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On Closing the Loop’s 24th episode, Allen Langdon talks with Kelly Drennan, Executive Director of Fashion Takes Action, about their commitment to advancing sustainability within the fashion industry. In this episode, Allen speaks to Kelly about their recent Textile Recycling Feasibility report, what it will take to divert and close the loop on textile waste, and what we all can do to make a difference. About Fashion Takes Action Fashion Takes Action is Canada’s first non-profit fashion industry organization focused on sustainability. They work with industry and consumers, with the goal to shift behaviour towards more positive social and environmental impacts. In 2021 Fashion Takes Action published Canada’s Textile Recycling Feasibility Report, which was commissioned by Environment & Climate Change Canada. To read this report, click here. 
On Closing the Loop’s 23rd episode, Allen Langdon talks with Felix Böck, the CEO and Founder of ChopValue about their unique and innovative approach to reengineering discarded chopsticks to new products. They discuss Return-It's partnership with ChopValue, their impact to date, challenges they’ve faced along the way and ChopValue’s future plans.    About ChopValue ChopValue is the world’s first circular economy franchise that designs and manufactures products using an innovative, high-performance material made entirely from recycled chopsticks. Since its founding in 2016, ChopValue’s urban harvesting approach has saved over 38 million chopsticks from the landfill, turning them into beautiful and sustainable products for the home and office. Learn more about ChopValue at https://chopvalue.com/pages/our-story 
How is the Canada Plastics Pact tackling the challenges of plastic waste? Since its launch in January 2021, George Roter from the Canada Plastics Pact joins Allen to discuss the progress of the group and its partner organizations. George outlines the recently launched Roadmap to 2025, its challenges, and what’s next. About the Canada Plastics PactThe Canada Plastics Pact is focused on creating a circular economy in Canada in which plastic waste is kept in the economy and out of the environment.  “Roadmap to 2025: A shared action plan to build a circular economy for plastics packaging” is Canada’s first industry-wide action plan to address plastic waste and was developed through the collaboration and engagement of industry leaders. Brands, retailers, recyclers, resin producers, nonprofits, associations, and governments are united in their efforts towards a circular economy for plastic packaging and a zero-waste future by setting out a plan to drive tangible change by 2025.   The Roadmap outlines the steps necessary to achieve this vision and can be found here.  Learn more about the Canada Plastics Pact at https://plasticspact.ca
 How can technology help achieve sustainability and solve our waste challenge? On Closing the Loop’s 21st episode, Allen talks with Linda Pouliot, CEO and founder of Dishcraft, about their unique approach to sustainability, reusables, robotics and AI technology for dish washing.  They discuss the impact of Dishcraft’s products and services, addressing labour challenges, and working to eliminate single-use food ware. 
How has the pandemic affected sustainability? Diversity and sustainability experts Heather Mak and Coro Strandberg return to Closing the Loop to chat with Allen about diversity in sustainability and how the pandemic has enabled a purpose-driven economy. They discuss what a purpose-driven economy is, how the pandemic has enabled it, and equity, diversity, and inclusion in sustainability. Additional ResourcesIn this podcast, Heather discusses the results of The State of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Sustainability survey, results of which were shared in September 2021.  More information can be found at www.diversityinsustainability.com.  Coro speaks to a number of resources and reports (noted below) useful to accelerate sustainable business models, sustainable industry associations, the circular economy and social purpose in business. ·       Resource for business and industry associations to help their members address sustainability:  The Sustainable and Just Association ·       Resource to understand emerging trends in sustainable business models:  The Future of Business in Society ·       The Propelling Purpose Summit on November 17 & 18, 2021. Register for the first-ever virtual national gathering of social purpose thought leaders, subject-matter experts, businesses, champions, practitioners and interested allies to learn about social purpose in business and map the road to the Purpose Economy in Canada. Here is a 15% discount code: SP-21.·       The National Zero Waste Council’s Circular Economy Business Toolkit 
How does the electronics recycling process work in BC? Craig Wisehart, Executive Director of the Electronic Product Recycling Association of BC joins Allen to answer key questions about how and why British Columbians should recycle their end-of-life electronics. They discuss making recycling accessible, the impact of the EPRA program, and how the global pandemic has impacted electronics recycling locally. About EPRAElectronic Products Recycling Association is a not-for-profit extended producer responsibility association set up by the major producers and retailers of electronics to provide industry-led and regulated recycling programs for unwanted electronics. To learn more, please visit https://www.return-it.ca/electronics/.   To learn more about having your reusable electronics refurbished rather than recycled, please contact BC Technology for Learning Society at www.ReuseTechBC.ca.  BC Technology for Learning Society operates the Computers for Schools program in BC and distributes over 7,000 refurbished computers and laptops to BC schools, charities, and libraries each year. 
