Challenge 8 - Send Packaging Packing

Mushrooms_bulk_vs_packaged_-_EAlfred.jpgSend Your Packaging Packing

Too much packaging, wrapping, padding and stuffing comes with most products today. Most of it isn't necessary and is really just a way for companies to advertise. The worst part is that a lot of packaging isn't recyclable in your Blue Box!

Take a look at the things you buy - is there an alternative with less packaging or recyclable packaging?

For example, you can buy food in bulk stores to avoid food packaging.


  • Avoid products with excessive packaging, or non-recyclable packaging, or Change what you buy to avoid packaging and tell us about it

  • Snap a photo and share your story


Take the extra step:
Sign our petition to ask companies to stop using non-recyclable materials and to stop offloading the cost of disposal to cities. Click here to sign the petition.

Read TEA's report on how companies can take responsibility for their product and packagin waste, including great examples of Ontario companies that are already doing it!

Buying food in Bulk

Did you take this challenge?

  • Irma Marigsa
    Took Challenge via 2019-01-24 19:44:53 -0500
  • Karen Pace
    Took Challenge 2016-07-04 10:57:22 -0400
  • Paul Cressman
    Took Challenge 2016-07-02 14:06:15 -0400
    Black plastic… ugh. Try to avoid it as much as I can. It sadly, can’t be recycled, but my favourite sushi and take-out restaurants use them. Wishing they would use something else to pack up my food.
  • Lettice Iam
    Took Challenge 2016-06-16 15:27:26 -0400
    Shame that Bulk Barn won’t let you use your own reusable bags and containers. Not much point if you can’t do that. Instead I go to Strictly Bulk and Karma Coop.
  • eddie mayanja
    Took Challenge 2014-08-01 16:33:38 -0400
    buy in bulk and on market days its cheaper in the long run
  • Shadiya Aidid
    Took Challenge 2014-07-17 12:49:42 -0400
    I’m going to buy food in bulk
  • Jennifer Kath
    Took Challenge 2014-07-16 12:32:33 -0400
    In Germany, where I grew up, the toothpaste companies are now selling their toothpaste without the surrounding carton. Instead, they use a tiny aluminum seal to cover the opening (similar to what you see when you buy multivitamin bottles here). The tubes still look great and it’s a lot less waste.

