The Regional Municipality Of York

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If you want to do one less thing this Earth Day – skip the straw

York Region asks residents to re-think the use of the single-use straw

Newmarket – Earth Day is coming on Sunday, April 22 and York Region is asking residents to re-think or skip a simple everyday action to support a sustainable lifestyle and healthy environment.

The theme of Earth Day 2018 is focused on consuming less, especially when it comes to plastic. Plastic pollution is a growing concern because of its impacts to the environment. Of the plastic products used and taken for granted, plastic drinking straws are among the most unnecessary. So, if possible, skip the straw.

Did you know plastic straws are among the top-10 items picked up during litter cleanups? Plastic straws should be put in the garbage and not in the recycle bin, but most end up on the ground where they can stay for up to 400 years before they disintegrate. So the next time you reach for that single-use straw for a drink, perhaps you can re-think, and skip the straw.

York Region is dedicated to sustaining and protecting our environment now and for the future. It’s one of the ways we celebrate Earth Day every day. Here are some helpful tips to be kind to the environment by consuming less:

Skip-the-Straw – Cut down on the reliance of single-use plastics by skipping it if you don’t need it or by using compostable or reusable straws

Take back your plastic bags – Ontarians use an estimated seven million plastic bags each day, which is roughly 80 bags per second. Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down. York Region’s Plastic Bag Take-Back program allows residents to bring their plastic bags back to retailers to be recycled and reduces the number of bags sent to landfill

Get your tap water on – York Region tap is tops! There is a clean, healthy alternative right from our taps. York Region’s water is monitored around the clock to ensure it is safe, clean and in compliance with the Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards. To find out more about drinking water, visit – Need a refill? If you’re in the Town of Aurora check out their new water refilling stations at

Plan your grocery list – Preparing a simple meal plan and shopping list before you head to the grocery store can result in less food and money being wasted. To prevent those items from wilting or dying in your refrigerator make a plan to eat those foods first

Re-think your food storage – Proper storage and knowing about best before dates will help stop spoilage and wastefulness. When we waste food, we also waste the water, energy and resources that went in to producing that food. For more tips on reducing your food waste visit

Out with the old. In with the old – Pick up some amazing treasures by taking advantage of Curbside Giveaway Days, yard sales and online searches for used items. Find out if there’s one happening in your neighbourhood by visiting for curbside giveaway days

Do you have other helpful tips you can share? Join us on social media and use #loveyr #skipthestraw for other ways to celebrate Earth Day.

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns, and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 51,000 businesses with 620,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at

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Media Contact:
Masrine Guthrie-Peart, Corporate Communications,
The Regional Municipality of York
Phone:  1-877-464-9675  ext. 77272 or Cell: 905-251-6416

Earth Day; York Region The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release