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Report Data

Record what type and how much plastic is in your trash and share your results with us.

Measure your impact and find out how much plastic you are using by taking the household plastic waste audit.

The challenge is a household plastic waste audit for individuals and families. To become a Ocean Wise Plastic Challenge champion, you’ll need to go through your garbage TWICE or more! The first time, you’ll learn what plastic waste your household throws out most often, and make a plan to reduce that waste. A few weeks or months later, you’ll go through your garbage again and learn if you were successful in reducing your waste!

What you need:

  • About 30-minutes
  • Your household garbage and recycling (We recommend one week’s worth of your household garbage, just record how many days of garbage you’ve gone through.)
  • A space to go through your garbage
  • Gloves and/or tongs (reusable of course) to handle your waste safely
  • Cleaning equipment for when it is time to clean up (e.g. household cleaner, dustpan, cloth/rags)
  • A copy of the Plastic Trash Challenge Data Card
  • A pen/pencil to record your data on the card
  • Access to the internet to share your data

We don’t need one person living a zero-impact life. We need everyone doing their best to lower their impact, together!

Our throw-away culture

Did you know over 348 million tonnes of plastic is produced annually?

Most people will find plastic, bound for the trash can or recycling bin, in every room in their home. But plastic is not just present in our houses, you will also find it polluting our oceans! It is estimated that 40% of plastic produced is for packaging and singe use items, and that more than 11 million metric tons of plastic litter enters the ocean annually. Without action this number is expected to triple by 2040!

The plastic pollution problem

Plastic remains in the ocean for an indefinite amount of time where it causes harm to marine life through entanglement, ingestion, and habitat destruction.

Plastic pollution in the ocean is also affecting its capacity to mitigate climate change, impairing ocean organisms ability to remove carbon from our atmosphere

Recycling alone is not enough

Here’s a dirty secret: only 9% of plastic waste in 2016 in Canada actually got recycled.

Why? We produce more plastic than our recycling system can handle, the plastic produced has too many different ingredients, and there is not much demand for everything that is collected and sorted. To make a difference we all need to reduce the amount, and variety, of plastic we use and make sure that what we do use can be recycled.

Tip: recycling is the process of turning waste materials into new materials. When we recycle at home we are separating and sorting. This is the first step in the recycling process.

The Ocean Wise Plastic Reduction Program is made possible with additional support from

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