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Reusable containers soon available in certain Ottawa grocery stores

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jan19,2024

Reusable containers soon available in select Ottawa grocery stores

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As part of a pilot project launched in Ottawa At the end of April, reusable containers will be distributed to Walmart, Sobeys and Metro stores located in a designated area of ​​the city. Customers will be able to purchase certain items from these containers and then return them to drop-off locations.


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A new pilot project to reduce single-use plastics by involving major food retailers will be implemented in Ottawa this spring .

At the end of April, reusable containers will be distributed to Walmart, Sobeys and Metro stores in a designated area of ​​Ottawa.

Customers will then be able to purchase certain food products in these reusable containers, then return them to drop-off points located inside and outside stores.

The project, managed by the Circular Innovation Council (CIC) with the support of Environment and Climate Change Canada, is a first in Canada for reusable containers on this scale.

The City of Ottawa, Council's partner, was identified as a good choice for a variety of reasons.

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The city is big enough to prove that this type of project can be implemented anywhere in the country, but it is also small enough to offer us a certain flexibility, explained the general director of the CIC, Jo-Anne St. Godard.

We are very excited about bringing this project to Ottawa and they are very excited about the idea. welcome.

A quote from Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director of the Circular Innovation Council

The Mayor of x27;Ottawa, Mark Sutcliffe, was delighted to welcome such a project in his municipality.

My colleagues at the CIC and I have made the environment and climate change a top priority – it is the responsible way forward. This is about helping retailers and consumers work together to create a sustainable market, including reducing single-use plastic products. It’s smart for the environment, smart for the economy.

There are still a few details to be resolved, said Ms. St. Godard, such as the exact neighborhood where the project will be implemented. However, a section of Bank Street has already been identified as being able to accommodate it.

Grocery stores will have complete freedom to choose the types of reusable containers they will use and for which products. The instigators of the project hope that the program will eventually extend to other food establishments, such as restaurants.

The three Selected brands will share containers and work collaboratively to organize cleaning, transport and logistics. This is a first in Canada, according to the CIC.

This is a cutting-edge initiative that will revolutionize packaging and we are honored to provide our technology to end single-use waste and drive the circular economy, said the CEO and co-founder of Reusables.com, Jason Hawkins, in a press release.

His company will provide the reusable containers.

I invite many other food retailers to join this consortium and be part of the solution, he added.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last June that the federal government was moving to ban the production and sale of single-use plastics in Canada, such as straws, take-out containers and plastic cutlery.

Learnings from the Ottawa pilot project are to be used to develop and expand various reuse programs in the City of Ottawa and other regions across Canada .

To tackle the triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, we must review the way we do things, explained Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, via press release.

Ms. St. Godard hopes to obtain a high participation rate. To achieve this, it will be necessary to prove the convenience of the system, she estimated.

We also want to prove that it does not cost more for grocery stores or consumers, but on the contrary, it costs less because it avoids having to buy single-use plastic containers.

There have already been projects for reusable containers in small stores in Ottawa, but this one is promising, as it will be implemented on a large scale, says an environmental group.

This is the first time we've seen a pilot project or a project that involves more than one store, so a group of very large retailers that share their resources, said Karen Wirsig, plastics program manager at Environmental Defense. It's a large-scale project at the local level, which is important.

According to Wirsig, the key to this project is creating a system that facilitates the reuse of containers, which could change consumer behavior.

We don't want a short-term pilot project that people don't engage in, stores don't engage in, and doesn't lead to something permanent , she commented. What we don't want either is a system that is supposedly reusable, but ultimately where the containers are actually only used once, because that's what the containers are for. people are used to it.

The pilot project will therefore begin at the end of April and should continue until March 2025.

With information from Natalia Goodwin of CBC News

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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