Break. Up. With. Plastic.

Puneeta on CHCH Morning Live

Every year, Canadians throw away more than 3 million tonnes of plastic waste, and a mere 9% of this waste is recycled. The remaining plastic waste breaks down into smaller pieces, polluting our environment. The recent single-use plastics ban is a positive first step. But, bolder, community-supported measures, particularly regarding food packaging, are needed to make a substantial difference in protecting our planet.

In a TV Segment on CHCH Morning Live Puneeta talks to Annette Hamm about some practical ways we can work together to cut out single-use plastic. Watch the replay.

Achievable solutions to reducing plastic:

  • Do a trash audit of your kitchen bin to identify the biggest culprits. Shift away from single-use and disposable items.
  • Bring your own reusable containers, bags, and utensils whenever possible, as using what we have is the most effective way to reduce waste.
  • Refuse products that are unnecessarily over-packaged and choose plastic-free options, or at least ones with less plastic.
  • Support companies that are actively working to shift their business model towards sustainable alternatives, such as compostable, paper, and cardboard products. Be wary of greenwashing, where companies claim to be environmentally friendly without actually making significant changes.
  • Establish a Buy Nothing/Sell Nothing Group in your community. This supports community spirit and helps people share items when they’re done using them.

Look out for the True Cost

We must push large corporations to take greater responsibility and reveal the true cost of their production and disposal methods. For example, plastic water bottles are sold for incredibly low prices, such as $4.99 for a six-pack, but this price does not reflect the true cost of the product. The cost of plastic disposal, which we now know is only 9% recycled, is a burden on taxpayers and the environment.

A common deceptive practice is changing the look of packaging to appear more sustainable. A recent example is a toilet paper company that claimed the plastic around their rolls was “recycled,” but the rolls were sourced from Canada’s boreal forests, causing the destruction of ancient trees at an alarming rate.

Be vigilant of misleading claims on packaging. Big corporations offer low prices on food and drinks by cutting costs at every step of the supply chain and passing long-term costs onto the public. This results in the pollution of our environment, the waste of our resources, and harm to human health.

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About Puneeta

Author, Educator, Speaker

Puneeta is a writer, food advocate and guide for those who seek earth-friendly, delicious solutions that work for real life.

Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma, Food Writer, Climate Advocate, New cookbook - Good Food, Healthy Planet - out April 2024
Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma
Photo by Diana Muresan
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