We started in 1978 as Recycling Council of Ontario in the midst of the linear economy where institutionalized recycling was in its infancy. Innovation was collecting newspaper, glass, and cans through community depots and door-to-door drives. These efforts culminated into Canada’s first curbside recycling collection program in Kitchener, Ontario in 1981 where Recycling Council of Ontario played a key role.
Ever since we have worked to evolve markets, to protect resources through the 3Rs hierarchy: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. However, today’s climate requires bigger, broader, bolder innovations.
As Circular Innovation Council we are building on a history of success, and leveraging experience and partnerships to deliver on the broader gains inspired by the circular economy. In concert with Members and partners through collaboration we will inspire greater sustainability across Canada and put circular economy concepts into action:
Focuses on a variety of materials and sectors with significant impact opportunities by prioritizing information, tools and resources that drive action:
Clothing production has doubled between the years 2000 to 2014, and the average consumer bought 60 percent more clothing in 2014 compared to 2000 while keeping each garment half as long. Worldwide 85 percent of all textiles are lost to disposal annually. We’re trying to reverse trends.
Plastic waste has become a global rallying point for waste reduction and pollution prevention. In Canada we produce 3.2 million tonnes annually and 86 percent of it is lost to disposal: four percent to incinerators and one percent—29,000 metric tonnes—ends up as litter that contaminates waterways. Plastic waste reduction requires alignment across entire value and supply chains.
Fifty-eight percent of all food produced in Canada—35.5 million tonnes—is lost or wasted, and about a third of that wasted food could be rescued and sent to communities in need across the country. Through innovation and partnership we can create a circular food economy.
E-waste is the fastest growing waste on the planet with an annual growth rate of 3–4 percent. Canada generated 638,300 tonnes of electronic and electrical equipment waste in 2017, and it is estimated that North America will cumulatively generate 9.25 million tonnes of e-waste annually by 2025. Our Actions are activating circularity in a key material stream.
Throughout our history we have played a lead role in uniting stakeholders across entire value and supply chains, and use those connections to engage and inform on cutting edge research that helps inform waste elimination and carbon reductions across a variety of industry and application. In doing so we are strategically positioned as a leading resource organization that all actors can use to develop and implement their strategies by undertaking strategic research activities.
We believe the catalyst to positive change is education and engagement. That’s why our programs are built on two foundations: providing accurate and detailed information regarding issues and impacts of waste; and empowering change through positive programming and campaigns. We believe that simple changes to everyday living is the solution.
Shifting our economy to a model that is built on environmental protection, social well-being, and robust financial health requires demand for better products, business models, and partnerships.
Canada’s resource-based economy depends on the ability to preserve the value of finite resources and natural capital for success. Our ongoing linear model of production and consumption – take-make-waste – has proven to be unsustainable and a barrier to success. Through cross-cutting initiatives, we have multiple touch points to advance circularity throughout entire value and supply chains.