#BeatPlasticPollution Challenge


Plastic is everywhere. It is used in a wide range of sectors including packaging, construction, agriculture, automobiles, electronics, textiles, and healthcare.

Plastic pollution is a key environmental issue worldwide. Of the 4 million tonnes of plastic waste that is thrown away in Canada every year, only 9% is recycled. The rest ends up in landfills and the environment, littering parks, beaches, streets, and other places of value.

Plastic pollution harms wildlife and damages habitats. It is found across the world in the air, water, soil, and even in the foods we eat. By reducing plastic pollution and improving how we make, use, and manage plastics, we can:

So, what can we do? As part of the solutions to plastic pollution, we can rethink how we use plastic in our daily lives and take the #BeatPlasticPollution Challenge!

#BeatPlasticPollution Challenge

Step 1: Start today! Pick from the 30 practical everyday challenges below. Every action counts!

Step 2: Share these challenges with your friends and family. Show us what you are doing in your social media and tag us using #BeatPlasticPollution.

The challenges

Challenge #1: Avoid single-use plastic checkout bags

Single-use plastic checkout bags litter parks, waterways, and oceans, and they harm marine and other wildlife. You will not find them at the checkout in stores starting this December. So why not start using sustainable alternatives now?

Try this:

Challenge #2: Avoid single-use plastic drink bottles or cups

Did you know that over 2.4 million bottles of water are sold in Canada every year? That is a lot of plastic bottles!

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Challenge #3: Get your “to-go” coffee in a reusable cup or mug

Canadians love their coffee, drinking on average just over 2 cups per day.

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Challenge #4: Stop using plastic produce bags at the grocery store

Do you really need to put your fruits and vegetables into that plastic bag?

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Challenge #5: Skip unnecessary plastic packaging and try the bulk bins for dry goods, cleaning products, or more

Cut back on packaging and help move toward zero waste by buying in bulk.

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Challenge #6: Say no to single-use plastic cutlery

Did you know that single-use plastic cutlery will not be available starting this December? So why not start using sustainable alternatives now?

Instead, carry a set of washable and reusable cutlery with you for when you need them. Eco-friendly options are widely available.

Challenge #7: Replace worn toothbrushes with an earth-friendly alternative

According to Statistics Canada, almost 40% of Canadians brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day. If toothbrushes are replaced every 3-4 months, this can add up to millions of toothbrushes being disposed of every year.

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Challenge #8: Trade plastic bottles of body wash and shampoo for bars

Did you know that many soaps, shampoos, and conditioners come in solid form?

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Challenge #9: Say “no” to disposable straws

Single-use plastic straws will not be available starting this December (except for those who need them due to disabilities or medical needs). So why not start using sustainable alternatives now?

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Challenge #10: Buy second-hand items to extend the life of products and avoid waste

It’s easy to find well-made and affordable second-hand goods in person or online — the hard part is deciding how to choose what’s right for you! Make a list and explore!

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Challenge #11: Drink tea? Try loose leaf              

Most tea bags are made of bleached paper, plastic, and nylon. A single standard tea bag could release over a billion microplastics and nanoplastics into every cup of tea.

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Challenge #12: Shop at your local farmer’s market

As farmer’s markets grow in popularity, the opportunities to find plastic-free packaging or re-fillable containers are also growing.

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Challenge #13: Get your community involved! Organize or join a neighbourhood cleanup event

Is there a better sense of accomplishment than when you've cleaned your house? Imagine what it would feel like doing the same for your community!

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Challenge #14: Host a plastic-free party and skip the balloons!

Balloons, while not always made from plastic, are a form of litter that can harm wildlife. Find sustainable ways to celebrate.

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Challenge #15: Grow your own food

Instead of purchasing fruits and vegetables wrapped in plastic, try growing your own food!

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Challenge #16: Simplify your cleaning products

Cleaning supplies often come in plastic containers.

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Challenge #17: Phase out disposable razors for a reusable one or other methods

Certain razors are another form of disposable plastic that is found in many homes.

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Challenge #18: Buy meat from a local farmer or butcher

Meat packaging is often made from polystyrene, which can pollute the environment.

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Challenge #19: Replace disposable plastic wrap with a reusable alternative

Did you know that plastic food wrap is hard to recycle?

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Challenge #20: Support and say thanks to businesses phasing out single-use plastics

Businesses with eco-friendly practices are growing in popularity, and you can influence what companies do and sell through your purchasing power.

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Find out which Canadian and international businesses signed the Ocean Plastics Charter.

Challenge #21: Put a lid on it!

Did you know that wind and animals can contribute to unintentional litter?

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Challenge #22: Reduce plastic waste at restaurants

Some fast-food restaurants use a lot of single-use plastic items to package their products.

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Challenge #23: Clean up your laundry habits

Did you know that every time you wash your clothes, plastic microfibres — small plastic thread like pieces — are released and enter the wastewater stream? The average household in Canada and the United States releases over 500 million microfibres from laundry every year. Up to 99% of that is captured by wastewater treatment plants but a lot of microfibres still enter our water.

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Challenge #24: Phase out disposable menstrual products for reusable alternatives

Menstrual products are often made of or packaged in plastic. In recent years, companies have started going green and now offer more options than pads and tampons.

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Challenge #25: Be mindful of how your drinks are packaged

Single-use plastic ring carriers can entangle and harm wildlife. You will not find them in stores starting this December. So why not start using sustainable alternatives now?

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Challenge#26: Make space for eco-friendly baby products

Even the youngest members of the family can help Canada to #BeatPlasticPollution.

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Challenge #27: Stir it up with a reusable spoon

Starting December 20, 2023, the sale of single-use plastic cutlery and stir sticks will be prohibited. Now is the time to pick up good habits!

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Challenge #28: Go green while doing your laundry

Say no to plastic jugs for your laundry soap and softener.

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Challenge #29: Recycle as a last line of defence

As a first step, we can refuse single-use (and other unnecessary) plastics. When needed, choose sustainable alternatives.

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Challenge #30: Turn this challenge into a lifelong commitment

Did you have fun trying all of our challenges this month? If so, why not take it a little further and #BeatPlasticPollution every day by gradually shifting to a zero plastic waste lifestyle? Big or small, every action counts!

Related links:

Plastic waste and pollution reduction

Single-use Plastics Prohibitions Regulations — Overview

What is the circular economy?

Nanoplastics: small particles with big impacts

Ocean Plastics Charter

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