CHICAGO – Alice & Friends at The Glen is pleased to team up with Shedd Aquarium and their efforts to call to action during Plastic Free July. The vegan restaurant is participating in an inaugural event called Plastic Free Restaurant Week through its restaurant collaborator program, Let’s Shedd Plastic. 

Plastic Free Restaurant week brings together restaurants, cafes, breweries, and eateries from all over Chicago to offer a special menu item or menu that highlights their sustainable practices and efforts working with our food systems to bring the absolute best to their guests. By joining the call-to-action events around Plastic Free July, Alice & Friends commits to continue to strive to be more sustainable as a leader for our industry. It is crucial for the future of the hospitality industry, the food systems that we rely on and the footprints we leave behind. 

Plastic Free Restaurant Week July 12 through 21, 2024 is in its inaugural year as Shedd works with over 20 culinarian hangouts all over Chicagoland to highlight local, seasonal, and sustainable sourced dishes to voice a collected and direct way to act to Shedd Plastic.

By joining the Let’s Shedd Plastic’s Plastic Free Restaurant Week, Alice & Friends plans to offer a variety of vegan bao. Savory bao includes the original braised protein, Cha Siu Hong Kong style BBQ ‘pork’ bun, and veggie. Additionally, sweet bao flavors include red bean, Mung Bean custard, and Ube.

Alice & Friends’ Commitment to Sustainability

Alice & Friends is committed to sustainable practices, including making dishes from scratch, composting food waste, and using eco-friendly packaging. They support various environmental and animal welfare organizations, reflecting their mission of respect for all living things.

And because they have always served a full vegan menu, customers help reduce their food-related carbon footprint all while supporting sustainable practices.

Why Plastic Reduction is Critical

An estimated 22 million pounds (about 9979024 kg) of plastic enter the Great Lakes annually, and half winds up in Lake Michigan alone. According to recent analyses of global plastic use and management, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on plastic consumption and demand, escalating to an increase of 40% in packaging and 17% in other applications, further exacerbating an already dire issue. That makes a commitment toward plastic reduction even more critical now.  

Once in the ecosystem, plastic does not go away. Instead, it slowly breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces that threaten the lives of animals who may ingest or become entangled in them. Plastic has been found in the Great Lakes fish, beer and even our drinking water. Thus, working to combat plastic pollution is not just an environmental issue, it is a matter of public health.  

“A remarkable amount of plastic pollution winds up in our rivers, lakes and oceans and can have devastating impacts on aquatic animals and human communities,” said Jaclyn Wegner, director of conservation action at Shedd Aquarium. “Tackling the plastic pollution crisis is a collaborative effort and we are delighted to join forces with restaurants like Alice & Friends at The Glen who are leaders in their communities and are making a commitment toward a sustainable future.

Plastic Free Restaurant Week History

Starting in the spring of 2017, Shedd Aquarium began work with restaurants and businesses to cut back on their plastic use, starting with single-use plastic straws. Called “Shedd the Straw,” more than 200 businesses committed to reduce their plastic use by switching to compostable alternatives or only serving straws on request or at self-serve stations. Every year since, Shedd has grown initiatives and outreach to what the Let’s Shedd Plastic program to what it is today. with will help restaurants go a step further and reduce more of their disposable plastic use.  

For more information about the Let’s Shedd Plastic programming, visit