UBC Undergraduate Research

Recommendations for Independently-owned Vancouver Cafés to Achieve Zero Waste Targets : The Importance of Participating in the Circular Economy, Sharing Education, and Networking Saito, Hisayo


Independently-owned cafés in Vancouver can achieve Zero Waste targets by participating in a circular economy, sharing education, and networking. A circular economy is the economic system that achieves Zero Waste goals by closing production loops. To integrate into a circular economy, it is important for community, businesses, and industry to link with each other in order to coordinate the use of discarded resources. Even though transferring to a circular economy from the traditional linear economy has some challenges, with government initiatives and entrepreneurial passion, it is possible. When the owner-manager has a small business, there are even more possibilities for them to change their system to become more environmentally sustainable. According to seven interviews with owner-managers of independently-owned cafés, who have awareness of sustainable practices, they aim to achieve Zero Waste by: 1) carrying reusable materials; 2) using compostable materials as much as possible; 3) sorting waste correctly, and 4) purchasing their food and food supplies locally and from other small suppliers to manage quality and quantity of their supplies. The challenges towards achieving Zero Waste are: 1) the gap between regulation and actual practice; 2) the gap in interest and knowledge of Zero Waste between cafés and their customers, suppliers, neighbouring businesses, and strata, and 3) lack of governmental financial support. These challenges can be solved by businesses becoming active participants in a circular economy, sharing education, and networking since communication provides the opportunity for collaboration with each other and encourages behaviour change towards Zero Waste. Vancouver consumers wishing to support Zero Waste initiatives should consider patronizing the following small businesses: Basic Refill, Finch's Tea & Coffee House, FLOAT ON, Greens Organic + Natural Market, Groundswell Cafe & Learning Space, Le Marché St. George, Lost + Found Café, Lupii Café, Matchstick Coffee Roasters, Second Nature Home, SweetSalt Bakery And Café, SMAK, The Mighty Oak, The Soap Dispensary, The Uncommon Café, Zero Waste Market.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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