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Timeline extended for Ontario Blue Box Transition Plan

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Stewardship Ontario, recently announced that the Ontario government had granted an extension for the submission of the blue box transition plan to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA).  Stakeholders now have until July 8, 2020 to submit input on how Ontario’s Blue Box recycling program should be transitioned to a full producer responsibility model.

Stewardship Ontario is a not-for-profit organization funded and governed by the industries that are the brand owners, first importers or franchisors of the products and packaging materials managed under recycling programs in the Province of Ontario.

The RPRA is an arms-length Ontario Government organization that was set up to support the transition to a circular economy and a waste-free Ontario.  The RPRA oversees three waste diversion programs- Blue Box, Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW), and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)– and their eventual wind up.

Now being developed by Stewardship Ontario, the plan was originally scheduled for submission to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) on June 30, 2020 but the timeline has been revised as follows:

  • Stakeholder feedback on transition plan proposals extended to July 8, 2020
  • Transition plan submitted to RPRA no later than August 31, 2020
  • RPRA approval maintains original deadline of December 31, 2020

Consultation materials supplied by Stewardship Ontario originally scheduled for the week of April 6 have been postponed and are expected to be made available to stakeholders shortly.

Stewardship Ontario will be reaching out to stakeholder group associations to schedule meetings and discuss initial feedback on the materials before the rescheduled consultation webinars.

Sanexen Receives funding for pilot project to recycle C&D waste

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RECYC-QUÉBEC recently awarded funding to SANEXEN Environmental Services Inc., for Phase 1 of a project to recycle and reclaim gypsum residues and fine residues from the construction, renovation and demolition (CRD) sector.

As the Quebec Residual Materials Management Policy calls for fine residues to no longer be buried in landfills, CRD debris sorting centres are facing sizeable challenges. SANEXEN therefore proposes a solution to recycle and reclaim the fine materials, which would then avoid having to bury over 90% of fine residues from CRD debris sorting centres.

Phase 1 of the project, backed by RECYC-QUÉBEC, would transform fine residues into materials that could be reclaimed using SANEXEN’s own physicochemical treatment process. Moreover, this is the first traceability project in Quebec for residual materials coming directly from the source of production (CRD debris sorting centres) to a reclamation centre dedicated to processing this material. This traceability project is part of SANEXEN’s commitment to transparent and environmentally responsible management of these residual materials. Moreover, a project with the private sector had been carried out in 2019, in collaboration with Avatek Immobilier and Traces Québec.

“This is the first technologically and economically viable solution that will result in less than 10% of CRD fine residues ending up in the landfill at the end of this large-scale, one-year project,” said Martin Bureau, Vice-President, Innovation, SANEXEN.

This initiative will also help define the following aspects: what can actually be considered fine residue as opposed to waste and the type of fine residues that may be reclaimed. A more thorough definition of fine residue that can be reclaimed will also help refine possible markets for this material.

North Bay Banning Textiles from Landfill

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The City of North Bay, a community approximately 50,000 about 350 km north to Toronto, recently banned the collection and disposal of textiles at the City-owned landfill.

The ban is a result of a vote of City Council to discontinue the collection and disposal of textiles at the city landfill. A majority of council adopted a recommendation from the city’s infrastructure and operations committee to ban textiles from the Merrick Landfill and conduct an education campaign.

The textile ban is being taken, in part, to extend the life of the existing Merrick Landfill. Operations at the landfill began in 1995 and the projected lifespan is 19 years.

In 2019, Councillor Mac Bain tried to convince fellow councillors to implement the landfill ban on textiles. He argued that used textiles should go to local charities like the Salvation Army and Rebuilt Resources who can then resell them. Torn and unsold clothing can be broken up and used as rags according to Bain.

The textile ban takes effect on April 22nd. City enforcement of the ban will not include waste collectors opening and inspecting garbage bags. The city also will not levy fines against individuals or businesses, and used textiles which cannot be donated, such as soiled or greasy rags, can still be thrown away.

It is estimated the the landfill ban of textiles could potentially divert an estimated 1,890 metric tons, of unwanted textiles each year in North Bay. Currently, approximately 85 of unwanted textiles are landfilled.

