Return it Statement on new reuse-return cup pilot program launched by Vancouver and major fast food brands

01/06/2022

Vancouver Return It — In response to the new reuse-return cup program launched by the City of Vancouver, Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, A&W, Starbucks, Return-It, Metro Vancouver and Merlin Plastics, the Head of Greenpeace Canada’s Oceans and Plastics campaign, Sarah King, said:

“It’s encouraging to see a major brand like Tim Hortons deliver on its commitment to pilot a reusable cup return program. As the second pilot the company is launching with cross-sector and government collaboration, the company could drive concrete, meaningful change if their reuse pilots become pillars of their business. We urge Tim Hortons to take what they’ve learned and start swapping single-use for reuse swiftly in any and all locations across the country. 

Given the urgency and scope of the plastic pollution and climate crises, the entire sector should be moving towards single-use plastic free restaurants at a far faster pace. Tim Hortons is leading on the reuse pilot in this cross-sector partnership, and Greenpeace calls on other major brands and top polluters, including Starbucks and McDonald’s, to centre reusables across their business. 

This multi stakeholder collaboration is precedent setting, reflecting the need for government intervention and investment to accelerate a shift to reuse systems and reusable packaging solutions. Another clear way to fast track this shift is for the federal government to add single-use plastic cups and lids to the ban list before the regulations are finalized. Single-use cups and other packaging waste and pollution is a Canada-wide problem that needs a Canada-wide reuse strategy — an area that Minister Guilbeault hasn’t prioritized despite a growing reuse movement.”

Brandon Wei, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Canada

brandon.wei@greenpeace.org; +1 778 772-6138

Sarah King, Head of Oceans & Plastics, Greenpeace Canada

sarah.king@greenpeace.org, +1 778 227-6458

Encorp Pacific (Canada) is a federally incorporated, not-for-profit, product stewardship corporation with beverage container management as our core business. 

Our mandate is to develop, manage and improve systems to recover used packaging and end-of-life products from consumers and ensure that they are properly recycled and not land-filled or incinerated. This model is commonly referred to as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) or Industry Product Stewardship (IPS).

Our vision is to be the model Industry Product Stewardship organization in a province where every beverage container is recycled.

Encorp is committed to establishing  good governance and best practices appropriate to an organization of our type. Our Board of Directors consists of representatives of the beverage and retail grocery industries as well as directors who have no connection with either industry. 

A unique feature of Encorp’s governance is the existence of an Advisory Committee which ensures that the Board hears from stakeholders such as local governments, environmental groups and small brand owners.

As a not-for-profit corporation Encorp does not pay dividends to the company’s owners but does strive for a prudent level of financial reserves to be used to fund the operations of the company when market conditions require.

Return it Statement on new reuse-return cup pilot program launched by Vancouver and major fast food brands

Global plastics treaty mandate: pivotal step to end plastic pollution

Vancouver — The United Nations Environment Assembly announced today the outcome of the UNEA 5.2 meeting adopting a mandate to open negotiations for a legally binding global plastics treaty that addresses the whole life cycle of plastic pollution in the environment, with negotiations opening later this year. 

In response to today’s announcement, Sarah King, Head of Oceans and Plastics Campaign at Greenpeace Canada, said: 

“Agreement to negotiate a Global Plastics Treaty is the pivotal moment in the plastic pollution crisis that millions of people around the world have been waiting for. The mandate to consider the full lifecycle of plastic, from fossil fuel extraction to disposal, means that global governments have the opportunity to actually stop waste and pollution before it’s created. 

This move sends a strong signal to big oil and big brands that the time is now to think beyond plastic and switch their business models to refill and reuse, instead of marketing the recycling myth and false zero waste solutions like so-called advanced recycling. 

Until a strong global treaty is signed that prioritizes reduction and reuse, Greenpeace and its allies will keep pushing for the plastic free future our planet deserves.

While Canada has shown leadership in driving the need for a Global Plastics Treaty, it’s now up to Minister Guilbeault to ensure that overall plastic reduction and scaling of alternative reuse-refill systems are the priorities globally and here at home. 

We urgently need to move away from unnecessary plastics in all their forms and centre justice in the transition to the zero plastic waste economy the federal government has set out to achieve.  Continuing to drive a plastics economy agenda that perpetuates our broken, fossil fuel dependent system will only keep us stuck in this massive waste, pollution and climate crises triangle.” 

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