There’s a real stigma against singles (and we’re not talking about the dating scene). Canada recently announced its ban on some single-use plastics which means that now is the perfect time to stock up on great alternatives. We’ve found 12 common single-use items that people use on the regular and the best zero-waste products you can get to replace them. Discover how to go plastic-free once and for all with these single-use swaps. Looking for more ways to go green? Check out these eco-friendly swaps for a greener kitchen.
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Originally published December 6, 2021. Updated June 24, 2022.
Reusable Shopping Bag
Why would ever bother with a single-use plastic bag when you could carry something as lovely as this reusable shopping bag? Baggu bags are made to fold up super small into your purse or pocket, that way, you’re always prepared for impromptu shopping. Baggu Reusable Bag, Indigo, $15.
Reusable Snack Bags
There’s no shame in snacking, but there is shame in snacking out of single-use plastic bags. These cutie-patootie snack bags zip open and shut for a tight seal on snacks, and can be easily washed in the dishwasher or washing machine. Bumkins Snack Bags, Amazon, $18.
A Greener Clean
Leave that bulky plastic detergent bottle in the store where it belongs. Instead, reach for this packet of eco-friendly laundry strips. Simply toss a strip in with an average-sized load and watch it disappear into suds and give your laundry a greener clean. Laundry Detergent Eco-Strips, Hello Good Juju, $15.
Reusable Tea Infuser for Loose Leaf Tea
Tea bags are one of those everyday items we don’t even think about, but they’re incredibly wasteful. By using a reusable tea infuser, you’ll eliminate wasteful tea bags, and compost your tea leaves once finished. Gold Strawberry Tea Infuser and Tray, Kitten and the Bear, $10.
These reusable rounds are designed to replace your single-use cotton pads. They have a handy pocket to slip over your fingers, and are designed with a bamboo and organic cotton combo, making them incredibly soft on skin, and machine washable. Reusable Rounds, The Detox Market, $25.
Your New Best Laundry Friend
Laundry day just got better thanks to this set of eco-friendly dryer balls that’ll replace all your one-time-use dryer sheets. Simply use them like you would dryer sheets: Toss them into your dryer along with the clothes you’re drying. Take them out and give them a quick clean-off after each use. The Unscented Company – Dryer Balls – Box of 3, Frank and Oak, $21.
Reusable Water Bottles
There’s absolutely no excuse to be drinking from a plastic water bottle in the year 2021. Most restaurants and cafes are only too happy to top up your reusable bottle, so with a little forethought to pack a bottle, you can stay hydrated while keeping the Earth afloat. Hydro Flask Wide Flex Sip Lid Snapper, Well.ca, $42.
Reusable Gift Wrap
What greater gift is there than the gift of an eco conscious? The notion of reusable gift wrap is also incredibly sentimental. Family members will feel a little thrill as they see the familiar pretty print on special occasions. Reusable Cotton Gift Wrap, Indigo, $16.
Reusable Cutlery On the Go
This is a single-use swap that’s so easy remember. With a little pre-planning, you can avoid using single-use plastic cutlery when out and about. Stash one of these sets in your bag and you’ll always be prepared. They’re great for picnics too! Eco-Friendly Bamboo Utensil Sets, Amazon, $27.
When it comes to single-use plastics, straws were, well, the straw that broke the camel’s back. These beautiful reusable straws are made from non-toxic food-grade silicone that can be used for years. We Might Be Tiny Bendie Straws Earth & Blooms, $20.
Sharp & Chic
Who knew razors could be so beautiful? This stunning zero-waste option is a perfect alternative to those flimsy plastic razors. The Leaf Razor, Leaf Shave, $84.
A Sustainable Bamboo Toothbrush
Try as you might, you can’t brush away a lifetime’s worth of sinful single-use plastics, that is, unless you start brushing with a sustainable bamboo toothbrush. This beautiful 100% natural design is made with activated charcoal bristles too, for antimicrobial properties. Health Hut Bamboo Toothbrush, Health Hut, $8.