B.C. Recycling Start-up Receives $1.68 million from SDTC

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Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) recently announced funding of fourteen cleantech and environmental projects across Canada. The total amount of funding granted to the 14 start-up companies from SDTC is $46.3 million. The funds, which must be matched by private investment, will be used for commercial development by each company.

One of the companies receiving funding is RecycleSmart Solutions based in British Columbia. The company is receiving $1.68 million from SDTC for a project to decrease the driving distance of garbage collection trucks and the amount of garbage destined for landfill sites. 

RecycleSmart manufactures and installs smart sensors in waste bins, providing details about bin contents and contamination. This information helps reduce unnecessary waste collection and allows waste management companies to reduce the amount of trash destined for the landfill.

Leah Lawrence, President and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, stated at a news conference to announce the funding, “Canadian cleantech entrepreneurs are tackling problems across Canada and in every sector. I have never been more positive about the future. SDTC remains committed to helping companies accelerate their clean technologies, from seed to scale-up.”

Jaclyn McPhadden, RecycleSmart CAO and Co-founder

Jaclyn McPhadden, RecycleSmart, Chief Administrative Officer stated, “The support from SDTC is an incredible opportunity to accelerate the growth of RecycleSmart by fuelling our sensor technology development program. We are honoured to receive this investment, which will increase the rate at which RecycleSmart can move from R&D to commercialization in the next two years.”

About RecycleSmart Solutions

RecycleSmart Solutions develops, and then implements, waste management programs for organizations that achieve financial, environment, and operational goals. The company uses a holistic approach that delivers guaranteed results.

RecycleSmart Solutions has a team of waste and data scientists, engineers, and program designers that develops and implements a waste management program that results in a 10% Cost Savings (minimum) commitment to a client organization.

The company then utilizes its Waste Wizard App that provides an organization with information on collection schedule, invoice details, and other information.

In one case, First Capital Realty, a developer and manager of retail-focused properties, engaged RecycleSmart Solutions to assist in the management of its waste and recycling programs in Edmonton. RecycleSmart Solutions did the following:

  • Installed sensors on all waste and recycling containers;
  • Monitored fill levels of containers on a monthly basis and reduced services when possible;
  • Managed their waste and recycling services;
  • Reduced costs by negotiating new rates with the waste haulers’ and
  • Handled issues with missed pickups/overflowing bins including site cleanups

The result of the technology and management solution resulted in 24 percent savings in operational costs for First Capital Realty at its Edmonton location.

About SDTC and the Canada Cleantech Market

Canada is number one in the G20 for clean technology innovation. In January 2019, 12 Canadian companies were recognized on the 2019 Global Cleantech 100 list. Currently, clean technology employs more than 180,000 Canadians.

The clean technology market is set to exceed $2.5 trillion by 2022.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada is an arm’s-length foundation created by the Government of Canada to support Canadian companies with the potential to become leaders as they develop and demonstrate new technologies to address some of our most pressing environmental challenges.

Saskatoon’s considering Recycling and Organics programs for IC&I Sector

The City of Saskatoon, is considering options for requirements for recycling and organics for the Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional (IC&I) sector. At present, the Administration is recommending that the IC&I sector be required to have separate containers for garbage and recycling and, if food or yard waste is generated as part of operations, a separate container for organics. Implementing this approach will involve an amendment to the City’s Waste Bylaw.

“A more comprehensive organics and recycling program is critical to achieving our waste diversion goals and extending the life of our landfill,” says Jeanna South, Director of Sustainability. “This cannot fall only on residents; Saskatoon businesses and organizations must participate when it comes to waste diversion and environmental leadership.”

The IC&I sector generates 68% of all garbage sent to Saskatoon and area landfills, with approximately 45% (75,800 tonnes) representing recyclables or organics that could be diverted.

“24% of what is landfilled by the City is from the IC&I sector, which represents a significant diversion opportunity that can’t be ignored,” adds South.

Option 1, being recommended by the Administration comes with the following requirements from members of the IC&I sector:

  • Separate and labelled containers for recycling and garbage
  • A separate container for organics if food or yard waste is generated as part of operations
  • Education on how to properly sort and store materials for employees and tenants
  • Ensuring removal and proper disposal of waste

To support this proposed program, the City engaged with 870 participants from businesses and organizations through workshops, online surveys, and face-to-face meetings.

