A circular economy approach to plastics: A review of global case studies

Webinar #1: A circular economy approach to plastics: a review of global case studies Date: Thursday, February 14, 2019 >> Stephanie Cairns: Ö toward a circular economy approach to plastics: a review of global case studies We are joined by two very interesting panellists from the UK today My name is Stephanie Cairns I am your moderator for today I work for the Smart Prosperity Institute, a national clean economy research network and think tank based at the University of Ottawa I direct both our Cities and Communities program and our Circular Economy program, so this series of webinars is very dear to my heart I also lead the research work for the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition which is an alliance with NGOs, think tanks and leading companies launched last September to provide thought leadership, technical expertise and an action-oriented platform for collaborative outlets solutions to accelerate the transition toward circular economy Itís my pleasure to be here today on behalf of both my own institute and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the National Zero Waste Council; the three collaborators on todayís session Todayís webinar is the first of a five-part webinar series on plastic waste management solutions for Canadian municipalities This webinar series is being offered to you by the Federation of Canadian municipalities through the Green Municipal Fund I will now hand things over to Pauline Pingueson, the Program Officer at the Green Municipal Fund >> Pauline Pingusson: Thank you, Stephanie The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has been the national voice of municipal governments since 1901 FCMís nearly 2,000 members represent more than 91% of Canadaís population and FCM programs are designed with, and for, our members Today I will talk about one of these programs, the Green Municipal Fund In 2000, the government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with 550†million dollars to establish the Green Municipal Fund and an additional 125†million dollars to this endowment was also added to the fund in 2017 The Green Municipal Fund is your partner in sustainability to help you move your project forward by offering funding, resources and tools, training, networking opportunities and peer learning like this webinar today and more The Green Municipal Fund offers funding for plans, studies, pilot projects, capital projects and this, in five areas such as transportation, waste performance, energy performance, waste reduction and brownfields The funding is available to all municipal governments and their partners in [Ö] and since inception the Green Municipal Fund has funded more than 1,400 initiatives in over 500 communities across Canada If you want to know more, our approved project database is a wealth of resources and our funded projects, case studies, reports, contact information and more I encourage you to look at this and we will try to share the link in the chat box I also encourage you to sign up for the weekly newsletter FCM Connect to get all the letters and updates on what we have to offer I invite you to join us again next week for the webinar that will take a closer look at new approaches and research here in Canada Over to you, Stephanie >> Cairns: Thank you, Pauline To give you a quick idea of who is attending this first webinar, you can see on this map we have a wide range of people listening in from across Canada Somebody in Yellowknife, several people I see in the Red Deer region, in Calgary, even somebody in Chicago, and in Eastern Canada in Saint Johnís Welcome everyone Weíve got a quite a diversity of people with different backgrounds and experience from sustainability, environment and waste management backgrounds as well as outreach, asset management and planning All of these backgrounds are extremely relevant to the topics that we are going to be addressing today and over the next four weeks These webinars are intended to demonstrate and showcase the many ways in which plastic waste is being addressed Across the globe, governments, businesses, communities and citizens alike are all trying to understand what they can do to keep plastics in the economy and out of the environment That is what characterizes a circular economy approach As we all know, plastics are an important material in our economy They deliver a wide range of benefits, but the use of plastics is highly wasteful as we are doing it today with very little of it being recycled or reused

To kick things off, todayís webinar is going to explore plastics management through the lens of the circular economy As we will learn today, a circular economy approach to plastics means transforming how we make, use and dispose of plastics to eliminate waste and to keep this high-value material in use for as long as possible within our economy This approach has the potential to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ultimately needs to be managed, avoiding harm to the environment while also benefiting the economy, but better capturing the value of this important material Today we are very fortunate to be joined by two leading organizations and experts on the international stage Individuals who have been helping to transform traditional waste management approaches to plastics through circular economy approaches We have with us today Peter Skelton, the Manager of Strategic Partnerships with WRAP Global based in the UK and Andrea Crump, the Officer for Circular Economy Policy and Projects with the London