The New 3R's

The new 3R’s of plastics

We’ve all heard the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Our grandparents were practicing these 3R’s long before the environmental movement got started. And while they’re still important ways of lessening our impact on the environment and saving money, we’re going to need a new set of R’s to solve the plastics problem we are facing.

Refuse. Replace. Reimagine. Together, these new 3R’s aim to combat our reliance on, and wasteful use of, plastic—from production through to disposal.

Refuse

Using less plastic is the best way for individuals to make an immediate impact on their plastic footprint. The best place to start? Cutting out single-use plastics—the plastics intended for only a single use. By refusing plastic straws, cutlery, bags and other disposables, you can substantially reduce your plastic footprint. And, if enough people make more responsible choices by refusing unnecessary plastics, we can reduce demand and achieve dramatic cumulative results!

Of course, it’s much easier to say no to plastics when there’s a good alternative. That’s why 10,000 Changes™ provides simple solutions and alternatives to combat plastic waste and unnecessary plastic in all areas of your life. We’ll also be working with Canadian businesses to champion those making change and exploring new, innovative options across supply, demand and disposal.

Learn how you can start making changes and be part of the 10,000 Changes movement. Then, challenge your friends, family and coworkers to do the same! Make a change

Replace

Whether consumer products or the packages they come in, low- and no-plastics options are often better for our environment, and can also be better for business. Replacing plastic with other materials or polymers with better environmental performance and recyclability can reduce environmental impact without a reduction in quality.

This is an area of great opportunity for Canadian industry to lead the field in a world where consumers and regulators increasingly value responsible design and manufacturing, leaner and cleaner packaging, and robust, effective end-of-life reclamation and recycling.

Learn how your company can become a 10,000 Changes™ partner.

Reimagine

Do takeaway meals need to be packaged in a multitude of containers? Do online purchases really require three layers of plastic packaging surrounded by a box full of padding? Solving these challenges will take more than consumers refusing single-use plastics or volunteers hauling plastic debris out of our oceans. It is businesses, with the help of government guidelines and incentives, that have to re-evaluate their use of all types of plastic across production, supply and disposal.

To ensure plastic doesn’t end up in our landfills and oceans, we must work to mitigate the root causes of plastic pollution, considering not only how to change human behaviour but actively seeking viable alternatives and ways to increase recycling and reuse. Developing a circular economy and sharing economy for plastics are just two ways we can improve resource efficiency and ultimately reduce the demand for plastic.

Whether in food service, transportation, hospitality or healthcare, new technologies and innovative business models as well as research and development will be necessary to reimagine products and services.

10,000 Changes wants to partner with Canadian companies developing new ways of doing business or implementing new service delivery models that reduce their plastic footprint.