering straws only on request, eliminating plastic bags or offering biodegradable alternatives, and encouraging customers to bring their own reusable cups or mugs whenever possible. 

On top of saving money by reducing waste, businesses who participate in Plastic Free July will be eligible to receive a discount code for Mermaid Straw for use by employees and customers, and a free window cling to advertise their participation in the program. Participating businesses will also receive free promotion through Valpo, Mermaid Straw, and PCRWR’s media platforms. 

Interested parties can register for Plastic Free July by emailing To learn more about how Valpo is supporting sustainable practices, visit

Valparaiso University Joins Local Organizations for Plastic Free July