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?

  • Emily Alfred
    Took Challenge 2014-07-09 08:34:09 -0400
    Yesterday I bought honey in a glass jar instead of in a plastic tub – I know glass is easier to recycle, or I might reuse the jar to store bulk food later!
  • Grant Lowe
    Took Challenge 2014-07-08 16:10:28 -0400
    I have returned packaging to the store, refused to take plastic bags when shopping (small and large)
  • Denise Robichaud
    Took Challenge 2014-07-07 08:55:52 -0400
    I recycle my mushroom containers & use them for food compost in the kitchen. We stash extra’s in the garage for other uses. I use the mushroom containers for fresh water outside for my cat Missy. I recycle plastic bags that other foods come in if not too dirty.
  • David Simmons
    Took Challenge 2014-07-06 11:05:52 -0400
    I use reusable bags for fruits/vegetables instead of using plastic ones at the store.
  • Ria Bilous
    Took Challenge 2014-07-01 14:05:57 -0400
    If we really want to talk about getting rid of non-recylcable packaging then we should have a city by-law forcing all coffee companies/restaurants to use these new recyclable cups.

  • Maria Rots
    Took Challenge 2014-06-26 09:23:15 -0400
    are we allowed to fill our own reusable containers in food stores to buy such things as mushrooms, apples or other produce?
  • Deborah Livingston-Lowe
    Took Challenge 2014-06-21 09:57:38 -0400
    Over packaging is a big problem that is caused by shipping perishable items over great distances. Purchasing food locally is a way to diminish this. Some stores like Bulk Barn refuse to allow customers to bring their own containers, as such I don’t shop their anymore.
  • David Livingston-Lowe
    Took Challenge 2014-06-20 11:06:32 -0400
    We shop a lot at farmers’ markets, so there is little packaging. We also refuse plastic bags at the market and reuse our own bags. For egg cartons, our farmer takes back egg cartons and produce baskets at the market.
  • Gabriela Haden-Pawlowska
    Took Challenge 2014-06-13 16:08:21 -0400
    I tend not to shop at big grocery stores so I buy what I need rather that packaged things. I cook my own food so if I want soup I make it. I also reuse bags that I put my purchases in esp if they are clean plastic bags. I don’t want my bags sitting around for 400 years
  • Celia Zhang
    Took Challenge via 2014-06-02 12:26:29 -0400
  • John Cowan
    Took Challenge 2014-05-29 09:07:01 -0400
  • Cirlene Pessoa
    Took Challenge 2014-05-23 18:22:50 -0400
  • Shawn Vanderheyden
    Took Challenge 2014-05-23 06:29:48 -0400
    our waste is mostly unstretchable plastic (bags) – looking for ways to reduce this further and avoid altogether … even the recyclable packaging.

    karma co-op is great for this.

    thanks for the petition link.
  • Yvonne Ho
    Took Challenge 2014-05-22 15:22:31 -0400
    I use small reusable cloth bags to buy and carry fruits and vegetables instead of the plastic ones that are widely used in supermarkets
  • Emily Green
    Took Challenge 2014-05-20 10:13:55 -0400
    Bought bread at Trinity Bellwoods farmers market and brought my own milk bag to put it in! #reuse I always use reusable produce bags (found at metro or whole foods) for veggies and fruit and bulk stores to avoid the plastic bags. Found frozen fruit (Stahlbush) that comes in biodegradable packaging! Available at Essence of Life natural food store in Kensington Market and West End Food Coop store. #packaging
  • Natalie Heldsinger
    Took Challenge 2014-05-15 10:51:09 -0400
    This challenge really got me thinking about all the grocery items I buy quite regularly that come in unnecessary packaging. I have started making a more conscious effort of buying products that do not come in packaging. For example, I am a huge mushroom lover and often find myself choosing the packaged, pre-cut mushrooms at the store. I have started buying unpackaged mushrooms -which turns out are just as easy to prepare and even more delicious!

    I also signed the petition!
  • Katherine A Skinner
    Took Challenge 2014-05-13 13:11:00 -0400
    I won’t buy products in packaging and shop at Fiesta Farms and Karma Co-op for the greatest among of local produce with the least packaging. My family, like Barbara Kingsolver, knows that shopping on the rim of grocery stores – not the middle – is the best way to avoid packaging. Recently, my church has started using milk bags to make rugs, so there go the milk bags for re-use!
  • Marilyn McKim
    Took Challenge 2014-05-12 21:39:04 -0400
    Once or twice, I have removed the packaging of a product while in the grocery store and place the loose items — which were just fine without wrapping — in my cart. Unless I think I can re-use the package a product comes in, I try to avoid buying it. I’m grateful that those kinds of thoughts have become a habit.
  • Judy Newman
    Took Challenge 2014-05-08 08:32:41 -0400
  • Paul Roppolo
    Took Challenge 2014-05-07 23:38:07 -0400
  • Michael Greason
    Took Challenge 2014-05-07 19:49:10 -0400
    Buy Milk at Mac’s or 7 Eleven and get the returnable (25 cent deposit) polyethylene jug. This is recycling at its best – a single source one kind plastic that can actually be easily recycled. Some plastic recycling is a little bit dodgy – but this is the real thing. Also jugs have proper lids – no fridge smell in the milk.
  • Chris Flanagan
    Took Challenge 2014-05-06 23:53:17 -0400
    I signed the petition, I also buy food in bulk as much as I can and bring a reusable shopping bag.