Waste and Recycling Board in the UK Thank you very much Peter and Andrea for joining us and particularly thank you for giving us your Valentineís day evening given the time zone difference between Canada and the UK Very, very grateful to you for accepting our invitation to present Iíll be turning the floor over to you both momentarily, but first, a few last housekeeping items Our speakers will be presenting for approximately half of the webinar time which will leave 20 minutes or so for questions We are inviting you to send questions throughout the presentation through the chat function We will be organizing and collating them while you do that, and we will respond to them once the presentations are complete We aim to move to as many questions as possible during our time This session is being recorded and will be available on the FCM page on YouTube if you have colleagues who would like to follow up and view it later With that, it is my pleasure to hand things over to Peter Skelton with WRAP Global Peter has worked with WRAP for over 15 years and has extensive knowledge on environmental issues He has worked directly with the UK grocery and retail sector on a number of voluntary approaches including how WRAPís pioneering approach working on the Courtauld Commitment and he has also led the design and launch of the UK Plastics Pact which is what we will be hearing about today Peter, over to you >> Peter Skelton: Thank you very much Hopefully everyone can hear me, I had a bit of panic not being able to get onto the webinar, but Stephanie can you give me a thumbs up? Can you hear me? [Stephanie Cairns motions a thumbs up] Brilliant! Thank you for the introduction everyone Iíll crack on because we havenít got long Iím reminding myself how to forward the slides Ö have I got control? I donít think I have Can we move to the next slide please? Thank you WRAP is a UK-based organization Itís a not-for-profit While we have done most of our work in the UK, we work in 26 countries including Canada Our vision is a world where resources are used sustainably We are an unusual organization for those of you who donít know us because we sit in this space between governments, businesses, local authorities or municipalities, citizens, and we work with global initiatives which are the Sustainable Development Goals This space gives us the ability to work both with public and private sector organizations to tackle some major challenges and our key programs are on tackling food waste, packaging and programs on textiles and electrical products You can see much more on our WRAP website Next slide please Just very quickly on plastics We have two major work streams The consumer-facing campaign Recycle Now using the Recycle Now branding and that appears on everything from refuse vehicles, on packaging, on adverts throughout the UK Then we have technical advice and guidance such as packaging recyclability

We have invested lots of projects in terms of infrastructure, R&D, but again lots more on our website Next slide please Why are we here today? This is about circularity and circular economy; a phrase that trips the tongue easily, but what does it mean? Many of us are familiar with the waste hierarchy thatís been used and itís still very appropriate in terms of preventing the amount of waste arising, encouraging recycling and, obviously, avoiding disposal into landfills or energy recovery It has lots of merit, but actually, what that does is it avoids a lot of the issues that weíre actually being faced with today in terms of the perspective of things like oceans and litter into the environment because we can improve the system and tackle waste, but a lot of it ends up leaking into the environment This is where the circular economy message comes in Circular economy is about much more than just preventing and recycling Itís about how businesses do things differently and how systems work differently Itís about incentivizing, reuse and new business models It avoids the need for a lot of resources that go into action that might only be in existence for a relatively short space of time Andreaís going to talk about a few more of these examples to bring it to life, but it is about keeping resources going around the loop time and time again, making sure that we use those resources as efficiently as possible and preventing them leaking into the environment Weíll focus on how this works on plastics in more detail now Next slide please An example of circular economy is this example of the plastic milk bottle in the UK Until a few years ago, milk bottles looked like they do on the left and look at the milk bottles on the right; very-very similar What you canít see is that every single milk bottle has 30% recycled content in it, and we recycle over 80% of milk bottles You can also see the bottle caps are slightly different The caps have been designed in such a way to encourage recycling and for them to go around the loop time and time again The caps were made slightly lighter which meant that the plastic can be used as a recycle content without discolouring those bottles in the future lives Itís about engineering the packaging for after life as well as for life This is the best message that we are giving businesses and working with businesses who, historically just looked at their packaging as getting their product to the household to be used and ignoring what happened to it afterwards Now, they need to take responsibility to think of that packaging as coming around time and time again Next slide please That sounds easy, but what do we look at? We look at packaging