Vancouver: successful 'Return-It to Reuse-It' and 'Recycle-It' programme expands

Vancouver: successful 'Return-It to Reuse-It' and 'Recycle-It' programme expands

Sustainability

Vancouver's successful reusable cup programme, in partnership with Tim Hortons, Starbucks Canada, and A&W Canada, is set to grow to 27 locations. Return-It, along with key partners and the City of Vancouver, announces the expansion of the Return-It to Reuse-It and Recycle-It cup programme.

Launched in 2022, the pilot programme introduced a reusable Tim Hortons cup that users sign up for and return to designated drop-off bins. Once returned, the cups are washed and redistributed for reuse. Beyond promoting reusable cups, the initiative also aimed to combat single-use cup landfill waste by providing convenient recycling points in commercial and on-street locations.

Following the pilot's success in collecting reusable cups and diverting single-use cups from landfills, all participants (excluding McDonald's Canada) have decided to continue and expand the programme. Vancouver's expansion will include eight additional collection bins, totalling 27 bins strategically placed in high-traffic areas, transit hubs, and near waste diversion stations for easy consumer access.

For reusable cups, users scan a QR code at the bin, and once returned, local transporter SHIFT uses electric tricycles to transport them to a wash plant. After repacking, the cups re-enter circulation at Tim Hortons cafés. Single-use cups and lids are transported to local processors for recycling alongside other paper materials and plastics.

Tim Hortons reusable and returnable cups in Vancouver with Return-It as part of mission to reduce single-use waste © CNW Group/Tim Hortons

This cup programme, emphasising reuse and recycling, aligns with Return-It's commitment to a world where nothing is waste. Collaborating with major brand partners, the initiative contributes to a more sustainable future for people, communities, and the planet.

Cindy Coutts, President and CEO of Return-It, said: At Return-It, our social purpose is to foster a world where nothing is waste. The Return-It to Reuse-It and Recycle-It cup program is the perfect example of our social purpose come to life. We're proud to work with our brand partners on a program that promotes reuse, recycling and a zero-waste future.

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