What are the potential solutions for the recycling of plastic beverage containers?  In this episode of Closing the Loop, Allen speaks with Steve Alexander, President & CEO of The Association of Plastic Recyclers, an international trade association representing the plastics recycling industry. They discuss APRR’s position paper on deposit collection programs for beverage containers, chemical recycling, US deposit programs and more. About the Association of Plastic RecyclersThe Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) is an international trade association representing the plastics recycling industry. APR member companies are committed to the success of plastics recycling and shaping the future of the industry.  To learn more, please click here 
What can British Columbians do with used, end-of-life large appliances like dishwashers, ovens, and fridges? Michael Zarbl, Executive Director at the Major Appliance Recycling Roundtable (MARR) joins Allen to discuss BC’s rapidly expanding large appliance recycling program. Allen and Michael chat about the importance of large appliance recycling, how the program contributes to a circular economy, and more. About MARRThe Major Appliance Recycling Roundtable (MARR) is a not-for-profit stewardship agency created to manage the end-of-life for major household appliances in the province of British Columbia on behalf of the major appliance producers.  MARR is focused on enhancing the performance and transparency of the existing market-based system of collecting and recycling major household appliances in BC.  To learn more please click here
Protecting our oceans and waterways goes beyond recycling; this year, Return-It is partnering with the Pacific Salmon Foundation on efforts to manage the problem of microplastics in salmon habitats. Allen sits down with Mike Meneer, President & CEO, Pacific Salmon Foundation to discuss the work they are doing to protect salmon habitat and what we can all do to support efforts.About the Pacific Salmon Foundation Founded in 1987, the Pacific Salmon Foundation is a federally incorporated non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wild Pacific salmon and their natural habitats in British Columbia and the Yukon.  Operating independently from the government, The Foundation facilitates dialogue and undertakes positive initiatives in support of Pacific salmon amongst all levels of government including First Nations; as well as industry, communities, individual volunteers and all fishing interests.  To learning more about the Pacific Salmon Foundation and how you can support, please visit https://www.psf.ca/support
 Can compostable plastics be part of the solution to plastic pollution? The City of Vancouver is one of the first to take a closer look at the feasibility of compostable plastics. This week, Allen speaks with Monica Kosmak and Andrea McKenzie from the City of Vancouver about its evaluation on compostable plastics, including the myths and challenges. To learn more about the City of Vancouver’s Single Use Item Reduction Strategy, please visit https://vancouver.ca/green-vancouver/single-use-items.aspx. 
In January 2021, the Canada Plastics Pact launched as part of a global response to address plastic pollution. Over 1,000 businesses, policymakers, associations and NGOs (including Return-It) joined Canada’s Plastics Pact, enabling coordinated action for a New Plastics Economy. Allen speaks to David Hughes, President & CEO of The Natural Step Canada, and Usman Valiante, Senior Policy Analyst at Cardwell Grove, to discuss their involvement in the Canada Plastics Pact and how fundamental change is possible, as well as the goals and next steps for the Canadian signatories of the Pact.  Learn more about the Canada Plastics Pact at https://plasticspact.ca/
How can a business remain successful while placing a large emphasis on sustainability? London Drugs has become known for its environmental leadership among its customers and local community. On this fourteenth edition of Closing the Loop, Allen and Clint Mahlman, President and Chief Operating Officer at London Drugs, discuss the company’s ‘What’s the Green Deal’ program, which includes education, engagement, action, and leadership. 