The 2019 IC&I Waste and Recycling Survey and the 2019 Waste and Recycling Survey (residential) revealed high levels of support from residents, businesses and organizations for the implementation of recycling and organics requirements for the IC&I sector.  Saskatoon’s diversion rate is one of the lowest in Canada when benchmarked against other Canadian cities.

“The recommended option comes at a lower cost than the others, and has been successfully implemented in other municipalities,” says South. “It will give us the best chance of meeting residents’ expectations of the ICI sector and achieving our waste diversion goals.”

Option 1 was the most preferred mandatory approach by stakeholders. The Waste Diversion Options Fact Sheet provides a more detailed comparison of the options presented.

Regional District of Nanaimo new waste diversion initiatives include mattress recycling

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As reported in the Parksville Qualicum News, the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) is working to implement new waste management initiatives, including mattress recycling, that will help the municipality reach its goal of 90 percent waste diversion from landfill.

The new waste diversion initiatives focus on the strategies of reduce, reuse and recycle. They include zero-waste kits, compost giveaways, non-stewarded residential household hazardous waste collection and mattress recycling.

As more communities focus on banning single-use plastics and other items, there is a demand for reusable items. The RDN is introducing “ReThink Waste” branded zero-waste kits that include reusable produce bags; reusable cloth snack bags and reusable straws. The plan is to offer these as prizes and giveaways throughout the year at RDN and affiliated community events.

The Solid Waste Services Department for the RDN owns and operates the Regional Landfill, Church Road Transfer Station and provides residential garbage collection and recycling service to more than 29,000 households in the region. The RDN has made a long-term commitment to achieving Zero Waste, reducing garbage, conserving resources, reducing greenhouse gases and creating a more sustainable region.

Mattress Recycling

Mattresses have a compaction rate 400% less than regular garbage, thus making them a problem in all landfills. Recycling mattresses in other Canadian jurisdictions has had mixed success.

The mattresses collected by the RDN are recycled by Recycle Matter. Recycle Matters is an INEO Employment Services Job Creation Partnership (JCP). INEO is an organization that provides work for individuals who normally would not gain employment within the community. The JCP was also funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

As of November 8th of last year, the RDN diverted 710 mattresses from the landfill for recycling by Recycle Matters.

Recycle Matters employs three individuals (two general labourers and one business/office administrator) to work with a supervisor and the project manager to set-up a mattress recycling facility.

The company salvages parts of the mattress such as springs, foam and textiles that are shipped out to companies for re- purposing. Up to 95 percent of the mattress can be recycled.

With respect to mattresses, the RDN has a surcharge for mattresses and box springs of $15 per unit.

Big Fine in California for store’s refusal to accept deposit-return bottles

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The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) recently announced a $3.6 million enforcement action against CVS Health Corp. for failing to meet its obligation to redeem Californians’ deposits on recycled bottles and cans at stores throughout the state.

The action is part of the state’s broader effort to support recycling and ensure consumers have access to convenient recycling options as the recycling industry contends with changing global market conditions. State subsidies to recyclers have increased each of the last four years to cover the declining prices for scrap recyclables, resulting in $176 million in payments to recyclers in 2018.

Under California’s beverage container recycling law, retailers located in “convenience zones” that are not served by a recycling center must redeem California Redemption Value (CRV) beverage containers in store or pay a $100 a day fee.

An investigation by CalRecycle found that 81 of the CVS Pharmacy’s 848 retail stores in California refused to redeem CRV beverage containers in store, failed to pay the required $100 a day fee for not redeeming, or failed to submit an affidavit to CalRecycle stating how they would comply with in-store redemption standards.

The enforcement action seeks to recover $1.8 million in $100-a-day fees that the 81 stores had failed to pay as of October 31 and an additional $1.8 million in $100-a-day civil penalties. The action also seeks to recover CalRecycle’s administrative costs of investigating and pursuing the action.

CalRecycle filed the enforcement action against the retail chain on Dec. 5, 2019. As part of the administrative law process, CVS is entitled to an evidentiary hearing presided over by a hearing officer or administrative law judge.

CalRecycle has increased enforcement against retailers that are obligated to redeem the recycling deposit (CRV) for beverage containers in store, resulting in an additional 2,180 inspections and prioritized enforcement on retailers with the largest number of violations and penalties owed.

