Loblaws says it’s still charging for bags

I wish to share a letter to the editor in advance of the publication of our print August/September edition, in which the letter will also appear. My attention was drawn by Loblaws supermarket chain’s public relations director that a news story we ran recently, that you can view here. The article included Loblaws in a

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Companies need to be accountable for event waste management

Public events can be fun, but they’re damn messy. I spent Friday night at an absolutely jam-packed Asian night market hosted by T&T Supermarket in Toronto. It was jam-packed in terms of people— thousands of people wandering around with half-eaten battered squid tentacles and single-bite oddities like Smelly Tofu, designed to smell like a garbage

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Got a spare moment?

Tired of wading through the hundreds of emails that have accumulated in your inbox while you were on holiday? Can’t get hold of someone because they are now away? Love the kids dearly but secretly can’t wait until school starts again and you can get back on a regular schedule? We have the answer, and

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Packaging costs NYC taxpayers $600 million

It’s interesting to read about what Americans know or think is happening in Canada with respect to product stewardship or extended producer responsibility (EPR). This online article by Bill Sheehan, Executive Director of UPSTREAM (formerly the Product Policy Institute) recently published an article about the estimated cost to taxpayers in New York City of recycling

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Modern wastefulness was deliberately designed by industry

A July 9, 2014 article from the Discard Studies Blog caught my attention, thanks to it being forwarded to me by the folks at UPSTREAM (http://upstreampolicy.org). The article deserves reading by anyone in the waste management industry, and especially people crafting policy for extended producer responsiblity (EPR). It makes the point (and walks the reader how

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A case of shameless self-promotion

If you want to find out more about paper packaging and the environment then set aside the morning of November 12 in Brampton, Ontario. There you will be treated to a frank State-of- the-Nation address by the executive director of the industry’s environmental council. This normally shy and diplomatic individual (who wrote this stuff?) will

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The Race to the Bottom Part 2 – Death of a Recycler

Is there a greater tragedy imaginable than that, in our endeavour consciously to shape our future in accordance with high ideals, we should in fact unwittingly produce the very opposite of what we have been striving for?  ― Friedrich August von Hayek Sims Recycling Solutions – the world’s largest e-waste recycler – has announced that it

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Messing with the term “Zero Waste”

Words have power, as propagandists have known for a very long time. If you can get people thinking in certain terms via the use of certain words, public policy can move successfully in a direction of your choosing, and not against your goals. And best of all, people might not even think they had another

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Upstream misses the boat – part 2

There are two things that bug us about the recent packaging campaign launched by US-based environmental group, Upstream: its misleading use of data (outlined in an earlier blog) and its superficial and one-sided view of how the paper packaging industries in both Canada and the United States work. Basically what Upstream claims is that all

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The Race to the Bottom – Part 1

On May 29th 2014 I gave a talk at the Recycling Council of BC’s Zero Waste Conference (which can be downloaded here) about ensuring efficiency and effectiveness under Extended Producer Responsibility. In that presentation I advance the idea that the designation of a given product or material for EPR creates a new system of exchange between

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