Canada Plastics Pact Announces Accelerators to Scale Reuse and Refill Solutions in Ontario

OTTAWA, April 24, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canada Plastics Pact (CPP), in collaboration with partners Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC) and Friendlier, announces the launch of two Accelerator Projects to scale reuse / refill solutions in Ontario to tackle single-use plastic waste.

The CPP’s Reuse Accelerator Pods, an initiative partially funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada, will support the scaling of two proven reuse/refill applications and address knowledge and infrastructure gaps that are hindering scaling returnable or refillable packaging systems in Canada.

“Last year, the CPP conducted a national ecosystem scan on the reuse and refill of plastic packaging in Canada. The study identified a significant opportunity for the CPP to convene stakeholders to scale solutions, develop standards and infrastructure, and contribute to the development of effective policies and regulations. To achieve economies of scale, it's clear that large-scale collaboration is needed to ensure the convenience and effectiveness of reuse and refill models,” said Cher Mereweather, Managing Director, Canada Plastics Pact. “We need solutions that stop single-use plastic generation at the source, and embrace innovative approaches that are economically viable and both environmentally and socially responsible to transition towards a zero plastic waste economy.”

The CPP put out a call to its Partners earlier this year seeking applications for proven reuse/refill initiatives. After a rigorous selection process based on reducing plastics usage, project viability, and the ability to track and measure results, CTC and Friendlier were selected.

Both accelerator projects will launch across Ontario and Quebec in the coming months and will aim to scale the elimination of single-use plastics through innovative reuse solutions.

Selected Reuse Accelerators

Bulk Dispenser Alternatives for Windshield Washer Fluid

In a continued effort to significantly reduce plastic usage while enhancing the customer experience, CTC is partnering with CPP and EcoTank to further the impact of its ongoing windshield-washer fluid dispenser initiative. The source reduction initiative will aim to effectively decrease the use of single-use windshield wiper jugs, which previously accounted for more than 6 million units of plastic annually or 800,000kg of HDPE plastic. With the support of CPP’s Reuse Accelerator Pods, CTC will add another 20+ dispensers to Canadian Tire Gas+ gas bars in Ontario and Quebec in the coming months.

“At Canadian Tire Corporation, we are committed to exploring innovative and meaningful ways to reshape our business and reduce the environmental impact of our products, packaging and operations,” said Mike Magennis, Senior Vice President of Petroleum and Strategic Initiatives, Canadian Tire Corporation. “As a proud partner of the Canada Plastics Pact, we appreciate their ongoing support, funding and guidance to accelerate better environmental outcomes as we continue to work to make life in Canada better for all.”

"EcoTank is excited to extend this project by installing additional EcoTanks at select Canadian Tire Gas+ gas bars in Ontario and Quebec, advancing our mission towards a more sustainable future. This expansion not only diverts more plastic from landfills but also raises awareness about products that are not only environmentally friendly but also economically viable and more convenient,” said Jordan Francis, Co-Founder, EcoTank.

Reusable Packaging Program at University Campuses

Friendlier is leading a drive to transform packaging practices at Southern Ontario's university and college campuses with food service partners such as Compass Group Canada and Aramark Canada. Their focus on scaling reusable packaging programs has already diverted over 81,000kg of plastic waste through the reuse of 1.6 million packages. With a significant 20% market share in university campuses, Friendlier is uniquely positioned to drive behaviour change and eliminate the need for unnecessary single-use packaging. Their goal is to convert 50% of Southern Ontario's university and college campuses to embrace reusable packaging.

“The CPP Reuse Accelerator Pod is an excellent step towards demonstrating the viability of reusable packaging at scale. At Friendlier, we have proven that reuse systems are an excellent alternative to single-use packaging. This partnership accelerates the scale up of reusable solutions across Canada with potential to divert over 1 million single-use packages within the first four months of implementation,” said Jacquie Hutchings, Co-Founder, Friendlier.

The CPP will provide updates on the expansion of these returnable / refillable packaging models, with a dedicated effort to further extend their influence across Canada.

This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change. The views expressed herein are solely those of the Canada Plastics Pact, an initiative of The Natural Step Canada.

About the Canada Plastics Pact

The Canada Plastics Pact is leading Canada's response to the escalating plastic crisis. We exist to eliminate plastic waste by accelerating and scaling the solutions that will keep plastics in the economy and out of people, animals, and nature. Through fostering innovation and collaboration, 100+ Partners from across the plastics value chain are taking meaningful steps to eliminate unnecessary and problematic plastics, redesign packaging, and increase their use of recycled plastic. CPP is a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Global Plastics Pact Network and is a solution space of The Natural Step Canada in partnership with the Smart Prosperity Institute, whose shared vision is a strong and inclusive economy that thrives within nature’s limits. | @CanadaPact

Media inquiries:

Moojan Haidari
Communications Manager, Canada Plastics Pact