Since the state’s Bottle Bill was enacted in 1986, Californians have recycled nearly 400 billion beverage containers. Last year Californians recycled 18 billion beverage containers, the second highest ever, accounting for 76 percent of the 24 billion CRV beverages sold in California. The state is on track to recycle 18 billion bottles and cans in 2019.

In Canada, all provinces, with the exception of Quebec and Manitoba, have a deposit-return system for wine bottles. The Quebec government is expected to announce deposits on wine bottles in early 2020.

A 2019 study on the costs and benefits of a deposit-return system for non-alcoholic bottles in Ontario by Reloop, produced in partnership with Eunomia Research & Consulting, found that a deposit return system (DRS) for non-alcoholic beverage containers, alongside improvements in the Blue Box program, would recycle an additional 118,000 tonnes of materials every year, as well as generating overall savings of $12 million.

New Recycling Facility Opens in Lachine

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The City of Lachine, a borough within the city of Montreal on the Island of Montreal, has a new state-of-the art recycling facility. The centre, built at a cost of $50M, will process 100,000 tonnes of material per year.

Some 80 trucks a day will arrive at the centre every day. The centre will be able to process 100,000 tonnes of recycled materials per year — 58 per cent of the recyclable material collected in the city.

Lachine Mayor Maja Vodanovic sees the opening of a recycling plant in Lachine as one important element in a much larger plan — the creation of what is called a circular economy.

The goal of a circular economy, also referred to as circularity, is to eliminate waste by creating a closed loop. Material waste is reused, refurbished, repaired or repurposed. The circular template differs from the linear purchase-and-discard practice. The circular process not only reduces waste, it reduces the number of road trips required to cart waste to another location.

The plant will use automated machinery to separate paper, cardboard and plastic. A staff of 25 workers are required to operate the facility.

In the new year, glass recycling equipment will be added to the operations at the facility at a cost of $2.5 million.

New Guideline related to Construction, Renovation, and Demolition Waste Management

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The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) has posted a Guide for Identifying, Evaluating and Selecting Policies for Influencing Construction, Renovation and Demolition Waste Management.

Construction, renovation and demolition (CRD) wastes make up one of the largest solid waste streams in Canada. This waste comes at a significant cost: it is expensive to manage, poses risks to human health and the environment, and represents a missed opportunity to recover value from
discarded materials. Consequently, there are strong social, economic and ecological imperatives to both reduce the rate of CRD waste generation and increase the quantities diverted from disposal.

This guide provides decision-makers with high-level guidance for identifying, evaluating and selecting effective policies for influencing CRD waste management. This includes reducing the amount of waste generated by CRD activities, decreasing the amount of CRD waste that is disposed, lessening the environmental impacts of the CRD waste that is disposed, and
strengthening the markets for, and value of, diverted CRD materials.

Reducing the amount of CRD waste heading to landfill is a complicated task, and there is no single policy that can address the issue on its own. CRD waste reduction and diversion requires a comprehensive approach. Successful jurisdictions use a combination of policies that are tailored
to their unique regional political, economic and market conditions. Policymakers can leverage a three-step process for evaluating CRD waste management policies:

  • Assess: The starting point is to assess the regional context to determine the current state of CRD waste management and identify the materials and systems with the greatest potential for reduction or diversion.
  • Prioritize: The second step is to establish a set of goals and select a short list of strategies and policy measures that are most closely aligned with the regional priorities, needs and context. This may include setting diversion targets and identifying priority materials, construction life-cycle stages and actors for action.
  • Evaluate: The final step is to assess the potential benefits and impacts of each policy and decide on a path forward.

Looping you in on Loop: An evolution in waste management, or a work in progress?

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Written by Calvin Lakhan, Ph.D, Co-Investigator: “The Waste Wiki” – Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University

Terracycle’s Loop program has turned the world of packaging waste on its head, largely seen as the first major initiative to encourage the reuse of consumer packaging in lieu of recycling. The initiative has been warmly received by both CPG companies and consumers alike, with initial reviews touting it as being an evolution in how packaging is designed and used by households.

