Single-Use Items Reduction Strategies Workshop

The Recycling Council of Alberta is pleased to announce a workshop on Single-Use Items Reduction Strategies that we are delivering in partnership with Waste Free Edmonton.

Increasingly, communities, governments of all levels and the public at large are targeting single-use items as a source of concern for environmental impacts such as litter and recycling challenges. This workshop will feature organizations that have made efforts to address the impacts of single-use items in their communities, including Blue Bayfield, an organization from Bayfield, Ontario, of concerned citizens with a mission to reduce the use of disposable items and prevent plastic and pollutants from entering their Great Lake and waterways.

The workshop will be hosted in Wetaskiwin, a city who is currently introducing a plastic checkout bag bylaw. They will be sharing their experiences, as will other municipalities who have, or are planning, bylaws addressing single use items.

We hope you will join us to learn more about the opportunities to address single-use items.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019add this event to your calendar
from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm
at By the Lake Park Hall
(6128 56 Avenue)
in Wetaskiwin, Alberta 

$200/person – RCA members*
$250/person – potential members

Register today!

Please provide names and contact information for each delegate.

How to register: Click the “Register” button next to the registration type you’d like to purchase, and enter the delegate name and contact info in the form that appears, then click the “Add to Cart” button. If you want to register more than one person, you can enter their contact details into the same form and click “Add to Cart” again. You now have two registrations in your cart. Once you have entered the registration details for everyone, go to your cart, review, and select “Checkout”. You can now enter your billing information and select a payment option to finalize your registration(s). If you have any questions about the registration process, please contact

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*Every employee of an RCA member company qualifies for the member rate. To find out whether your company is a current RCA member, check whether it is listed on our A-Z membership directory list  or contact us at For more information on how to sign up for an RCA membership, click here.

Draft Agenda

1:00 – 1:40 pm
Voluntary Community Based Plastics Reduction Programs

  • Ray Letheren (Blue Bayfield) – Blue Bayfield’s Business and Community Initiatives to reduce single-use plastics

1:40 – 2:30 pm
Grassroots Single-Use Item Reduction Campaigns

  • Melissa Gorrie (Waste Free Edmonton)
  • Isabelle Couture (Plastic-Free YYC)

2:30 – 3:00 pm
Single-Use Reduction Strategies / Plans

  • Cameron Grayson (City of Edmonton)
  • City of Vancouver (invited)

BREAK 3:00 – 3:15 pm

3:15 – 4:30 pm
Regulatory Initiatives – Single-Use Bag Reduction Programs

  • City of Wetaskiwin – Plastic Checkout Bag Bylaw
  • Tracey Boutilier (Municipality of Wood Buffalo) – Single-Use Shopping Bag Bylaw
  • Government of Northwest Territories – Single-Use Retail Bag Program (invited)
  • John Graham (Retail Council of Canada) – Partnering to Implement Successful Shopping Bag Reduction Programs

4:30 pm
Closing Remarks

Speaker Biographies

Tracey Boutilier
Supervisor, Waste Processes, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

Bio coming soon.

Isabelle Couture
Director of Engagement & Collaboration, Plastic-Free YYC

Isabelle Couture is the proud co-founder of Plastic-Free YYC, a non-profit aimed at reducing single-use and other unnecessary plastic by inspiring individuals, collaborating with businesses, and encouraging governing bodies to spark change. Born in Quebec City, Isabelle’s passion for sustainability and citizen-led action led her to pursue graduate studies in public administration at the University of Victoria and volunteer with several community groups before taking the plunge and launching PFYYC with her co-founder extraordinaire. In her spare time, you can find her in and around Calgary being walked by her four-legged companion, experimenting with various Zero Waste DIY recipes or getting her hands dirty with her partner in their ever-growing garden. Isabelle is dedicated to developing, supporting, and enhancing partnerships in our community.

Melissa Gorrie
Co-Founder & Director, Waste Free Edmonton

Melissa is an environmental lawyer who has worked with all levels of government to push for policy and law reform. She has volunteered with numerous social justice and environmental organizations over the last decade, which has provided her with a wealth of experience in non-profit governance. She has also been involved in various environmental campaigns. She co-founded Waste Free Edmonton as a way to counter the frustration and sadness she feels in seeing the vast amount of waste produced in her community. Melissa is extremely excited to work with citizens, government, and businesses to reduce the amount of waste produced in Edmonton!

John Graham
Director of Government Relations (Prairie Region), Retail Council of Canada

For over 20 years John represented Safeway’s $5 billion business interests across Western Canada, most recently in the senior role of Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations.   As part of his duties, John has had exposure to a wide range of sustainability issues, including being part of the company’s onboarding team for many waste diversion and programs across the West.

In 2017, John joined the Retail Council of Canada (RCC), a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that representing more than 45,000 store fronts of all retail formats across Canada.  As Alberta’s largest private sector employer, more than 250,000 Albertans are currently employed in the retail sector.

RCC and its members understand the vital link between a healthy environment and a healthy economy, and currently participate in nearly a hundred environmental stewardship programs across the country.

As a director on the boards of Alberta Recycling, Encorp Pacific and Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba, and through his participation on the RCC EPR / Stewardship Committee, John has developed an appreciation for the complexity of these issues.

John is married with two children and resides in Winnipeg – home of the future Stanley Cup Champions.

Cameron Grayson
City of Edmonton

Bio coming soon.

Ray Letheren
Blue Bayfield

Schooled in design, Ray began teaching in Toronto following his work as a furniture designer. In the late 80’s, as a Technical Director, he is credited with the introduction of technology education as a means of integrating all subjects. For this he received the Prime Minister’s Award in teaching of science and technology. Since retirement in 1994, he has been actively engaged in the environmental movement with a particular focus on water protection. His work has been recognized and he has received acknowledgement with Home Town Hero Award from Earth Day Canada, Conversationalist of Year by the regional conservation authority. He has chaired Blue Bayfield for 20 years and written a column in a regional paper on environmental issues.