Vince’s Market leader welcomes ban but worries about higher costs being passed on to customers

Lisa Queen
Newmarket Era

As Canada heads toward a ban on single-use plastic items, Newmarket business owners are preparing for the change.

In fact, Jamie and Christine Rooney, owners of Healthy Now, which makes prepared healthy meals, have already embraced the use of green packaging well in advance of the ban.

For the last two years, the four-year-old company has been using containers made by Newmarket’s Eco Guardian, a leader in compostable packaging.

For Healthy Now’s first two years, the Rooneys were content telling customers to throw the single-use plastic containers in their blue box.

But as some customers bristled at the containers not being reusable, the couple decided to switch to Eco Guardian’s products.

“We have our daughter and young nieces and nephews. We want them to grow up in a world that’s healthy and safe and not polluted,” Jamie said.

“We see the pictures of the ocean that is full of single-use plastics, which is a tragedy and it looks awful. So, we want to support helping that. And to be frank, the customers expect it now, so as a good business practice, our customers also demand that as well.”

Healthy Now feels better being able to instruct its customers to throw the containers in the green bin, while the lids go in the blue box, said Christine, adding she supports Ottawa’s incoming ban on single-use plastic items.

“I feel it’s necessary, to be honest. I know it is a little bit more expensive, but in the long run, for the environment, you have to be environmentally responsible,” she said.

Canada is moving toward banning single-use plastics.

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On Dec. 20, Ottawa will ban the manufacture and import for sale of checkout bags, cutlery, food service ware, stir sticks and straws.

It will be another year — Dec. 20, 2023 — when the sale of checkout bags, cutlery, food service ware, stir sticks and straws are banned for sale to the public.

For six-pack beverage ring carriers, Ottawa will ban its manufacture and import on June 20, 2023.

Beverage ring carriers and flexible straws packaged with beverage containers will be banned from sale to the public on June 20, 2024.

The six items being banned are referred to as “the dirty six,” Eco Guardian president Anil Abrol.

The company started in 2004 producing reusable shopping bags and these days sells millions of compostable, eco-friendly food packaging products such as plates and cutlery.

Eco Guardian was ahead of the curve, embracing environmentally sustainable products before consumer and Canadian governments were on board with the idea, Abrol said.


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