Metro Vancouver urges people to think zero waste this Christmas

With online shopping likely to go through the roof in the run-up to the Christmas holidays, Metro Vancouver is urging consumers to think “low-waste” when it comes to buying.

“Christmas will certainly look different this year and many peoples’ gift-buying habits have shifted,” said Jack Froese, chair of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee.

“With COVID-19 continuing to affect our daily lives, many people have started their holiday shopping early and are buying more things online.

“The good news is that, if the shipping materials that come your way can’t be reused, they can likely be recycled, and there are still many ways to create memories, not garbage, as we get into the holiday spirit with loved ones both near and far.”

Several reports point to an uptick in online shopping and courier services including Purolator and Canada Post have reported a major spike in home deliveries and are encouraging people to shop earlier to avoid shipping delays.

“For those excited for gift-giving, there are still many ways to give tangible gifts that last,” added Froese.

“If you’re stuck for an idea, we’ve made finding inspiration easier with the Merry Memory Maker web app that features a catalogue of over 170 creative low-waste gift ideas sorted by price range and a directory of where to find each item plus the ability to save favourites to a wish list for later.”

People looking for more ideas on how to have a low-waste holiday are encouraged to join Metro Vancouver in a series of three Facebook Live sessions that’ll test the low-waste and recycling knowledge of Vancouver-based musical duo “Ben and Dan,” with hilarious results.

Top low-waste holiday tips for 2020:

•             When it comes to choosing wrapping, choose reusable first, then recyclable. Shiny or textured wrap cannot be recycled.


•             Most paper-based items, like those ubiquitous cardboard boxes and glitter-free greeting cards can go in residential mixed paper recycling.


•             Plastic shipping materials, like all-plastic bubble wrap and mailers, foam, plastic bags and flexible packaging, may be brought to one of dozens of recycling depots in the region. Visit for more information.


•             Some shipping materials, especially those made of combined materials like shipping envelopes made of paper and plastic, cannot be recycled.


•             Plastics labeled ‘biodegradable’ or ‘compostable’ are not accepted for composting or recycling and should be placed in the garbage.

For many more tips, gift ideas and inspiration to minimize waste this holiday season, visit



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