    Also, what happens to all these little plastic tags that are being used to close milk bags, bread, etc.? I find them extremely annoying and wonder how much waste they accumulate.
  • John D. Lundy
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 23:34:44 -0400
    I added my name to the petition!
  • Daniel Brennan
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 23:23:33 -0400
    My local markets largely have bins with very little packaging.
  • Charles Ritchie
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 22:24:39 -0400
    AS OFTEN AS IS POSSIBLE,I strive to buy/obtain things without any unnecessary packaging….
  • Jessica C Dubelaar
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 21:45:15 -0400
    I buy bulk!
  • Heidi Breier
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 21:14:13 -0400
    I’m definitely a bulk food buyer, and stash cleaned, re-used plastic bags in my backpack, bike bags, and car so that I’m using as few new bags as possible.
  • Barbara Hickling
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 18:55:47 -0400
    Even though they are recyclable, our blue bin was filling up with single use egg cartons. We started taking our own egg cartons to Kensington market and refilling them from the flat of eggs at the check out and returning the flat to the clerk. We save the berry containers and return them to the vendors at the farmer’s market the following week. We re-use plastic food bags (bread, bagels, English muffins) as sandwich bags. We re-use any paper bags we get as compost bags for bedrooms/bathrooms (for tissues etc.) I remember visiting Switzerland years ago and everyone stripped whatever packaging they could from their groceries and left it in the store for them to deal with which gets the stores involved in fixing the problem too.
  • Jody Yu
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 18:55:39 -0400
    I have switched to buying things from bulk bins whenever possible, including flour, baking soda, cornstarch, popcorn and nuts. I also bring my own containers to the butcher’s and the chocolatier’s. I purchased two sets nylon netted Carebags (4 for 1$13.00, available at health food stores). I use them to pack produce items instead of plastic bags. Carebags can also carry items from the bulk bins which is not in a powder or grain form. I use nylon shopping bags (Ecobags, purchased via the company’s website. I have sworn off snack food sold in single use, non-recyclable packaging and buying from to fast food outlets. I purchase all my beauty supplies in reusable packaging, as plastic and aluminum tubes are not recyclable. I am switching to Ecodent’s powder toothpaste and dental floss (package in a cardboard dispenser).
  • Andrew J Holownych
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 18:55:29 -0400
    excess packaging makes me #$@#!$ (angry-ish). i avoid (when i can) shopping at grocery stores that vaccum pack fresh veggies in styrofoam and shrink wrap. those innocent veggies all suffocated like that! also when buying smaller products (toothbrush) i look for ones with less packaging. one day i plan to buy more of my stapes at a bulk food store – but i’m not there just yet!
  • Ayaz Zafar
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 18:54:25 -0400
    last week i went to buy fruits and vegetables with my father Chinese market on Victoria Park Ave. So everytime he asked me to put them into thin plastic bags. I usually put them with out the bags put them into the basket. Then my father picked up packed papaya, i ripped the packaging handed this to the cashier, she was surprised and got angry why i took it out of the packing. She called the manger that i have taken out of the packaging. I explained to the manager that i hate making waste and it is uses-less to pack. It creates waste etc. At the end the manager agreed what i have said. I got all my fruits and vegetables in a cheaper price. also i used cloth bag.
  • Nesha .
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:23:12 -0400
    Yes I consider amount of packaging when choosing what to buy. Chemical, toxic products have too much packaging. To avoid packaging I can buy bigger volume containers.
  • Thuraisingam Appudurai
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:20:54 -0400
    Yes I consider amount of packaging when choosing what to buy. Strawberries have too much packaging. To avoid packaging I can buy loose fruits and mushrooms
  • Sadie Wardougou
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:19:52 -0400
    Yes I consider amount of packaging when choosing what to buy. To avoid packaging I can buy less vegetables, fruits…
  • Tharsika K
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:18:38 -0400
    Yes I consider amount of packaging when choosing what to buy. I can avoid stores with a lot of packaging.
  • K Sinthujah
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:16:42 -0400
    Yes I consider amount of packaging when choosing what to buy.
  • Srinath Kumarasingh
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:16:23 -0400
    Yes I consider amount of packaging when choosing what to buy. Food has too much packaging.
  • Mary Arapura
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:15:36 -0400
    Yes I consider amount of packaging when choosing what to buy.
  • P Sutharshini
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:15:16 -0400
    Yes I consider amount of packaging when choosing what to buy.
  • Karthika A
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:14:11 -0400
    Yes I consider amount of packaging when choosing what to buy.
  • Binu Saradakutty
    Took Challenge via 2014-07-14 14:53:22 -0400
  • Stephanie Savoie
    Took Challenge 2014-07-13 12:01:21 -0400
    I already try to buy food with no packaging or at least with recyclable packaging. I also plan on shopping in bulk with reusable bags to further reduce the packaging I bring into my home.
  • Leslie Forge
    Took Challenge 2014-07-11 12:56:08 -0400
  • Nancy Ong
    Took Challenge via 2014-07-10 23:54:24 -0400
    I buy from bulk stores, sometimes they are less expensive than grocery stores but everywhere a bag is needed to bag the grocery in
  • Margie Sumadh
    Took Challenge 2014-07-10 22:57:52 -0400
    yes I did.

    I also suggest that we don’t just encourage people to buy in bulk stores. Local greengrocers sell without a lot of packaging. That means you buy loose – e,g, mushrooms, so you get the amount you want whch may be less than the packaged. Its also lasts longer – can keep in a reused paper bag / paper towel etc. No need to buy salad in plastic covered containers or cukes covered in plastic.

    If you need a bad for mushrooms – keep bags in your shopping bag. Local shopkeepers will love you. You save them too!!!