Donation made to create new resources and training to support plastic and food waste reduction
Winnipeg, Manitoba – Red River Co-op donated $15,850 to Green Action Centre in their second year of partnership, which will further the non-profit’s food waste and plastic reduction efforts. Red River Co-op’s donation will provide new resources and training to help food services, grocers, and consumers address food waste and continue away from using harmful single-use plastics.
“Green Action Centre is pleased to continue partnering with Red River Co-op on their plastics and waste reduction efforts. The plastic reduction is an issue we’re committed to, as the current reliance on single-use plastics is unsustainable and causing serious impacts on the environment and our health, said Tracy Hucul, Executive Director.
“It’s our commitment to do our part in our community’s shared responsibility to preserve and protect our environment,” said Doug Wiebe, CEO of Red River Co-op. “We are thrilled to be able to support Green Action Centre and their work in green commuting, composting and waste reduction, sustainable living and resource conservation.”
Red River Co-op and Green Action Centre began their partnership in 2018 when Red River Co-op was looking to reduce – and ultimately eliminate – plastic bags from their stores. Red River Co-op started a focused campaign to promote reuse and started charging for bags, pledging to donate one cent of each plastic bag sale to Green Action Centre to fund programs that promote food waste and plastic reduction in Manitoba. With the donation made to Green Action Centre from the plastic bag sales in 2018, Green Action Centre delivered new food waste presentations to numerous schools across five Winnipeg school divisions from their Composting Program. In the campaign’s first year, Red River Co-op reduced their plastic bags sales by 54%. This year, however, COVID-19 impacted the results with uptake in plastic bag use at the start of the pandemic based on public health concerns and precautions.
This donation announcement comes simultaneously as the Government of Canada announced a proposed ban on harmful single use plastics by the end of 2021 as part of its commitment to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030. Red River Co-op and Federated Co‑operatives Limited recognize there is a real and pressing need to reduce plastic waste. Canadians throw away 3 million tonnes of plastic waste every year, including about 15 billion plastic bags. Less than 10% of that plastic waste is recycled; the rest primarily ends up in landfills or in freshwater systems.
The Government is now taking the next steps in its role to prevent pollution, by seeking discussion on “A Proposed Integrated Management Approach to Plastic Products to Prevent Waste and Pollution.” The Government is currently seeking input from key stakeholders and Canadians until December 9th on their proposed approach.
In addition to participating in the Government of Canada discussion and consultation process, Federated Co-operatives Limited is also working with governments, manufacturers, and suppliers to address the issue and impact of plastic waste on behalf of the Co-operative Retailing System. This includes Co-op’s own brand products, where they are assessing their packaging and working with their partners to reduce excessive packaging, enhance recyclability, increase recycled content, and improve composability.
Find out more about plastic pollution, the Government’s proposed approach to zero plastic waste, or how to participate in the consultation here:
To learn more about Red River Co-op’s partnership with Green Action Centre, visit the link here: https://www.redriverco-op.crs/sites/redriver/local/detail/red-river-co-op-gets-green
About Red River Cooperative:
Red River Co-op is a profitable and growing Winnipeg-based retail with annual sales exceeding $650 million. Our core business includes gas & convenience stations, food stores, pharmacy, commercial cardlocks and bulk petroleum and propane service. We are owned and governed by our more than 312,000 members and share our profits and success with them and the communities they live in.
About Green Action Centre:
Green Action Centre is a non-profit environmental organization and registered charity that provides education and practical solutions for sustainable living. For over 35 years, Manitobans have looked to us for information on sustainable transportation, composting and waste reduction, and resource conservation. We provide realistic, simple and effective ways to live sustainably at work, home, school, and in the community. We are your green living hub!
Compost Winnipeg was launched in 2016 as a social enterprise of Green Action Centre. It furthers our mandate to provide practical green solutions by providing residential and commercial organics collection service in Winnipeg, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and organic waste going to landfill.
Anyone interested in learning more about Green Action Centre or in making a charitable donation can do so at www.greenactioncentre.ca.