Plastic is everywhere. Some of it is important – think medical equipment, but others are just wasteful.

Every day, Canadians waste about half a kilogram of plastic packaging. Plenty of that packaging comes in the form of single use plastics when you’re out and about during your day – at the coffee shop, grabbing a quick lunch before heading back to work and more. The worst culprits of the lot are plastic pieces you use once and throw away. Here are five of the worst culprits. It’s time to say no to:

plastic straws1. Plastic Straws

When you pop in to your favourite fast food restaurant, tell them you don’t need a straw. Everyday Canadians discard 57 million straws. Switching to a glass or stainless steel straw that you can reuse can make a big impact!

plastic bottles

2. Plastic Bottles

If you need to have water in tow for your son’s football games, for instance, use refillable stainless steel bottles instead. As it stands, there are 4,000 plastic bottles used every second! Yowza. Just making this simple swap will make a huge difference.

plastic bag3. Plastic Bags

When you’re picking up a sandwich to go, say no to the bag that almost always comes with it. It takes 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture all the bags our American neighbours use in a single year. You really shouldn’t need a whole bag to tote your lunch back to the office anyway.

4. Plastic Utensils

Instead of grabbing plastic forks and knives for your fast food, bring your own reusable utensils. Just pop them in your bag and you’ll never have to resort to using disposable utensils to eat your salad.

coffee cup

5. Plastic Coffee Cups, Lids and Stirrers

Get your coffee fix without wasting disposable cups, lids and stirrers. It’s as simple as swapping these for a reusable mug! Buy a couple to keep in your car and at school or work so you’ll never be without one.

Rethink your plastic footprint when you’re out and about by taking our quiz this Rivers to Oceans Week. Learn more at