because there are lots of different ways of assessing packaging Is the packaging lighter? Should it be low carbon? So encouraging things like recycled content Should we make our packaging as recyclable as possible? But that might mean you might not have the maximum shelf life and give the product its protection We might want to move away from oil and go to renewable sources There are lots of issues there We might want to prioritize recycled content or compostable packaging or reusable The challenge that we have and why we are in this system where we have lots of little polymers, lots of different versions of what good looks like, if there isnít actually any one single solution What we need to do is find the right balance and the focus now is on recyclability and driving recycled content because that keeps the packaging going around and around again We must not ignore those other key benefits of things like low carbon and low weight But focusing on low weight, certainly in Europe, has encouraged lots more flexible and film packaging and as we know, thatís the sort of packaging that could end up very easily leaking out into the environment and into the ocean We need to be careful which metric we are measuring in packaging Next slide please What have we got? We are talking today about the benefits of circularity, very quickly

They deliver lots of environmental benefits, but the key thing for municipalities is a change in terms of recycling rates and it means that you will not be seeing and dealing with so many problematic materials and proliferation of parliaments Itís about a whole system working from the design of packaging, how they are used and disposed of and making sure that there is an infrastructure for treating them akin to higher-value products Next slide please One more We have been leading on this Plastic Pact in the UK We launched it in April 2018, and this is the vision: A world where plastic is valued and doesnít pollute the environment Letís go into a bit more about this pact as a model that is being explored in Canada and various countries around the world as a way of embedding circular thinking into the plastics economy Thank you Why do we need to look at the UK as a model? Well, we certainly donít think we have all of the answers, far from it, but having global ambitions which a lot of businesses have, canít actually deliver the change We have been working with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation who work on that global stage to say, weíve got a national implementation, a package which complements what they do By businesses having a global vision but delivering change at a national level is where we think weíre going to get the maximum impact because citizens are certainly different between Canada and the UK, municipalities are, infrastructure is So, while a plastic bottle in the UK will look the same as a plastic bottle in Canada, we need to make sure that the infrastructure, the engagement with the consumer is also engaged and businesses canít do that at the global stage They need nationalizations such as WRAP and [Ö] and [Ö] council to work at a national level to deliver change Next slide please The UK Plastics Pact has four bold targets up to 2025 Very quickly, these are about preventing the amount of problematic packaging and plastic items that are being given out and used to innovation or just preventing them Three key targets about making sure all plastic is recyclable, reusable or compostable The focus really being on recyclability Having a step change in what is actually being recycled We are currently at 46% and we have an ambition to be at 70% Then, importantly, giving businesses a target to specify recyclable content and that creates the demand to pull on the economic model to incentivize and fund the recycling infrastructure Thatís really important Next slide please Very quickly; the Plastics Pact is looking at all plastic packaging not single polymer, not just bottles, itís all plastic packaging in the home, out of the home and in businesses Itís very bold and it looks at everything in the supply change all-around those little icons you see there From the people who make the plastic and the packaging all the way around to the retailers, the consumer, the municipalities and the waste sector We need that joined approach which is what makes the plastic pact so challenging, but also so ambitious is that you need the people who are designing the packaging to realize the impact of what happens at the end of life This is what we find is that often, this doesnít happen in individual initiatives that you might get certain parts of the value chain working together, but not the whole value chain Next slide please We have over 70 businesses signed up in the UK Plastics Pact They represent 85% of the plastic packaging consumers purchase in supermarkets in the UK Lot so familiar brands as well as national retailers that you might be less familiar with This is the model of initiative that we are looking at influencing and encouraging and has been picked up in Canada, in Australia, in Chile, in France Whatís really exciting about it is that we can transform the plastic system using this

