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Rethink Waste

Reduce Single-Use Plastics

This page contains tips for reducing the adoption of single-use plastics in your daily lives.

Everyone has a role to play to reduce plastic waste and to tackle plastic pollution in our collective movement towards a circular economy: governments, companies, the recycling industry, and individuals.

Did you know?

  • Plastic straws can take up to 200 years to decompose.
  • Plastic cups can take up to 450 years to break down. Over time, these cups release toxic chemicals into the environment and are more likely to be ingested by vulnerable marine wildlife.
  • Since the 1950s, 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been generated around the world and only 23% of those plastics have been recovered or recycled.*                      
  • Some shampoo bottles, shoes and other materials are being produced using plastic waste recovered from oceans.*
  • You can build a deck with recycled plastic lumber and buy boots made from plastic water bottles.*

    *Source: Recycling Council of Ontario 

Tips for Individuals

Every action counts! Making simple changes in your everyday life can help you reduce your plastic footprint and contribute to the movement towards a circular economy. Making informed decisions about products you consume can also impact change. Highlighted tips:

  • Purchase reusable bags, straws, cutlery, water bottles, mugs, containers, etc. and remember to bring them with you whenever possible.
  • Try natural beeswax coated cloth wraps instead of plastic wrap.
  • Make your own snacks and energy bars.
  • Shop at bulk bins and bring your own reusable containers.
  • Reuse containers.
  • Purchase products from companies and manufacturers who are dedicated to reducing their plastic footprint.
  • When hosting parties, avoid decorations like balloons and switch to decor that is natural or reusable (real flowers/plants, reusable tablecloths, paper streamers/banners, and creative DIY decorations).

Check out  the 10,000 Changes Campaign for more tips, and to commit to making changes in your life that will reduce your plastic footprint.

Plastic Action Centre

The Canadian Plastic Action Centre is a platform where you can learn about plastics, make connections, and receive useful information that can help you take action. Take advantage of their Ask an Expert option if you have questions that aren't answered by the site's information and resources.

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