For those who may not be familiar with Loop (although that would genuinely surprising given the press it has received), it is premised on developing reusable packaging solutions for common consumer items such as detergent, hand soap, cereal, condiments etc. The program, which is backed by industry giants such as Unilever, Proctor and Gamble, Coca-Cola and more, promises to help move consumers away from a consumption-disposal model, to one in which we strive for zero waste.

Participating households are able to place an order online, and receive various durable products (ranging from groceries, general household items and personal care) which is shipped in Loop’s exclusively designed shipping tote. After use, consumers can place the empty containers into their Loop totes, and go online to schedule an in home pickup. These items are then returned to a Loop partner facility where the package is then sanitized, cleaned and refilled, and finally shipped back to the consumer to be reused again.

Why was Loop created?

For much of the past 30 years, the waste management system has tended to fixate on the “recyclability” of packaging. In spite of the waste management hierarchy which prioritizes waste reduction and reuse over recycling, recycling has largely been promoted as the preferred end of life scenario for consumer packaging goods. While this approach has been reasonably successful, the proliferation of difficult to recycle light weight and composite materials, coupled with deteriorating end markets for recycled goods, has forced the waste management industry think of new and innovative ways to promote diversion.

Loop offers a convenient solution to this problem, in that it is premised on a closed loop system where products can be reused again and again, to assist in both minimizing packaging waste and reducing the need to generate new packaging.

Conceptually, this seems like a great idea – encouraging both brand owners and consumers to embrace a reuse model has the potential to radically transform our waste management system. However, is the program successful (and feasible) in practice? Let’s find out.

An issue of efficiency, economics and equity

I want to preface this next section by saying that I am actually supportive of what Loop could represent and achieve in the future. There is certainly a need to pursue new avenues with respect to diversion, and reuse seems like a logical choice with respect to packaging waste.

However, if we begin to examine both the economic and environmental impacts of Loop’s logistics and collection network, the benefits of the program become a lot more murky.

Simply put, it is extremely inefficient to have an individual product shipped to a consumer, and have that product subsequently shipped back at the discretion of the household. This issue is exacerbated in instances where take back facilities are not located in close proximity to markets in which the product is being consumed.

A distance too far: Environmental and economic impacts of transportation

As an intellectual exercise, consider the following scenario. A household that subscribes to Loop’s program decides to purchase reusable cereal and oatmeal containers. Every other week, this household will return these containers back to Loop, where the containers are then cleaned and refilled, and subsequently shipped back to the household. That is 52 unique trips in a calendar year (to both send and receive the reusable package), in which containers are traveling potentially hundreds of kilometers per trip before arriving at its destination.

Now imagine if this same household decides to tell 10 of their family and friends to join the Loop program. Unless all households coordinate when to send and return their packaging, we now have 520 unique trips in which reusable packaging is being transported.

While I do not have any specific data with respect to where Loop take back facilities are located, let’s consider a scenario wherein the take back facility is located 100, 250 and 500km away.

Every year, the reusable containers being used by each household are being transported between 5200km, 13000km and 26000km respectively (depending on the transport scenario). This is for a single household, using a single product that weighs between 150 and 400 grams (weight is contingent on the material being used for the reusable containers).

The carbon footprint of transportation is potentially enormous, sufficiently so that it offsets the environmental savings of using a reusable package. In our above scenario (assuming that the average reusable cereal container weighs approximately 400g), it would take roughly 2500 packages to make up just one tonne of material. That one tonne of material represents more than 13 MILLION kilometers traveled to collect and resend reusable packaging, assuming each package is shipped back individually (using an assumption of every other week, and a default transportation distance of 100km). This translates into roughly 1950 TCO2e of transport emissions per tonne managed. This figure only becomes more astronomical the further away the take back facility is away from the point of generation.

I wish I could say the above represented a worst case scenario, but the reality is that take back programs must find ways to economically consolidate and transport their material, and ensure that receiving facilities are located in close proximity to the market in which the reusable package is being sold.

For curbside recyclable and waste collection, a specially configured truck will go from house to house, and when full, return to the transfer station/depot to empty its material before redeploying to the road. The efficiency of this approach is in having a “critical mass” of material (within a specified geographical boundary), that only requires collection when sufficient waste has been generated.

However, the nature of Loop’s take back program is that households are asked to return their used packaging back to specific facilities to be cleaned and reused. There is no clear guidance regarding how much or how often material should be shipped back, as that is largely left to the discretion of the consumer.