model but adapt it to the local and national priorities Next slide please Businesses have a really important role to play, but so do the government This is where having a government, particularly a national or federal government that can put the right levers in place and guidance and policy levers to encourage circularity thinking of plastics We need businesses to step up and take their part and to invest We need citizens to also understand what we should be doing and what is expected of them We need investment in the infrastructure particularly with the challenges of the China market closing down, UK and other markets need to invest in their own infrastructures so they can treat and process their own waste and not rely on export which Iím sure you are familiar with Next slide please Thereís lots more information on our website, please have a look The UK Plastics Pact is about change and itís about actions We have various work streams and guidance documents that have tangible benefits, mostly for business, that encourage them and show them what good looks like in terms of designing packaging and what they can do to encourage things like communications to consumers and also encouraging the use of recycled content This is the tools that are available for businesses in the UK to know what good looks like and what to change Next slide please Last one Nine months on from the launch, what we have seen is a huge appetite driven by the NGOs, driven by the media, driven by consumers who are passionate about seeing less packaging in their lives, the right packaging and to know what to do with it We are seeing new exciting delivery models in terms of using reusable packaging, lots more focus on having fewer polymers; this has all happened in nine months Also, we are seeing investment in new infrastructure and capacity as the waste sector can see, there is a real business need for treating plastic and producing recycled content Itís a whistle-stop tour through Iíll hand it over now to Andrea but thank you very much for your time >> Cairns: Thank you very much Peter for that whistle-stop tour The intention of that was really to frame the system approach which is part of thinking about how do we redesign the plastics system through a circular economy approach? I want to acknowledge that we have lots of good questions coming in Peter, thereís a lot of information that people are looking for from you Some of the questions that are coming in relate to Canadian, a couple are about policy A reminder that next week among the panellists will be a representative from Environment Canada who will be speaking perhaps more to what is happening to the public policy landscape in Canada on this conversation right now I would like to introduce Andrea Itís my pleasure to introduce Andrea Crump, Circular Economy Policy and Projects Officer with the London Waste and Recycling Board Prior to coming to the LWRB, Andrea was also the head of sustainability for the London borough of Sutton (She has) very hands-on, applied experience Currently her focus is on advancing Londonís circular economy route map and working with European partners to identify gaps in circularity to a collaborative EU project entitled European regions toward Circular Economy Andrea, over to you and just wanting to confirm between you and FCM if you have control of the screen >> Andrea Crumb: Let me have a look Yes, I can control the slides Thank you very much Hi everyone, I thought I would just show my face so you can see who is chatting with you before I concentrate on the slides As Stephanie said, Iím Andrea and I work for the London Waste and Recycling Board We are a board that was set up by the mayor of London ten years ago now with the aim to

deliver the mayorís environmental targets around waste and recycling Within London we have 33 different municipalities in a very small space The idea was that the London Waste and Recycling Board would act as the link between the mayor and all of those 33 municipalities Since that time, we have moved onto really from looking at what do we do with the waste that is produced in London and driving recycling, to how do we deal with the resources that London is going to need in the future I am going to turn off my camera now so that we can concentrate on the slides Within London we are facing huge rapid growth We are going from 8†million people to 11†million people by 2050 So that means that not only if we donít change, are we going to have a huge waste problem, we are going to have a huge resource problem Every single resource that we need from food to building materials, weíre going to start facing issues with We started to look at how we can deal with that through the circular economy and how we change the system that we use in London to become more circular over time so that we can address some of these issues in a way thatís not just less bad, but that is economically as well as socially profitable Why were we bothered? Well, just a few figures for you When we looked at this, despite having huge population rises, we still think that we could reduce waste by 60% through a circular economy approach There are huge opportunities for businesses if they take this approach We think that a net value of about 7†billion by 2030 and a net of 12,000 new jobs and over 40,000 jobs could be created through the circular economy As well as all of the benefits that we will face from not having to pay to dispose of waste and making sure that we are helping not only businesses, but for all Londoners to be more resilient How do we do this? When we looked at what we need to do, we looked at how we drive that change and really, this is a simplified version of what we do across the city We look at how we can change London through different methods For a city there are policy and procurement levers that we can help push, thatís really changing the cityís framework We also look at national and international policy Looking at collaboration and communication and how