Is our Waste a Problem or an Opportunity?

I have asked myself this question many times throughout the last few years. Upon researching the issue I became alarmed at the thought of leaving my children and grandchildren with the planet at its current state. I’m sure many of you have had similar thoughts and questions. 

As a glass-half-full type of person, I began looking at what others were doing to take care of the issue. I was sure to not be alone in my search for a solution and indeed I was not alone. Plenty of good folks were doing great things.  Before I give you my “not so secret” list of companies creating new opportunities out of our waste, here is a bit of information that is important to know (read full articles listed in the sources section) :

  • 5 Countries That Produce the Most Waste ( Estimated annual waste per capita)
      • #1 – Canada ( 😔 My Home country. 36.1 metric tons  )
      • #2 – Bulgaria ( 26.7 metric tons)
      • #3 – United States ( more or less 26 metric tons)
      • #4 – Estonia (23.5 metric tons)
      • #5 – Finlandia (Wait whaaat !!! They are on this list?.. 16.6 metric tons )
  • Canada’s plastic problem: Sorting fact from fiction
      • “Plastic waste isn’t a Canadian issue.”
      • “Canadians recycle their plastic waste.”
      • “Canada doesn’t produce as much plastic waste as other countries. It’s their problem, not ours.”
      • “We can just switch to biodegradable alternatives and bioplastics.”
      • “I don’t live near the ocean, so my plastic doesn’t end up there.”
      • “Most plastic in the ocean comes from cruise ships or fishing activity.”
      • “Shouldn’t we focus on cleaning up the plastic that’s already in the oceans?”
  • Canada’s waste problem and finding a fix
    • The video description said: “Does Canada have a waste problem? Ask the Philippines and they’ll point to the over 100 containers full of garbage that Canada dumped in Manila. Meanwhile, off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, a research project has found massive piles of garbage in the ocean. ”
    • When I heard that I was shocked, horrified and yet it made me think about what I could do to change it.

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Now that we have established that Canada has a waste problem, here is that list of entrepreneurs and companies who have taken charge in battling the issue by taking the problem and turning it into an opportunity:

  1. CR Plastics products: an Ontario Based producer of beautiful recycled plastic outdoor furniture. The first time I saw their catalogue at I was very impressed to see how recycled plastics could end up in Canadian backyards. We can buy their products online or through their distributors. You won’t be disappointed.
  2. Feed It Forward by chef Jagger Gordon: A Toronto-based Canadian not-for-profit organization and owner of Canada’s First “Pay What You Can” Grocery Store. Their mission is two-fold: to save perfectly good food that would otherwise be destined for landfills and to support Canadians that are currently food insecure. We can donate or volunteer to help their cause, see more info at 
  3. ALIZÉE: A company making eco-responsible urban winter jackets with recycled plastic, designed in Quebec, tested for Canadian winters. We all know that winter is a big part of our life here in Canada, so having an eco-responsible winter jacket just makes sense. We can shop Alizée’s jackets at their online shop or at any of their retailers. See more about these great products at
  4. And last but not least Tilton is a pioneer in the development of environmentally friendly packaging. Tilton products are made from materials that are 100% recycled or certified compostable. Packaging consumption habits need to change and producers like Tilton are taking part in the solution helping with it. See more information here 

I hope this information helps you to see the waste problem as an opportunity for change and pushes you to start being part of it as well. We can do it!

Enrique Diaz
Internet retailer and Ecopreneur

Author’s notes: We are not related to any of the mentioned companies or referenced sources. Any trademark mentioned was only as a reference. At our eCommerce store, we sell products that accomplish at least one of these characteristics: Eco-friendly, Recycled, Reusable, Upcycle.

* > ECONOMY> GOVERNMENT & POLICY > 5 Countries That Produce the Most Waste
* > MONEY > Canada produces the most waste in the world. The US ranks third
* > Canada’s plastic problem: Sorting fact from fiction
* > News > Canada > Canada’s waste problem and finding a fix
* > News >  Politics > Canadian plastic waste exports face protests in the Philippines
* > News > Canada > Canadians get creative in solving food waste problem

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