The City of Edmonton contracts a local company to make a series of videos (Renewables) of individuals and companies that are doing some innovative and good work to reduce their carbon footprint. They recently did a short video of the store and of me. The video came across that we had a War on Plastic but it is really a War on Waste.
War on Waste
Maybe we do have a War on Plastic – especially when an outsider looks at us and sees that our store is a little different from the usual stores. Plastics – especially, single-use plastics, use valuable resources and contribute to our waste stream. Our War on Waste not only addresses plastics but organic material waste from our store, energy, water, fuel, paper, etc. We look for ways to reduce that waste stream and that helps us to be more efficient on the front end.
Our store has an objective – to reduce our carbon footprint and one of the ways we do that is to reduce our plastic footprint. We offer Edmontonians the opportunity to reuse containers and bags to refill with over 400 products is just smarter.
We are looking to break the programming that all of us have been subjected to – grab car keys, drive to store, buy the packages of brand names that our media or friends/families have told us to, put the purchases in single-use plastic bags, pay with a credit card and drive home. When you are at home now you have to figure out what to do with all the packaging and single-use plastic bags that the store packed your items in. In Edmonton, you might have felt pacified because we have been told for decades that our recycling centre would divert those bags and packaging from the landfill and they would be ‘recycled’.
Most of that plastic was shipped offshore to China, who no longer wants that plastic. We are now left with holding the bag – literally. And there are a shit load of them.
Our store is about going to the front of the waste stream and encouraging people to Reuse and Refill rather than recycle. That yogurt container can be used hundreds of times as a container for rice, beans, or baking soda. The plastic soy sauce can be refilled hundreds of times before it is sent off to the landfill or some recycling facility.
We need to stem the flow of single-use items flowing through our lives. Nature does not know what to do with it all. The oceans are already contaminated with chemicals and micro-plastic particles. Enough.
So, yes, I might have a war on plastic but it is not the only thing driving me and it is not the end game.
If you are interested in supporting the City of Edmonton adopts some kind of strategy to reduce single-use plastic then please contact Waste Free Edmonton on Social Media or at the website. They are spearheading the local initiative to bring about a reduction in single-use plastics.
Check out the video they did. I like it.
Over the next few months or so we will be making several changes at the store to further reduce single-use plastic. That means our customers will need to bring more of their own reusable bags or containers. Stay tuned for updates.