we can bring different organizations together to accelerate that change Demonstration and innovation are really about bringing circular economy to life, showing people what can be done, what we mean by circular economy and really showing the effectiveness and the business model for this That brings us onto the last link which is the finance and the business support That is creating the right financial situation so moving to a more circular economy you could be choosing up front costs for businesses because they may lease items instead of just selling them to people They will own more of their materials for longer You may look at a sharing economy So, those different approaches have different risks and they have different financial needs Sorry, I am trying to get the next slide Ö there we go When we took this approach, we looked at what is the current situation in London What other current opportunities [undecipherable] to a circular economy and we created the circular economy route map It really sets outs our path to how we think we can start this journey Through the work that we did, we identified that the key sectors for London are the build environment, food, textiles, electricals, and plastics Those are where we see the most value for London, where we see that we have the most

opportunity to implement and the most opportunity to deliver environmental and socioeconomic benefits This is just a slide about LWARB itself We have three different programs that we work on The first is the traditional Resource London which is how we help councils to, not only reduce waste and increase recycling, but actually look at how they approach circular economy Then we look at creating the right conditions for circular economy, exactly what I was just talking about The third is the Advance London program Iíll give some examples of all of those in a second First a look at some of the communications we do and these are some of the images from a new campaign that we launched in January looking at how we can change behaviour across the 33 municipalities in London through targeted campaigns on plastics One of the big problems that London has is that across those 33 boroughs there are different offers in terms of what can be recycled, what will be collected at the curbside and how and where those collections take place What we found through research was that people are really getting confused about what they can put in their recycling bin in terms of plastics This is the ëíKnow your plasticì campaign and it focused on those items that people usually get wrong and a lot of those are from the bathroom, not surprisingly That is something that is ongoing As I said, we produce materials that can then be used across all of the different municipalities in London, but they can tailor themselves As I mentioned, policyñso we do a lot working with the mayor of London with the office that set policy in London, but we really help to advise and advocate for different policy approaches In terms of how that can be done through circular economy, that can be done through urban planning, through financial policies, through procurement, and through requirements for [undecipherable] reporting and through skills and knowledge support that policies can bring in This diagram just shows London and the 33 different municipalities to illustrate to you how varied the whole of London is The different colours are the different recycling rates We donít have data on plastics recycling, thatís not reported Itís over arching recycling rates that are reported and you can see the huge amount of variation there is between inner London and outer London So one of the new policies that will be coming in is harmonizing recycling services to avoid those issues that we were talking about before There are new policies around reducing single use plastics, Iíll talk about one of the campaigns on plastic bottles shortly, and then how can the city use drivers like procurement So, the GLA group, which is the mayorís group which includes the police, the fire brigade, transport for London, they have huge amounts of buying power and they have decided to remove single use plastics across the GLA group They are looking at how they do that at the moment and itís not always as simple as removal Itís removal where there is a suitable replacement Also, looking at how we help those municipalities to look at their own procurement strategies as well Then in Englandñso London and the mayor of London only have control over certain policies across England, a lot of policies in relation to plastics are centrally administered We also campaign to try and advocate for certain policy changes in England and WRAP have, as you heard from Peter, have been doing amazing things in this space We are expecting formal consultations on a deposit return scheme, on looking at extended

