Since December 2022, Canada has prohibited the import and manufacture of single-use plastics. This includes checkout bags, cutlery, food service ware, and straws. This regulation aims to reduce the harmful impact of plastic pollution on nature and wildlife and has caused many Canadian businesses to pivot to plastic alternatives.
So what does this sort of legislation mean for your business? Does your business use single-use plastics on a daily basis? If so, how does this impact you? If your business has struggled to adjust to this change, Watchdog Management Services is here to provide some expert advice on the most common types of single-use plastic products and their alternatives so that you can make a more informed decision when choosing a new supplier.
Choose Vendors With Plastic Alternatives:
As most businesses, you may have a longstanding vendor that you have worked which provide all of your single-use plastic products. Changing vendors can be daunting, but if you know what kind of products you need, it can help you narrow down your options when finding the right vendor.
For example, does this potential new vendor offer plastic-alternatives to your most used products? How much are they offering in comparison to the competition?
Here are some examples of plastic-alternative products that you business may require:
The largest impact single-use plastic legislation has had is prohibiting the use of plastic bags in retailers across the country. Now, many businesses offer reusable bags as a plastic alternative made from fibers or paper. By providing this option, retailers can save on costs by not having to replenish their bag stock as often by encouraging continued use. Most retailers offer a selection of reusable bags for purchase in case customers do not have one of their own.
If customers choose not to buy a reusable bag, you may offer paper bags as another alternative. Paper bags give the benefit of being compostable and easily disposable. They also come in a variety of sizes to better fit the type of products your customers may purchase.
A major product that has been affected by single-use plastics legislation is cutlery. Plastic knives, spoons, and forks have been slowly replaced with plastic-alternative options such as molded fiber and wood. Many food retailers now offer these alternatives as a cheap and effective way adhere to legislation.
Containers and Lids
Plastic-alternative containers and lids are just as important as cutlery. Coffee cups with compostable lids or recyclable containers are two popular examples of single-use plastic alternatives that may businesses use. Consider talking to your waste disposal provider to better understand the kind of materials that can be recycled before you make your choice. You should also consider setting up a program for your customers to encourage them to bring in their own reusable containers for additional benefits. This option should only be considered if your business allows for this. For example, if a majority of your business revolves around delivering products, you may not be able to take advantage of customer owned reusable containers.
Many business have shifted from single-use plastic straws to paper straws to adhere to legislation. While paper straws are cheap and effective, many customers dislike using them due to their lack of durability. Now, you can even find alternative to paper straws such as agave, sugarcane, and corn starch which offer the durability of plastic, but the versatility of paper.
The List Goes On
We believe that this is list will help you better understand the kind of plastic alternatives your business can use and make the shift to a greener business easier. While there are many other single-use plastic alternatives available, this list is meant to give you a quick look at what kind of products many vendors offer so that you can better understand what to look out for when choosing a new supplier.