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The Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids, Michigan are one of many congregations of Catholic Sisters taking up the “Refuse to Use” challenge to abstain from using single-use plastic beverage bottles during Catholic Sisters Week March 8-14, 2023.

Learning about the damage caused by plastic pollution.

The production of polluting waste is only one part of the story. The life cycle of single-use plastic bottles—from the point of manufacture to what they are filled with and how they are disposed of—demonstrates the concerns Catholic sisters have for three Gospel-based challenges facing the world: racism, migration, and climate change.

[tbx_pullquote text=”For example, Coca Cola, the world’s largest seller of soda, often builds its polluting plants in poor neighborhoods most often inhabited by persons of color, engages in unfair labor practices that sometimes take advantage of immigrants, pollutes local waterways, and produces tons of microplastic pollution that harms the oceans, the soil, and our bodies. “When you understand this, you can see how one issue of Gospel justice is connected to the next,” said Sister Marcelline Koch OP.”]

To draw attention to these interlinked global challenges, religious communities of Catholic sisters across the country are inviting the public to refuse to use any single-use plastic drink bottles for a week.

Join the Challenge

Challenge yourself not to use or buy single-use plastic beverage containers March 8 – 14. Or if you are a weekend shopper, start early, and reconsider your beverage choices, eliminate plastic bottles from your shopping list and cart.

  • Stand up and be counted. (We aren’t going to overwhelm you with information, we want to see how many people join the challenge)
  • Tell friends and coworkers about your experience and what you are learning.
  • Invite others to join the challenge. Download Flyer PDF to print and post
  • Save the image and add it to your social media
    Use hashtags @refusetouse and #catholicsistersweekTag @grdominicans

Short Videos to Learn More / Study

A Brief History of Plastics

The Story of Plastics

Plastic Ocean


Join the Challenge