In 2022, 1.3 billion single use items were disposed of in Metro Vancouver*. That is more than 400 items per person per year**! Single use or "on the go" items come with too high an environmental price tag. Many single use items are not easily recycled, and some, such as foam containers, often end up in the landfill. In addition, many plastics can take centuries to decompose and can injure wildlife. Reducing single-use items helps protect our environment.
In part one of Shred Sheds, we learned that a Share Shed can help communities reduce and reuse unwanted items through a local share program, similar to a lending library.
If managed properly, a Share Sheds can provide an excellent opportunity for a community to benefit from an eco-friendly trading post.
A successful model for a Share Shed requires a few key components; committed volunteers or assigned staff members, well-defined operating hours and guidelines and the importance of location.
Innovation is a key to forward progress. In this two-part series, Urban Impact explores an idea to help communities reduce and reuse. In a recent webinar, Urban Impact participated with the Coast Waste Management Association discussing a fairly new concept in recycling called Share Sheds.
With Zero Waste and Circular Economy on all our minds, a Share Shed may become an important piece to helping solve the complex puzzle of reducing waste and helping limit the number of items sent to landfills.