Plastic-Free YYC is hosting their first waste free festival next month to raise awareness around zero waste products

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By Stephanie Babych

Single-use plastic reduction is a trending topic and Plastic-Free YYC is riding the straw-free wave by hosting the province’s first Zero Waste Festival.

Sustainable fashion, single-use plastic reduction and waste-free living are but a few of the presentation and workshop topics the local non-profit has planned for the one-day festival set for July 20 at the East Village-Crossroads space. The festival comes shortly after the federal government announced intentions to ban certain single-use plastics as early as 2021, and the municipal government began taking proactive steps toward reducing plastic use within the city.

“People will say that one straw doesn’t matter but so says nine million people. This is about collectively looking at our impact as a society. We can clearly see in our environment the impact that we have by wasting so much,” says Isabelle Couture, co-founder of Plastic-Free YYC.

The group works to reduce waste with a focus on reducing single-use plastic items. The volunteer-run organization has been working with businesses and petitioning the government to prioritize sustainable practices and policies. The festival is a way for the group to teach and inform people about the many ways to reduce their environmental footprint on a larger scale than they do throughout the year.

“There is a clear, global movement to step away from single-use plastic items,” says Couture.

The organization hopes the festival will encourage people to discover the positive effects of sustainable living.

“Using alternatives to single-use items is often an investment. We pay for the waste that we create and we might not see that, but we pay for recycling, we pay for taking care of our landfills and sending materials to other countries to be recycled,” says Couture.

“By reducing waste and preventing it before it happens, we save as a society.”

More information about the festival is available on the group’s website at

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