Next step forward for Park Royal’s sustainability program aims to keep 278 tonnes of plastic out of the landfill each year.
West Vancouver, BC; April 16, 2009 – Based on the findings of a trash analysis conducted by Metro Vancouver, Park Royal Shopping Centre is announcing a plan to tackle its plastic waste. The program, which officially launches on Earth Day (April 22), includes the elimination of non-biodegradable plastic bags and the addition of a soft plastics recycling program throughout the Shopping Centre.
The trash inventory was conducted in autumn of 2008 and identified the three leading categories of waste in Park Royal’s garbage: organics, paper and plastic. Upon examining the plastic waste, Metro Vancouver estimated that 278 tonnes of plastic per year could be recycled rather than being sent to the landfill.
“When we saw the numbers, it reaffirmed for us that it was time to take action,” says Cindy Papa, Director of Marketing & Sustainability for the Centre. “We’re beginning by tackling plastics, and we’re looking forward to significantly reducing what we are sending to the landfill.”
The plastic bag elimination will specifically target commonly used shopping bags that are labeled HDPE and LDPE, and which are made from non-biodegradable plastic. Once the program is fully in place, the only bags permitted at check-outs throughout the Shopping Centre will be reusable bags of any material, paper bags made from recycled materials, and biodegradable plastic bags. The elimination process begins on Earth Day 2009 and with the final target for elimination by Earth Day 2011.
“The best way to reduce is not to produce garbage in the first place. That is why we really want to encourage our customers to always bring their own reusable bag,” continues Papa.
To jump-start the plastic bag elimination program, Park Royal will be handing out reusable cloth shopping bags at the Shopping Centre and on Lonsdale between 13th & 17th in North Vancouver from 11am to 3pm on Earth Day.
The soft plastics recycling program will begin immediately and will be a step forward in addressing the volume of waste that is generated by retail items that often come individually wrapped in plastic. The Shopping Centre has invested in a baler, a machine that will compress clear, soft plastics, readying them for recycling, to eventually be turned into other plastic products. Park Royal also encourages its retailers to examine their supply chain in order to find opportunities to eliminate this plastic altogether.
Park Royal to Mark Earth Day by Tackling Plastic
Metro Vancouver’s autumn 2008 inventory of Park Royal’s garbage serves as a benchmark; the Shopping Centre hopes to see a significant reduction in the amount of waste, especially plastic, when it is inspected and inventoried again in fall 2009.
Park Royal has demonstrated a commitment to integrating green practices into its operations and is working towards becoming the first sustainable regional shopping centre in Canada. To achieve this, the Shopping Centre has adopted a framework of sustainability principles that it uses to inform everyday decisions. Park Royal’s overall sustainability policies enable the shopping centre to operate in harmony with the environment and the surrounding community. More information on Park Royal’s commitment to sustainability can be found at www.sustainableparkroyal.com
About Park Royal
Park Royal Shopping Centre and The Village at Park Royal features 1.2 million square feet of retail set in a regional shopping centre and an adjoining lifestyle centre. Situated at the foot of the landmark Lions Gate Bridge and minutes from downtown Vancouver, Park Royal maintains an established presence in the marketplace and offers a casual sophistication that appeals to the vibrant Vancouver consumer.
For more information, contact:
604.738.3870 office / 604.809.0062 cell