Plastic Free July Challenge [Archived]

There's a Problem With Plastics





ALL MONTH: Refuse, reduce, re-use – take steps to reduce your plastic use all month long. Under COVID, we know not all actions to reduce plastic waste will be possible. but many still are: for instance, stores can let you re-use bags you pack yourself, and scientists have signed a letter saying clean re-useable mugs are safe.

ALL MONTH: If you go shopping, remember to point out where your local stores could do better by handing this sample letter to the manager. Look for things like fruits and veggies wrapped in plastic, unnecessary packaging, items in plastic that could be sold in bulk or with lower impact or compostable packaging, etc.

ALL MONTH: Attend a local municipal meeting or committee or meet with a local representative (many towns and counties are still meeting virtually, and political leaders are open to Zoom Meetings). Ask for a ban on single-use plastics and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), a policy that makes producers of plastic waste responsible for what it costs to collect and recycle it!

ALL MONTH: Host your own virtual screening of the Story of Plastic in your community! Why not invite your local leaders to watch too?

July 1 – Happy Canada Day! Have a plastic-free BBQ or Picnic!

And remember, glow sticks are hazardous waste ☹ . Please dispose of them accordingly or choose a different option to light up your Canada Day!

July 2 – Plastic Audit

Conduct your own Home Waste Audit.

July 3 – UpCycle Challenge! Think of creative ways you can repurpose plastic waste for a chance to win and be featured in our newsletter and social media feeds for your creativity! Submit your entry here! (Scroll to the bottom of this page to check out the competition)

July 4 - Movie Night! The Story of Plastic - 7 PM Eastern Time

Join the Virtual Screening of the 90 minute film, The Story of Plastic, from the makers of The Story of Stuff . RSVP here to reserve your spot - space is limited!

July 5 – Tell a friend.

Tell a friend about Plastic Free July and why it's important to you to stop plastic pollution.

July 6 - Plastics and Great Lakes

22 million pounds or 10 million kilograms of plastic enter the Great Lakes every year - equivalent to the weight of 880 transit buses – Learn how plastics are hurting our Great Lakes. (LEARN MORE).

July 7 – Explore Terracycle

Find out how you can recycle toothbrushes, gloves, and other waste. Visit Terracycle to learn more:

July 8 - Plastics and your Health

Learn how Plastics Affect your Health, featuring UofT Trash Team’s own Dr. Chelsea Rochman (Part of a three-part expert series from the Collaborative on Health and the Environment)

July 9 – Accountability

1. Find Plastic litter

2. Take a pic

3. Post pic with #IsThisYours

4. Tag the brand that created the litter

5. Feel a bit better

July 10 & 11 – Do a beach or trail clean up in your neighbourhood.

If you are on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, remember to take a pic of branded litter, and post with the tag #IsThisYours and tag companies that really are making a big plastic mess!

July 12 – Voices 4 Earth Justice ZOOM Dinner Party - 6:30 PM Eastern Time

Join the Voices for Earth Justice for Special Event (RSVP Required!), featuring veteran activist Deborah Anderson,

July 13 - Refuse

Plastic straws and utensils! At this rate, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050!

July 14 - Balloons BLOW

Read up on how balloons hurt and kill wildlife – Don’t let them GO!

July 15 – Sign and Share Our Action Alert

Ask Premier Doug Ford and other leaders that you want plastic waste deal with as part of #BuildingBackBetter from COVID-19!

July 16 – Join Us!

Become a member of Sierra Club to add your voice to those fighting plastic pollution! 

July 17 – Reduce!

Reduce your use of plastic bottles! Humans use 1 million bottles a minute! Skip the bottled water and switch bottled shampoo and soap for bars.

July 18 - Shop Plastic Free

Let your grocer know how they can improve to reduce or eliminate plastic waste by sharing this letter with them. Look for things like fruits and veggies wrapped in plastic, unnecessary packaging, items in plastic that could be sold in bulk or with lower impact or compostable packaging, etc.

July 19 – Get Plastic Out of Your Closet!

35% of the plastic in the ocean comes from washing synthetic fabric. Choose natural fibers: cotton & wool vs. synthetics (nylon, polyester, & acrylic).

July 20 – Skip Styrofoam

Refuse to accept Styrofoam! Bring a re-usable mug when allowed and your own containers for take out. [FYI: - Scientists have released a letter saying clean, re-useable mugs are AOK!]

July 21 - Sign and Share Our Action Alert

Sign and share our call to action to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau! Canada Needs to Ban Single-Use Plastics.

July 22 - Lobby Day!

Meet with or write your MPP or MP on Plastics: Let them know you support the proposed amendment to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, which would enable us to ban single-use plastics and Extended Producer Responsibility rules that would create 42,000 new jobs in the circular economy in Canada! We are preparing a tip sheet to help you make the most of your meeting.

July 23 – Recycle Right !

Look up and learn about what your local recycling facility accepts – and what it will not! Contamination can turn truly recyclable waste into - well - just garbage.

July 24 - Reminder: Sign and Share our Call to Action: Canada Needs to Get a Handle on Plastics!

July 25 – Shop Plastic Free

Make sure to let your grocer know how they can improve to reduce or eliminate plastic waste.

July 26 - Watch and Read

Guts - Short Film featured in The Atlantic Selects: "Recycling is Like a Band-Aid on Gangrene" – featuring Dr. Max Liboiron and the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR) at Memorial University

July 27 – Green Lunch or Picnic

Plastic waste is choking the planet !!! Use reusable containers or beeswax wrap in place of sandwich bags and plastic wrap.

July 28 - Upcycle Challenge

Remember to upload a pic of your repurposed plastic item for a chance to win!

July 29 – Learn about Green Initiatives in Your County or Municipality

Check out your municipal or county website to find out what they are doing on recycling. Make note of issues you have encountered over the month, and contact your municipal leaders to get them addressed!

July 30 – Reminder! Sign and Share the Online Letter

Tell Premier Doug Ford and other leaders you want plastic waste deal with as part of #BuildingBackBetter from COVID-19!

July 31 - Keep it GOING!

Congrats on completing the Plastic Free July Challenge!

Let's keep it going – together we can make a difference!

(PS: - Last chance to enter your pic for the Upcycle Challenge!)

Local Chapter: 

The Upcycling Challenge

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Gretchen Fitzgerald

We pick up plastic bottles discarded as litter and use them to protect our seedlings from munchers in the garden. Hopefully this sunflower will grow up up up (and plastic litter will go down, down, down). And yes looks like a little weeding in order here .. ;)
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Tony Reddin

Laundry hampers often break at the handle but are easily repaired for years of more use.
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Paulina Retamales

I use old T-shirt to make PRODUCE BAGS!
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Mary Kainer

My son Lindsay came up with this idea for a face shield. It is a plastic pop bottle with the top and bottom cut off and slit vertically. It was made for a family Zoom socially distant party. I thought it was funny and ingenious.