From a convenience perspective, this has been a significant boon for well-intentioned citizens who want to participate in reuse initiatives without disrupting consumption and disposal habits.

The obvious drawback is that such a system is neither environmentally or economically tenable.

In June of 2019, York University published a white paper that specifically examined the merits of decentralized logistics networks, and used coffee pods as a case study to calculate the environmental and economic impacts of take back programs (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rfERnYLOIhPsHcPA7JHf-BxPvErSiezB/view)

This study goes into greater detail surrounding how to quantify environmental and economic impacts, but the key take away is that the cost (both environmental and economic) is prohibitive unless households are able to transport large volumes of material at once. In the absence of achieving that “critical mass” of material, the take back model does not work in the vast majority of instances (a potential exception is when a receiving facility is located in the same market in which the product is being sold).

An issue of equity: Environmentalism for those that can afford it

Setting aside concerns surrounding the practical economic and environmental impacts of Loop, what is of greater interest to me on a personal level is that a subscription service excludes some households from participating on the basis of cost.

Products offered by loop require a mandatory deposit, ranging in value from $0.47 for a Coca Cola bottle to $47 for a Pampers Diaper Bin (https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2019/01/business/loop-reusable-packaging-mission-ahead/index.html).

Households are also required to pay a shipping fee of $15 unless a minimum of $100 worth of product is purchased.

While these sums may not seem like much, by its very nature, it will exclude households who are unable to absorb an increase in costs for their groceries and other household necessities. Waste management suddenly becomes a tiered model – pay to participate in reuse initiatives, or rely on municipal waste collections services who may not offer reuse as an option.

Most recent academic research shows that stated levels of environmental concern is consistent across all income groups. The vast majority of people, irrespective of income, want the opportunity to be good environmental citizens and participate in activities that lead to more sustainable outcomes. However, poor and marginalized groups often have impeded access to waste management services (i.e. lack of clean waste rooms, lack of recycling and green bin programs in multi residential buildings etc.).

Programs such as Loop further reinforce the notion that environmentalism is a luxury for those that can afford it, and it’s not entirely clear to me how such a program can be scaled out without addressing how to be inclusive and ensure participation of vulnerable and low income groups.

In waste management, we often forget that sustainability is made up of more than just environmental and economic considerations. The social dimension of sustainability is equally critical, and in my opinion, it would be in the best interests of both brand owners and service providers to address issues of inclusion.

The road to the landfill is paved with good intentions

Despite the aforementioned criticism, Loop should be applauded for pioneering the field of reuse for consumer packaging. Historically, printed paper and packaging has never been seen as a durable good, and has almost exclusively been characterized as single use. Loop offers the opportunity to think “Beyond the Blue Box”, and get both households and brand owners to think about the importance of reuse as a diversion strategy.

If we are to have any hopes of achieving a zero waste future, reuse will inevitably play a critical role, however, we have to be extremely careful about what systems we have in place to encourage it.

As noted in this piece, there are serious concerns surrounding the economic and environmental tenability of Loop’s current approach. Perhaps more alarmingly, nobody seems to be questioning whether this is a good idea or not (and whether it needs to be re-examined). The uptake by major CPG companies in both supporting and promoting Loop has been unprecedented – companies recognize the utility of attaching themselves to an initiative that seemingly provides a solution to the single use problem. However, in the rush to be seen as an innovator in the reuse space, we may be losing sight of what we are ultimately trying to achieve.

The goal of a waste management system should ideally be to promote optimal environmental, economic and social outcomes. Emphasizing either recycling, or reuse only matters when that particular approach helps us achieve our overarching goals of sustainability. If it doesn’t, we have to be prepared to “throw it away” and try something new. 


About the Author

Calvin LAKHAN, Ph.D, is currently co-investigator of the “Waste Wiki” project at York University (with Dr. Mark Winfield), a research project devoted to advancing understanding of waste management research and policy in Canada. He holds a Ph.D from the University of Waterloo/Wilfrid Laurier University joint Geography program, and degrees in economics (BA) and environmental economics (MEs) from York University. His research interests and expertise center around evaluating the efficacy of municipal recycling initiatives and identifying determinants of consumer recycling behavior.