This project was designed to increase awareness of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by conventional portable fuel containers, and to facilitate the uptake of new containers that lead to lower VOC emissions.
Funders included Environment Canada, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Imperial Oil Foundation, and RBC Blue Water Project; supporting partners included a manufacturer of the new eco-containers (Scepter), plastics recyclers (Bay Recycling and Pnewko Brothers), and The Home Depot and five Ontario municipalities for event delivery.
Our approach was to undertake a research and design phase in 2010, followed by a retail-based pilot project in 2011, and then a municipal-based campaign in 2012. Both the retail and municipal campaigns focused on three elements:
Results included a two-week at-retail campaign delivered at 16 retail locations alongside the Mow Down Pollution program (in 2011); seven events at five municipalities (in 2012); trained reps at all retail and municipal locations to engage and educate consumers. We collected and recycled 830 old fuel containers which resulted in an estimated annual reduction of 2.1 tonnes of VOC emissions.