2024 Zero Waste Programs

Single-use Reduction Initiatives with Business Communities

Metro Vancouver residents are fortunate to be surrounded by the natural beauty of the Salish Sea. However, marine litter from disposables continues to be a blight on the health and beauty of our oceans. In tandem with our PickUp3 initiative, we aim to address the threat of marine litter at its source. With the support of Metro Vancouver, the three North Shore municipalities, and the York Region, Ocean Ambassadors Canada is working with local business communities across Canada to launch single-use item reduction initiatives.

Calling all Volunteers! If you care about the health our ocean, we invite you to help us educate the public on how prevent marine litter at its source by volunteering. Learn more about the issue of single-use items and the circular economy from OAC staff and help spread the word at community events.

To volunteer, please visit our sign-up page here.


Metro Vancouver: Community Event Outreach and “Lunch & Learn” Webinars for Office Workers

With support from Metro Vancouver, Ocean Ambassadors will have an outreach booth at community events across the region this summer to promote reuse and the prevention of single-use item waste.

Starting in late August, we will begin offering free Lunch & Learn webinars for office employees to help them understand the growing problem of single-use item waste and simple steps they can take at work and in their community to reduce their impact.

Learn more

Fall 2023 Virtual Zero Waste Coaching in York Region

This Fall, Ocean Ambassadors Canada (OAC) will work virtually with 65 small businesses in York Region to help educate owners, staff, and customers about the waste reduction hierarchy, keeping organic waste out of the landfill, and assist businesses with their transition to reusable alternatives to single-use items. Partially sponsored by York Region as part of their SM4RT Living Plan.

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Single-use Reduction Initiatives with Business Communities

The post-Covid world has seen a jump in the use of single-use items, with the average resident of Metro Vancouver disposing 480 single-use items per year – up from 440 in previous years. Ocean Ambassadors Canada, with the generous support of local & regional governments, is working with local businesses to help them, and their employees, reduce their single-use item waste and move toward a more circular economy.  We understand that business owners face tremendous time and economic pressures preventing them, and their staff, from understanding the scale of single-use item problem for our communities and what role they can play to help reduce their impact.

Through our current programs, Ocean Ambassadors Canada provides participating businesses with a broad range of supports and insights, including:

  1. Identifying current levels of single-use item waste produced by businesses and their employees.
  2. Providing the most current information on:
    • Upcoming federal, provincial, and municipal regulations
    • Regional waste management system logistics
    • Most/least problematic single-use item materials, in terms of recyclability & compostability
    • Marine impacts of single-use items
  3. Best practices for increasing reuse.
  4. Sourcing of alternative products
  5. Connection to local sharing platforms
  6. Planning and launching in-house waste reduction initiatives
  7. Ongoing email support

We feel passionate about working with businesses to help them take steps to shift away from single-use items towards a more circular economy. Businesses and their staff hold the collective power to turn the tide on marine plastics, and Ocean Ambassadors Canada looks forward for the opportunity to assist them in this process.

“Plastics in the ocean are a clear sign of a broken system, as this was never intended to happen. That is why rethinking the way we make and use plastics is so crucial: how can we capture the material’s benefits, retain its value, and make sure it does not end up where it does not belong.”
Dame Ellen MacArthur