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A zero waste market

Because of Covid-19, customers are not permitted to consumed food and beverages within the market’s parameters and so our reusable dishware program is on pause. We look forward to restarting the program when we’re able to again. In the meantime, we are excited to announce our new partnerships with Suppli and CASE Reuse to help us reduce waste during the 2021 season.

Bring Your Own (BYO) – Customers are welcome to bring their own clean containers, tote bags, produce bags and mugs for purchases. Many of our vendors offer other low waste options such as returning their packaging for reuse and more! Visit their profiles to see the options each one provides.

Forgot to bring your own container? No problem! We are excited to share that Fathima’s Kitchen, Mama Linda’s, and Nepali Momos will now be offering stainless-steel takeout containers from Suppli!

1) Preorder online and add “Suppli Containers” to your cart or simply let the vendors know you’d like to use Suppli when you order in person. There is a $.99 fee per order, regardless of how many containers you receive.

2) Scan the QR code available at the vendor’s table and log your order with Suppli. Take home your delicious food without any waste!

3) When you’re done with your container(s) give them a good rinse and return them to one of the designated drop-off locations in the neighbourhood within 7 days.

*Customers should be registered with Suppli before using the service: register here!

The pandemic has caused a huge increase in single-use items being used by takeout. To make matters worse, black plastic is not recyclable in Toronto. That’s why we’re partnering with CASE Reuse. Bring your CLEAN takeout containers, free of any damage, and with matching lids and drop them off by the front entrance of Withrow Market. Donations to support this reuse program can be made at the drop off location.

“We collect clean plastic takeout containers, sanitize them, and provide them back to restaurants to save waste. Our goal is to help our community and the people in it, find an easy and convenient solution to takeout waste. We hold closely the fierce belief that small actions can have large impacts, and it’s our goal to see that through.” – CASE Reuse

Download the CASE app to support participating restaurants!

All containers MUST be clean and have matching lids. This is a reuse program, not a recycling program. Thank you!

 

Please note that our waste reduction initiatives noted below are currently on hold due to COVID-19. We hope to be able to reintroduce them again next season. Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on social media for future updates. 

Building a sustainable environment for shoppers and vendors.

In 2018, with the help of an enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and dedicated volunteer, we began a reusable dishware program.

With this zero waste program, we aim to:

  • Reduce waste: by keeping recyclable materials and discarded food scraps out of landfills
  • Avert waste: by offering reusable items such as plates and cutlery
  • ‘Close the loop’: by promoting the use of post-consumer recycled products
  • Educate: by encouraging shoppers and market sellers to reduce, reuse, and recycle both at the market and beyond

REUSABLES

One way we work to meet our goals is to offer reusable plates, bowls, cutlery, cups and mugs for food and beverages consumed at the market. We have a collection of these items that we wash and sanitize for reuse. Week after week. The zero waste station has had a big impact already. After 15 markets in 2018, our dishware was used over 1900 times, preventing that many single-use items from going into the landfill. That’s 880 pieces of cutlery, 508 plates, 246 bowls, and 294 cups! In 2019 we surpassed that with a total of 10,000 single-use items being diverted from becoming waste. This project wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of our Zero Waste Ambassadors!

PACKAGING

We have asked vendors to overall use less packaging and to provide compostable or biodegradable packaging when they can. Over the next few years our rules will tighten around packaging to ensure further reduction in waste. We are the first and currently only farmers’ market in Toronto that has created Zero Waste Guidelines for our vendors.

REPAIR, REHOME and more…

Withrow Market is proudly committed to being environmentally friendly in these other meaningful ways:

  • Reusable coffee mugs are available at our coffee table (mugs were used over 1000 times in 2018)
  • Host clothing and jewellery repairathons (get your jeans mended by professionals for free!)
  • Work with the Toronto Tool Library to bring clothing and toy swaps to the community
  • Feature zero waste vendors at our special artisan market
  • “Need a bag. Take a bag. Leave a bag.” program to reduce the use of plastic bags
  • Regular cookbook swaps run by market volunteers
  • Hold winter clothing drives, benefiting newcomers to Canada
  • Offer to take dead batteries and dead markers for proper recycling

We welcome your thoughts on this program.

 

IN THE MEDIA

NOW Toronto: Inside Toronto’s plastic problem
Park People: Zero Waste Picnic: An inspired TD Park People Grant event 
The Toronto Observer: Toronto Clothing Repairathon brings new life to damaged clothes 
The Toronto Observer: How one reusable container gave birth to a reusables project
Toronto Enviromental Alliance: 6 things Toronto can do to ditch single-use plastics and move towards a waste-free future
snapd Beaches: Zero Waste Picnic

 

Dishes washed in 2019

(so that we don't use disposables)

Knives, forks, spoons

Plates, bowls

Cups, mugs

Total

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