producer responsibilities for plastics across England and hopefully the UK We will be feeding into those and asking that the municipalities across London and the businesses that we work with across London feed into those as well so that we can try and help to shape those As I said, part of what we do is about making sure that we can illustrate what we are talking about On the left are images from our offices We tried to create an office that was as circular as possible so using the principles of circular economy to refit the building that we are now in We made sure that, firstly we kept as much as we possibly could, then we used materials that were as circular as we could get We used all of our technical, all of our IT is refurbished, our chairs, our office furniture is all refurbished and reclaimed The top left is a square which illustrates something called smile plastics, which I will talk about in a bit, and the tile on the right is a sample of floor that shows some of the carpet we have We have different types of carpet to illustrate different carpet makers such as Desso which are a completely closed-loop carpet company They will, when you are finished with the carpet tiles, they will take them back and return them into new carpet tiles We also have some carpet which was made using old fishing nets that have been brought in and used to create new fabrics, and new textiles We used our learning from that to create a circular office guide which should be available online The circular office is also part of something that Business in the Community does and this is an organization that was set up by Prince Charles One of the other things that Business in the Community do is work with organizations like Pricewaterhouse Coopers and that is what you can see; some of the images on the right are some of the work that Pricewaterhouse Coopers have done to campaign to get their own office workers and their staff to reduce their use of plastics and waste generation They have saved 50% so far, but theyíre still struggling with single use plastics especially from lunch times We are looking at how we could potentially work with them, introducing them to small and medium-sized enterprises that have potential solutions for that We are looking at how we could potentially work with nearby shops, nearby markets, to change what they supply to the office workers so that they are not bringing it into the office as well A couple of more demonstration projects On the left these are images from a big campaign that is happening across London called Refill London Itís part of the mayor of Londonís work to try and reduce the one billion plastic drinking bottles that we use in London every year It has involved selling up new water fountains across London in publicly accessible places, but also working with businesses to say to people, yes you can come in and refill your water bottle here where you donít have to buy a new bottle of water That is an ongoing campaign and they are starting to see some really good results from that already Another partner that we work with is the further education sector and on the right is an image of a project that we are just starting University College London, weíll be working with them on this and itís about designing out plastic waste and creating a plastic waste hub for London Really bringing together top researchers to look at things like how can you use enzymes

to create molecular recycling systems? How can we look at creating new ideas and generating different solutions for some of the big challenges that we are facing in London? Maybe not using the huge companies that are already starting to tackle this like Unilever, but how do we help the SMEs to do this as well Then finally looking at how we can use social science and involving citizens to want to drive that change It is something that Peter was touching on earlier Finally, as I was saying before, we have the finance and business support program element to what we do and we call that the Advance London Programme It is aimed at helping SMEs to either bring new circular economy innovations to market or helping more traditional businesses to become more circular This is the kind of support that they provide It could be financial, it could be advisory, they could look at life-cycle analysis, they could look at putting people in touch with different kinds of suppliers; it really depends on what the actual business needs They work with over 100 businesses and how they talk about circular economy is by using this tool When they start talking to businesses they donít talk about circular economy, theyíll talk about what you will need as a business They donít even mention the words circular economy because itís not something that is in a lot of businessesí vocabulary, but when they do get down to how they can support the businesses through this process, this is a more simplified way of helping those organizations to understand what we are talking about I just wanted to mention a few of the different businesses that we work with We work with over 100, but this is an example of plastic alternatives This is a company called Skipping Rocks Lab and they use seaweed to create new types of packaging and new types of containers Ooho! is the one that is being held up there in that hand and itís a water bottle you can eat You can pop that in your mouth in one go and the packaging itself is seaweed so you can eat it if you want, they donít taste of anything, or you can put it in a food waste bin They are trialling for things like ketchup, so we are working with some of the take away delivery companies that we have in London to try all of these Those throwaway sachets are actually replaced by biodegradable alternatives and interestingly there was a half marathon in London last summer where they banned plastic bottles and instead they provided the athletes with these as they were running past they were able to grab one of these Smile Plastics I mentioned before and if you saw where I was sitting, the desk Iím sitting at is a Smile Plastics desk We have some of it in the office kitchen Itís just an alternative material which is made up using waste plastics and they can be from different things from toothbrushes to yogurt pots, and obviously the different materials have different colours and different densities and different looks to them so you can get a lot of different effects Finally, CupClub, is an organization that we are hoping to work with, a municipality of London Basically, they provide a reusable cup service, so they are collected and washed and reused One of the big problems we have in London is disposable coffee cups and through this system you can really start to tackle that kind of single use paper and plastic So, one of the things as I said weíd like to do is, there is an area in London called

