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11 Important Single-Use Plastic Swaps to Make for 2021

Here are the easy-to-use eco-friendly home goods to start collecting and using now, to help protect our planet.

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single-use plastic swap | sustainable upgrades eco-friendly home upgrades | the organic company kitchen clothsImage Credit: The Organic Company

Eliminating single-use plastics

Canadians throw away three million tonnes of plastic each year, and not even 10 percent of that is recycled. It pollutes our water, harms wildlife and ends up in landfills. But it’s not all doom and gloom: In October 2020, the Government of Canada announced its plan to eliminate plastic waste by 2030.

What does this mean exactly? For one, all single-use plastic items — including shopping bags, straws, and food packages — will be banned, as they’re rarely recycled. But there’s no reason to wait until 2030 to quit plastic. With all the sustainable alternatives to disposable home goods on the market, why not start cutting single-use plastics out of your life right now?

Below, our favourite eco-friendly swaps for some of the most common single-use plastic household items, so you can get a head start on doing your part in in 2021.

(Related: 3 Crucial Ways to Update Your Beauty Routine Now)

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single-use plastic swap | sustainable upgrades eco-friendly home upgrades | grocery bagImage Credit: Simons

Mesh cotton grocery bags

This cotton crochet knit bag is super useful — the mesh expands to fit more items than you’d imagine.

Reusable mesh shopping bag, $12, simons.ca

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single-use plastic swap | sustainable upgrades eco-friendly home upgrades | simons produce bagImage Credit: Simons

Mesh cotton produce bags

Instead of using in-store plastic produce bags, bring these crochet cotton ones with drawstring closures with you to scoop up loose fruits, veggies and herbs.

Mesh reusable produce bags (set of 3), $16, simons.ca

(Related: 30 Household Items You Had No Idea Were Reusable)

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single-use plastic swaps | sustainable upgrades eco-friendly home upgrades | stasher bagsImage Credit: Stasher

Reusable snack bags

These 100 percent silicone bags are non-toxic and reusable, making them a great eco-friendly replacement for your single-use-plastic ones. The best part? They’re microwave- and dishwasher-safe, making them a totally fuss-free alternative.

Reusable Silicone Bags, starting at $12 each, well.ca

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single-use plastic swap | sustainable upgrades eco-friendly home upgrades | glass jarsImage Credit: Bed, Bath & Beyond

Glass food jars

Start shopping the bulk section — think grains, nuts, and seeds — and stay organized with this set of four mason jars with clamp-on lids.

4-Piece Clear Mason Jar Set with Clamp-On Lids, $40, bedbathandbeyond.ca

(Related: How to Marie Kondo Your Fridge for Better Eating)

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single-use plastic swap | sustainable upgrades eco-friendly home upgrades | the organic company kitchen clothsImage Credit: The Organic Company

Organic kitchen linens

Made of 100 percent organic cotton, these multipurpose cloths make a green alternative to disposable dish cloths, sponges, and scrub brushes.

The Organic Company Big Waffle Kitchen and Wash Cloth, $15 each, mamaisonandco.com

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single-use plastic swap | sustainable upgrades eco-friendly home upgrades | nordstrom reusable straws and casesImage Credit: Nordstrom

Travel-friendly straws

These silicone straws come with a carrying case, making them easier to tote with you. When you’re done, just slip them in the dishwasher or clean with one of the squeegees.

Gir 5-Pack Standard Silicone Straws, $14, nordstrom.ca

(Related: Here’s the healthiest beverage to drink with those straws.)

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single-use plastic swap | sustainable upgrades eco-friendly home upgrades | envello wool dryer ballsImage Credit: Envello

Dryer balls

Swap chemical dryer sheets for their eco-friendly alternative: these wool dryer balls. Handmade in Canada, they make a natural fabric softener, reduce drying time, and help eliminate static.

Wool Dryer Balls, $17, envello.com

(Related: How to Build a Sustainable Wardrobe)

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single-use plastic swap | sustainable upgrades eco-friendly home upgrades | Nature Bee Beeswax WrapsImage Credit: Nature Bee Beeswax Wraps

Beeswax food covers

Made with Vancouver Island-sourced beeswax, pine tree resin, and jojoba oil, these cotton food wraps are a sustainable replacement for typical plastic food wrap.

Gardener’s Variety, $20, naturebeewraps.ca

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sustainable upgrades eco-friendly home upgrades | good juju laundry detergent stripsImage Credit: Good juju

Plastic-free detergent

This plastic-free pack of 30 pre-portioned laundry detergent strips is the eco-friendly equivalent to a 1-litre jug of detergent. That means, with every purchase of this pack of strips, one less plastic item is being sent to a landfill. Any load of laundry requires just one strip, which dissolves in hot or cold water and is suitable for all washing machines.

Laundry Detergent Eco-Strips, $15, hellogoodjuju.com 

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sustainable upgrades eco-friendly home upgrades | upfront cosmetics shampoo barsImage Credit: Upfront Cosmetics

Plastic-free shampoo and conditioner

Each shampoo or conditioner bar from Upfront Cosmetics replaces up to three bottles of the liquid alternative— so with each purchase, you’re saving three plastic items from ending up in a landfill. Curious to know if these bars work just as well as the hair products you’re used to? Check out out review of shampoo bars. (Spoiler alert: We love them.)

Kind Shampoo Bar, $14, upfrontcosmetics.ca

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single-use plastic swap | sustainable upgrades eco-friendly home upgrades | water bottle ice cubesImage Credit: Nordstrom

Keep your reusable water bottle cold

If you prefer bottled water for an easy-grab-and-go option for ice-cold water, we have an eco-friendly alternative: This ice tray creates ice cubes in long shapes that fit perfectly into your reusable water bottle.

W&P Design, Water Bottle Ice Tray, $18, nordstrom.ca

Next: 9 Personal Care Product Upgrades You Never Knew You Needed

Best Health Canada
Originally Published in Best Health Canada