Return-It, in partnership with Loblaw, has launched its first Express & GO beverage container recycling station at a grocery store parking lot.
Shoppers can now visit the North Vancouver Real Canadian Superstore parking lot and drop off their unsorted, pre-bagged beverage containers, while picking up groceries and other essentials.
Powered by solar energy, this Express & GO station is housed in a 20-foot repurposed shipping container that is open 12 hours a day (8 am to 8 pm).
The success of this Express & GO station will determine Return-It’s next steps for expanding Express & GO locations to additional grocery stores across the province.
Now expanded to six Express & GO locations across B.C., this model supports a growing need for contactless recycling infrastructure in a wide range of communities – from large urban centres where commercial space is at a premium, to less accessible, rural locations where traditional depot facilities may be less viable.
“Our partnership with Loblaw is the latest example of how Return-It is leveraging its collection network to increase the beverage container recovery rate and divert material from landfill, oceans and waterways,” said Allen Langdon, president and CEO of Return-It.
“By working with like-minded partners like Loblaw, we are continuing to meet our social purpose of fostering a world where nothing is waste – creating a better future for people, communities and the planet through recycling, education and strategic partnerships.”
“We believe that we all have a role to play when it comes to eliminating waste. That’s why we’re pleased to partner with innovative organizations such as Return-It, who are making it easier for both businesses and communities to do more,” said Tonya Lagrasta, senior director corporate social responsibility, Loblaw Companies Ltd.
How it works
Users need to first create an online account by visiting express.return-it.ca. Then they take containers to the Express & GO System at the North Vancouver Real Canadian Superstore parking lot in a sealed, clear bag. Once on-site, they can print a bag label, enter the pin code provided at the time of registration, and finally, drop the bag.
Return-It looks after sorting, so there’s no need to wait in line to have containers counted. Refunds are automatically sent to the user’s online account where funds can be redeemed or donated to a local charitable or community groups.
This Express & GO location is one of six in B.C., and the third on the North Shore. Other locations include Simon Fraser University, Park Royal, North Vancouver Transfer Station, Big White and Tofino.
A billion bottles
Return-It recycles approximately a billion beverage containers a year. Every plastic container is responsibly recycled in B.C. and Alberta, where they’re cleaned and broken down into plastic pellets that can be used to make new plastic bottles.
Return-It is an industry owned, not-for-profit, product stewardship agency with beverage container management as its core business. Its mandate is to develop, manage and improve systems to recover used packaging and end-of-life products from consumers to ensure they are properly recycled and diverted from the natural environment. This work includes the development and implementation of initiatives that provide new solutions to reduce waste, such as its province-wide program to repurpose and recycle used clothing and other textiles.
Return-It is a founding member of the Canada Plastics Pact, and has made a global commitment through the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to help eliminate plastic pollution at the source.