Can businesses work to change the trajectory of global plastic waste? Erin Simon, Plastic Waste + Business Head at the World Wildlife Fund thinks so – that’s why WWF launched its ReSource Plastic initiative, which supports companies in creating meaningful action against plastic pollution. On this episode of Closing the Loop, Erin and Allen discuss the ReSource initiative, investing in sustainable production, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.About WWF's ReSource Plastic Initiative:For more information on the WWF’s ReSource Plastic initiative, please visit www.resource-plastic.com.  More information on the US Plastics Pact which brings together many different stakeholders, including businesses, government, NGO’s and researchers can be found at https://usplasticspact.org/
How can we find new potential while reducing food waste? Goodly Foods is a social enterprise in Vancouver, BC that uses surplus produce to create delicious soups for its community, while creating unique employment opportunities and supporting local food banks. On this episode of Closing the Loop, Aart Schuurman Hess, CEO of Goodly Foods and Yuri Fulmer, Chairman at Fulmer & Company join Return-It President & CEO Allen Langdon to discuss Goodly Foods’ unique approach to reframing the narrative around food waste and seeing it as a resource and the potential it has to offer  About Goodly FoodsGoodly™ branded soups are available for purchase to buying partners in both retail and grocery outlets as well as to institutions and food service providers.  To find out more about the Goodly Foods Society, including its partners and how you can support the great work they do, please visit https://hellogoodly.ca/about/
How can a brand be a catalyst for positive environmental change? In this episode of Closing the Loop, Monique Oxender, Chief Sustainability Officer at Keurig Dr Pepper, chats with Allen about Keurig Dr Pepper’s ambitious environmental goals. They discuss innovative strategies to create circular economies and the power of partnerships to support environmental commitments About Keurig Dr PepperSince the recording of this episode, Keurig Dr Pepper launched their 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report and new carbon targets which can be found here.
In this episode of Closing the Loop, Allen re-unites with business sustainability experts Heather Mak and Coro Strandberg (who previously appeared on the podcast’s debut episode) to talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity for businesses to rethink their business models. As a global pandemic changes the way we think about and interact with the world around us, the trio discusses how these shifts have also given businesses new license to focus on sustainability initiatives About our guestsCoro Strandberg spoke to the vision of building a Purpose-Led Economy as society emerges from the pandemic. Three reports that shed light on this vision and the role you can play can be found here.   Info on how to sign up to the Social Purpose Institute’s newsletter to keep informed of these developments can be found here.  Heather Mak spoke to Diversity in Sustainability (more info here) and ESG.  Information on the ESG investing landscape can be found here.  An article about the outperformance of ESG funds during the pandemic can be found here.
How can we all live lighter and support our communities? Emily Pearson, Portfolio Manager, Community Investment at Vancity Credit Union, speaks with our President and CEO Allen Langdon about their Lighter Living initiative to create sustainable opportunities in our communities. They discuss the successes of Lighter Living, opportunities, how we can collectively close the loop and make a difference, and more.
Wondering what is being done to combat marine pollution? For episode 7 of Closing the Loop, Allen chats with Alison Wood, Executive Director of Ocean Ambassadors Canada — an organization that works to connect the next generation with our oceans. They discuss Ocean Ambassadors Canada’s educational initiatives, what’s next for the organization, and their recently renewed partnership with Return-It.
 Allen speaks to CEO Keefe Harrison and Dylan de Thomas, VP of Industry Collaboration at the Recycling Partnership to learn more about how Recycling in the US is Changing the Policy and Politics of Recycling. They discuss challenges, successes and ambitious commitments to create closed-loop systems.https://recyclingpartnership.org/ 
Canada’s Electronic Products Recycling Association is the industry-led not-for-profit stewardship agency that keeps 100,000 metric tonnes of old electronics out of landfills each year. In this episode of Closing the Loop, Allen catches up with EPRA’s President and CEO, Cliff Hacking. The pair discuss opportunities in the electronics recycling landscape in Canada, how it contributes to a circular economy, and what the public can do to make a difference.
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