Next month, when you go to buy veggies from the supermarket and put it in plastic, think about how long that plastic will last.
Plastic Free July founder Rebecca Prince-Ruiz warned it was "pretty much forever".
"This is a material that is designed to last forever and we shouldn't be using it for an item that we use for a few minutes then throw away," Ms Prince-Ruiz said.
Ms Prince-Ruiz is in Canberra to meet with local and federal government heads in the lead up to next month's "Plastic Free July".
She started the event in 2011 in her hometown Perth with family and friends and it's since spread across the globe.
Last year it stopped 500 million kilos of plastic waste going to landfill.
"Plastic Free July helps people and organisations ... take small daily steps to reduce single use plastics to tackle this growing plastic waster and pollution issue," she said. "Turn off the tape and reduce it at the source."
Canberrans could use the event as a chance to get into new habits, doing simple things like remembering their reusable bags, coffee cups or their water bottles next month, Ms Prince-Ruiz said.
But they should also avoid fresh produce if it's wrapped in plastic and go to bulk food stores or farmer's markets where fewer goods came packaged in plastic.
"We need to use our consumer voices here," Ms Prince-Ruiz said.
The ACT was one of the first jurisdictions to introduce a plastic bag ban at checkouts across the capital.
Ms Prince-Ruiz said these were good steps but more needed to be done, including actions by manufacturers.
She said there should be minimum mandated recycled content in new plastic packaging.
"To keep materials in so that we have a circular economy and not a linear one," she said.
She encouraged Canberrans to put in submissions to the ACT government's open discussion paper on phasing out single use plastics.
Ms Prince-Ruiz also pointed to the lack of uniform standards on "compostable" often marketed as "green" but requiring industrial-grade technologies to break down.
"The more it says 'eco-friendly' ... the more suspicious I am," she said.
"To have the most impact, we need to reduce how much we're using."
Ms Prince-Ruiz said it was important for Canberrans to put pressure on retailers to reduce the amount of plastic being used in store and to allow shoppers to use reusable containers.
"My local large supermarket now ... just because they've had so much pressure and feedback from my community, they actually have so little produce wrapped in plastic now," she said.
"Everything that we use has a footprint. Every product requires resources, manufacturing, transports. That's why this 'reduced' message is so important."
- Register for Plastic Free July at plasticfreejuly.org