Circular Innovation Council hosted two Plastic Action Zone (PAZ) events in Ottawa

In 2022 at the United Nations Environment Assembly leaders from around the world agreed to come together and tackle the problem of plastic pollution head-on, and put together a plastics treaty.

Since then, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) convene an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to develop “the instrument”, which is to be based on a comprehensive approach that addresses the full life cycle of plastic, including its production, design, and disposal.

This year the INC-4 was held in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, with delegations, high-level representatives, partners, and stakeholders from around the world in attendance. As mentioned by the environment minister, “all options to eliminate plastic waste are still on the table”. The fifth and final INC will be held at the end of 2024 in South Korea, where the treaty will be finalized.

Plastic Action Zone (PAZ)

During the INC-4 Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) hosted the Plastic Action Zone (PAZ), allowing stakeholders to host events and network with other like-minds, allowing the sharing of innovations, experiences, and drive to prevent plastic waste and pollution through the full life cycle of plastics.

At the Plastic Action Zone, Circular Innovation Council hosted two events; “Scaling Reuse through an Innovative Circular Service Model – A Canadian Case Study” Panel and the Canadian Reuse Innovator Showcase.

Scaling Reuse through an Innovative Circular Service Model – A Canadian Case Study Panel

This panel featured the ‘shared pool container as a service’ pilot launching in Ottawa and led by the Circular Innovation Council. This ground-breaking market test is a collaborative effort involving some of Canada’s largest grocery retailers, the City of Ottawa as the host, and support from Environment and Climate Change Canada, alongside an ecosystem of service providers.

During this session, the specifics of this unique public-private partnership was presented, including the innovative reuse shared pool model being tested, and the valuable insights it is expected to yield. Panelist included: Marilyne Girouard, Environment and Climate Change Canada; Nichole Hoover-Bienasz, City of Ottawa; Étienne Brizard, Metro Richelieu Inc.; Derek Edwards, Farm Boy Comp Inc.; and Anastasia Kiku, They provided motivations, strategies, and lesson learned as we worked to co-design this collaborative pilot.

This collective shared pool reuse model is the first to be implemented in Canada at this scale. Insights gained from the Ottawa pilot, both in terms of environmental and community level economic benefits serve as a foundation for developing and scaling reuse initiatives to other markets across Canada.

Municipalities play a critical role in supporting the implementation of in market tests, the City of Ottawa will play a critical role in supporting the activation and communication of this pilot to the business community and residents. Leading municipalities are recognizing the value reuse programs can play in supporting their broader waste reduction and recycling mandates, as well as supporting local economic development opportunities.

Canadian Reuse Innovator Showcase

Canada boasts a vibrant and varied community of reuse innovators, covering a wide range of applications. Their hands-on experience and practical knowledge play a pivotal role in expanding reuse and refill practices, particularly in sectors where single-use plastics are prevalent. Bringing together these innovators in a trade show format serves as a powerful demonstration of Canada’s capability to compete internationally and make substantial contributions toward addressing the single-use plastics crisis through scalable reuse solutions for food service and beyond.

This innovator showcase offered attendees at the INC-4 a distinctive networking opportunity to witness reuse initiatives firsthand. Thank you for those who attended, and the reuse innovators that participated:, Circulr, The Aggressive Good, CREDDO, Friendlier, CSA Group, Bopaq, and EcoTank! It was fantastic to see all of these amazing innovators in one room sharing their work.





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