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Six ways to Beat Plastic Pollution in Calgary

Commemorate World Environment Day by reducing your plastic consumption

June 5, 2018 by Centaine Hlushak on Community Natural Foods, Do it Green (DIG) Events, Dryleaf, Grate & Barrel, Green Calgary, Righteous Gelato, River Cafe, routine.,, The Apothecary in Inglewood

World Environment Day is the United Nations’ call to action for citizens the world over to take care of the planet.

This year’s theme is “Beating Plastic Pollution,” an increasingly pressing issue as 13 million tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean each year.

Here are a few ways that you can contribute to this year’s campaign today:

  • Replace your drinking straws. Restaurants across Calgary like River Café and Trolley 5 Brewpub have abandoned plastic drinking straws. Plastic Free YYC has instigated a Last Straw Challenge for Calgary restaurants to go straw-free either on or by July 14. If you miss having a straw, purchase a reusable one made of glass or stainless steel from The Apothecary in Inglewood.
  • Bring your own shopping bags. Using cloth totes instead of plastic bags has been a common practice at many Calgary retailers and grocery stores for years, offering instead paper bags or their own totes for purchase. Community Natural Foods was the first grocer in Calgary to fully ban plastic bags 10 years ago. Alternatively, order groceries online from to eliminate the need for shopping bags altogether.
  • Carry reusable water bottles. According to a report by National Geographic, only one out of every six water bottles is actually recycled – with the rest ending up in landfills. Beat this issue by using stainless steel, glass, or BPA-free plastic reusable water bottles – which also take considerably less energy to refill. If you’re heading to an event like Calgary Folk Music Festival this summer, watch for water bottle refill stations provided by Do it Green (DIG) Events.
  • Consider compostable plates. Summer is a season for outdoor parties and camping, often including disposable dinnerware for convenience, many of which (including “biodegradable plastic” cutlery according to the City of Calgary) cannot be put in our blue or green bins. Instead, consider using Dryleaf’s compostable plates and bowls made from dried leaves, and birch-based cutlery from Green Calgary’s Eco Store. Casual eateries like Fiasco Gelato and Grate & Barrel serve exclusively on recyclable and compostable plates and utensils.
  • Find alternative containers. Some of the anti-plastic innovation in Calgary may surprise you. Routine is a natural deodorant company that comes in a cream form in glass jars. This was specifically to eliminate the plastic that roll-on products use. The jars can also be refilled at various establishments across the country, including The Apothecary in Inglewood.
  • Go Plogging. “Plogging” is a trend from Sweden – mixing ‘jogging’ and the Swedish phrase ‘plokka upp,’ meaning pick-up – that’s sweeping the nation. Get some exercise while tidying up our beautiful parks and paths. 

Remember, if you can’t reuse it, refuse it!


  1. Check out our directory for even more environmentally-sustainable businesses in Calgary.
  2. Click here to learn more about World Environment Day.
  3. To remind yourself why we need to reduce our plastic usage, watch this viral video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck up its nostril.
  4. Show us how you’re beating plastic pollution by tagging @reapcalgary on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Use the hashtags #BeLocalYYC and #BeatPlasticPollution.