Multi-Material BC (MMBC) launched a province-wide, business-funded residential recycling program in May 2014. As a non-profit organization funded by businesses that include retailers, manufacturers and restaurants that supply these materials to B.C. residents – they shifted recycling costs away from homeowners. Their vision: to be a recycling leader –inspiring and accelerating innovation in recycling technology, waste reduction, and packaging design.
For communities where they are directly responsible for recycling service, they provide residents with recycling guides and online tools where they can check their schedules. For all BC residents, they provide tools so residents can find their closest depot and check what materials are and aren’t accepted in the program and how to recycle.
Since their creation in 2014, research shows that the public’s awareness of packaging and printed paper recycling in the province is very high ranging from 94% for printed paper, 93% paper packaging and 89% for containers. 97% of the province, is potentially using the program on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, however, awareness of MMBC – after over two years of operation – was just 16%.
They decided to rebrand and create a brand that was intuitive, relevant and engaging to strengthen the connection with residents, to support three key awareness goals:
- Making sure residents understand who they are and what they do,
- Educating residents about recycling and
- Building on B.C.’s reputation internationally as a leader in packaging and printed paper recycling.
The Plastic Oceans Foundation, together with other local business and not for profit groups, came to support the relaunch of MMBC to Recycle BC as the new face of residential packaging and printed paper recycling in the province, on a wet spring morning in Vancouver on March 28th 2017.
Managing Director of the newly named ‘Recycle BC’, Allen Langdon summed it up perfectly during the re-launch when he said he “truly believes that ‘together, we can make a difference’ and we already are”.
Plastic Oceans has supported Recycle BC over the past 3 years as they have worked successfully to become a trusted environmental advocate and community partner that provides equitable, effective and efficient residential recycling services.
- Serve over 1.7 million households in BC through curbside, multi-family and depot collection.
- Have 156 communities throughout the province in the program.
- Provide 97% of British Columbians access to recycling collection services or drop-off depots.
- Collect more than 186,000 tonnes of material annually.
- Have over 200 depots in operation around the province.
- Have more than 1,200 businesses pay into the program to ensure the packaging and printed paper they supply is recycled responsibly.
Plastic Oceans is working to change the way we deal with plastic waste by challenging society’s perception that this indestructible substance can be treated as ‘disposable’.
Recycle BC, like Plastic Oceans, wants to protect our environment– starting at each of the homes they serve.
The success of Recycle BC shows how every citizen – empowered through education – can make a difference. Recycle BC and all the residents in the province using the system are part of Plastic Oceans #awaveofchange