As a society, we produce too much garbage, wasting money and resources, and causing environmental problems. That’s why the top priorities in sustainable waste management are reducing the amount of garbage we create in the first place through better product and packaging design and more selective purchasing by consumers and businesses, and re-using as much of our left-over products and materials as possible.
In the Region’s Solid Waste Plan, one of the goals is a 10% reduction, per person, in the amount of waste we generate by 2020 (compared with 2010 volumes).
Reducing waste generation per person requires something beyond ‘more recycling’. It requires fundamental shifts in our economic and supply chain systems to reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ that flows through homes, organizations and businesses.
For this to happen, manufacturers need incentives to design waste out of their products and consumers need to be incentivized to choose more environmentally-preferable options -opting for recyclable products or more durable products wherever possible.
These shifts in design and consumer behavior cannot be achieved by Metro Vancouver, B.C., or even Canada acting in isolation, they require collaborative efforts by citizens, businesses and other levels of government to influence global brand owners and manufacturers.