Kingís Cross and we are looking at whether we can get enough businesses in the area, so not only food and drinks businesses, but also offices to work on trialling this on a bigger scale This is already set up across London in various places but if we could do this and illustrate that it will work across a big area, then I think it has the potential to be rolled out across the whole of London That was a quick whistle-stop tour through examples of some of the things we do and, obviously, there are lots of others, but we only have [laughing] 15 minutes and Iíve already gone over time Thank you very much for listening and Iím happy to answer questions that you have Thank you >> Cairns: Andrea, thank you so much It is fascinating to see the range of activities that you have underway and also, the comprehensive approach that involves what to adopt through a circular economy lens, really moving upstream in trying to address the plastics waste problem at source in the original production of plastics Also, looking at how to shift that to enable a more circular system Both of your initiatives are pioneering in so many ways We have a lot of questions that have come in Unfortunately, we only have about 12 minutes left, so I think we have time to get to four questions If Peter and Andrea, you are able to both be fairly succinct in the answers Maybe a first question to Peter Peter, could you speak to the relative role, the influence about voluntary pacts like the UK Plastics Pact versus the need for regulatory change and market mechanisms >> Skelton: Yes, certainly I thought I would switch my video camera on to try it out Legislation is really important, and the right legislation is really important We have legislation, as Iím sure you do, that is weight based so we have had 20 to 30 years of targets whether it be for businesses, local authorities and municipalities; it has all been about weight Actually, that has driven a lot of the behaviours by businesses who say, ìit will save us money if we go to lighter packaging.î That has defaulted to plastics and flexible plastics and films and as we know, they are the hardest to recycle They are the hardest in terms of keeping that embodied resource back into circular thinking We do need legislation, but we need the right legislation What voluntary action can do is be far more dynamic and quicker We launched the Plastics Pact in six months, and we have seen changes in nine months; legislation would take much longer than that So, we need both, but actually we shouldnít just rely on legislation because you canít legislate your way out of things like plastic and food waste because ultimately the consumer needs to be encouraged as well as have some knowledge, but more than just the legislation Hopefully thatís helpful >> Cairns: Yes, and I think we have a related follow-up question for Andrea What are some of the challenges that you are facing when you work with businesses and grocers? Also, a slightly more specific question, what has been the response from big producers of single use waste such as Starbucks, McDonaldís, not sure what your equivalent would be in the UK >> Crump: Sorry, so it was how some of the challenges that we face with businesses andÖ >> Cairns: Grocers >> Crump: I think there is obviously the additional cost that can be seen if you are asking people to change from potentially a single-use item to something that can be reused over and over again There is that initial upfront investment, but I was talking about, youíve got to have that commitment to do things like that Making those changes and helping businesses to understand what their options are is something that we try to overcome and helping them to identify what the alternatives are

Often, for larger businesses, theyíre so huge that to change anything takes them a long time What they need to do is, often, to be paired with smaller companies that have already made those innovations and have already identified what the solutions are so they can be brought together and partnered In that way, larger businesses can adopt those new innovative measures a lot quicker Obviously, there are other issues in terms of, especially with grocers and looking at food, the fact that what you are often doing with plastics is not always appreciated by the public You are making sure that the food or the drink lasts longer Itís pointless saying, oh actually we are going to get rid of all of this packaging, where it just leads to more food waste and the issues that you are going to create with those things Itís identifying what that balance is as well and not, as one of the English sayings that we have which Iím not sure whether or not itís popular in Canada is; donít throw the baby out with the bathwater [laughing] There is just no point sometimes getting rid of plastic which is doing something necessary Itís helping businesses to identify what is possible, what the alternatives are and where they are using the best material that there is and where they shouldnít be changing as well Then with big producers, as I said, obviously as Peter has alluded