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  • Writer's pictureCathy Borg

Hey Roncesvalles! Let's kick the single-use plastic habit!

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

This call to action is the title on the hand-delivered flyer I received at my house yesterday. Wow, more than 70 businesses in the Roncesvalles,Toronto area are inviting you to bring your own containers, bags, cups and jars when shopping at their stores to say "no thanks" to single-use plastics.

Although the Roncy Reduces project started less than a year ago it has now grown to over 70 businesses in Roncesvalles alone with many other clone groups sprouting up like mushrooms all over Toronto and beyond. This is definitely an idea whose time has come. But what exactly is it?

What is it?

Businesses invite you to BYO (bring your own) containers for coffee, produce, water, take-outs and more when you shop in the neighbourhood. The idea is to help folks reduce waste and particularly single-use plastic.

Why should we care?

Waste reduction particularly plastic should be on everyone's to do list, don't you agree?

Put waste reduction on your to do list
Put Plastic Reduction on Your To Do List!

We know that the plastic we use and throw away every day is poisoning our planet. Plastic does not decompose; it only breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. Plastic packaging is almost always new plastic made from fossil fuels and we produce a lot more of it than we can recycle. In Canada, only 9% of all plastic gets recycled. 91% ends up in our landfills where it survives us all or it gets shipped overseas with some of it ending in our oceans. It is a terrible thing to leave behind for future generations.

How does it work?

When you see this Sticker on a shop or restaurant you know that they accept reusable containers such as:

  • reusable coffee cups and water bottles

  • net or cloth bags for produce, bread and bulk food

  • reusable containers for takeout fod and deli items such as meat, fish and cheese

  • jars or bottles for soap, detergent and shampoo

  • reusable shopping bags

Some stores display the sticker because they sell reusable containers and bags and others because they support the initiative. And you participate by bringing your own containers, coffee cup and bags when you go shopping. Your choices count: the more plastic we avoid, the more packaging-free products will be offered and the more will be reduced.

Do you want to be part of the change?

8 Things You Can Do Today!

  1. Carry reusable bags.

  2. Carry your own water bottle and reusable coffee cup. Say 'no thanks' to single-use coffee cups and bottled water.

  3. Be picky when buying produce: choose unpackaged spinach, carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, ginger etc. over clamshell containers, plastic bags and Styrofoam trays.

  4. Bulk up! Ric is just as nice when you fill up your own container or reusable bag. (Or beans, chocolate chips, flour etc.)

  5. Takeout? Of course! But bring your own container.

  6. Hand or dish soap, shampoo or laundry detergent? Try refilling in our neighbourhood.

  7. Look for products in returnable containers.

  8. It doesn't always have to be Amazon - avoid packaging and buy local.


Fruit and veggie stores

Maple Produce, Roncesvalles Fruit Village, Master Supermarket, Sorauren Farmer's Market

Bread and baked goods

Hot Oven, Mabel's, Chicago Bakery. Sobeys

Bulk goods

Evergreen Natural Foods, Kim Natural Foods, Tealish, Herbal Dispensary

Milk, yogurt, cream (in returnable bottles)

Soaps, detergents, shampoo

Restaurants, bars & takeout

Coffee shops

Ice cream, chocolate, juice

*Tools to shop zero-waste (e.g. jars, produce bags, beeswax wraps, containers)

An Inspiring Story

Started in January 2019 by some Roncesvalles neighbours who wanted to do something about our 'plastic problem', Roncy Reduces has taken on a life of its own inspiring other neighbourhood groups all over Toronto and beyond to follow suit. You can now find: Junction Reduces, Baby Point Reduces, Beaches Reduces, Danforth Reduces, Kingston Road Reduces, Bloor Reduces, Bloor West Reduces, Wychwood Reduces, Hillcrest Reduces, Regal Heights Reduces, Downtown Reduces, Cabbagetown Reduces and even Ottawa Reduces. And groups in St. Lawrence, Leslieville, Caledon, Davisville Village, Richmond Hill, Bluffs and others are forming. To contact Roncy Reduces:


As a Toronto professional organizer with more than 6 years of experience, nearly all of my clients have more containers than they can use in a lifetime. Rather than feeling bad about how much plastic you’re sending to the landfill, focus on the fact that you can be the change you want to see! Use your existing containers when you go shopping. When you are buying a gift for someone consider something that is reusable or a *tool to shop zero-waste". If you need help getting your house decluttered and organized so you don't buy more than you need because you'll know how much you have and where it is, let's connect to discuss all the ways I can help you minimize waste – and help you save money, too! Best Wishes, Cathy Borg

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