Refuse and reuse: reducing plastic waste in our communities
With plastic-free July, TELUS’ clean ocean initiatives and October being Circular Economy month, this past quarter the focus of the TELUS National Sustainability Council was largely on plastic pollution.
The demand for single-use plastics has tripled since the start of the pandemic. On average, a person uses 250 disposable coffee cups per year, which are coated in plastic and cannot be recycled. That is about 5 billion to go cups across Canada!
Council members exchanged top tips for reducing plastic waste. Initiatives ranged from buying only plastic-free produce to shopping at local farmer’s markets instead of grocery stores, taking their own containers to bulk retailers and their own coffee cups to their favorite cafes (usually benefiting from discounted prices too!) We saw the tide of single-use plastic turning and more and more consumers scrutinizing their purchasing habits. Fruit clamshells find new homes as seed starters and many people have changed to laundry strips and bar soaps for their home & personal hygiene needs. Some are going a step further and subscribing to recycle programs like Terracycle to ensure items that cannot be recycled curb-side, do not end up in landfill.
You can now take a free Ocean Legacy course sponsored by TELUS to learn more about how you can reduce plastic waste in your community.
It is small changes in habit that can really amount to big changes for our planet. Whether it’s on a national, or individual level. We’ve seen small countries have big impacts towards fighting climate change for example - Denmark leveraging the wisdom of their Viking ancestors in harnessing the power of wind as renewable energy and Scotland decarbonizing faster than any G20 country with an ambition to be net zero emissions by 2045.
So if every individual adopted a “refuse” and “reuse” mindset this could add up to a seismic decrease in plastic waste. In the case of coffee cups, preventing something that is only used for as long as it takes to drink a cup of coffee, from taking centuries to break down.
What is one change you will make today to reduce your plastic waste?
TELUS is committed to becoming a zero-waste company before 2030 and advancing the circular economy of pre-loved devices. Shop certified pre-owned with us or if you have a pre-loved device we’ll recycle or upcycle it for you. If you are a TELUS customer, you can use its trade-in value for a new device or to help someone in need get connected.
Want to find out more about some more of TELUS’ clean ocean initiatives? Partnering with OceanWise, TELUS will be supporting the organization's efforts to revitalize Kelp Forests to boost biodiversity, protect our shorelines and reduce carbon. Find out more here.
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