to, there is a real desire to change There is this momentum that is building, and you can see that through the number of businesses that are signing up for the Plastics Pact Unfortunately, you are still getting, as you always would do with any business, you do get some resistance to things, to complete changes, and thatís why you havenít seen the likes of Starbucks and those companies switching away from disposable coffee cups to alternatives There is always going to be that lag time that itís going to take before some of those opportunities are taken forward I think that the movement that we have seen in the last year or two is really positive and really monumental, and in no short part due to the likes of what WRAP are doing and what the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is doing in building that engagement, not only with citizens, but with businesses as well That feeds back into what you are saying Stephanie about this has to be a whole system approach >> Cairns: OK, so picking up on that whole system approach and trying to be careful not to have unintended consequences, there is a set of questions here that I think would be interesting for both of your thoughts Itís probably the wrap-up question given our timing There is a lot of interest in the whole set of questions around compostable plastic In greater Vancouver itís currently contaminating the recycling system How are you approaching that issue and avoiding those problems? There is also a question about risks that organic plastics made, for instance, from seaweed might be affecting marine ecosystems or other ecosystems What are your thoughts about how do we shift to compostable plastics without simply shifting the environmental impact that we are having? Peter, can I get you to start off on that? >> Skelton: We have a good mantra that says there is no such thing as a bad material, there is the wrong application So, we are not against compostable packaging We have it in our target There are applications, particularly water-soluble packaging, that might be a good solution where you have a small bit of packaging that has no chance of being recycled Generally, we have the same challenge that we require a strong line to say, donít move into biodegradable, compostable packaging just because you think it sounds good Itís about actually thinking about the end of life; where is it going to end up?

Probably the same thing with you, the consumer only has three bins: a landfill bin, a recycling bin, a food waste bin Certainly, in the UK, compostable packaging is not wanted in any of those three We have some guidance, and this is where the Pact and voluntary agreements can actually help because businesses want to do the right thing, generally, and they look at people like WRAP and experts to say, what should I be doing? We have been giving a lot of businesses a lot of information, ultimately saying you have to make your own decisions but just consider the downstream implications of moving into compostable packaging We have lots of businesses consider it and move away from it This is where things like the Plastics Pact can have a benefit There are opportunities in the food service, closed events and water soluble that might be beneficial, but really, they need to be very carefully judged and certainly compostable packaging doesnít actually move the circularity message You have all of that energy into a packaging that gets used once and then gets turned into a very small component of compost where it doesnít really bring any true value I will happily share that link to our report with the audience after the webinar, but itís a really good question and something that businesses should really be consulting on before moving to >> Cairns: OK, and Andrea we are almost out of time, but 30 seconds if you have anything you want to add to that >> Crump: I agree with Peter What we say is basically if itís a closed event, potentially yes because you have control of where the waste is going at a controlled event Otherwise you are adding confusion to people who are alreadyñas we said beforeñcompletely confused about what they can and canít recycle and what should go in what bin So, it has to be really carefully used and only in the right applications Absolutely >> Cairns: Thank you very much to both of you There are many questions that we werenít able to bring to your attention, but on behalf of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Smart Prosperity Institute and the National Zero Waste Council, thank you both so much for taking the time to share your insights with us This has provided a great foundation for this webinar series by looking at the best global practices and starting with the next webinar series, weíll be shifting more to a Canadian lens on what is happening Thank you to all of the participants for your active engagement in this webinar A recording from todayís webinars including all audio and video will be available within two weeks on the FCM page on YouTube We would love to hear back from you and have your feedback on this first webinar Please take a moment to complete our Participant Feedback Form after the webinar It has appeared in the pop-up window Itís your chance to let us know what will help you to better manage your plastic waste and to start integrating a circular economy approach Please join us again next week on February 21st as we take a closer look at new approaches and research here in Canada Thank you all, thank you Andrea and Peter again Have a good day >> Skelton: Goodbye everyone, thank you >> Crump: Thank you, goodbye – END –