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Return-It and the PNE partner to increase recycling education efforts

Three people hold a plush character at a carnival game
President and CEO of Return-It Cindy Coutts, Vancouver City Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung, and PNE President and CEO Shelley Frost pictured holding the Return-It plush characters. Encorp

Return-It has partnered with the PNE to help enhance the recycling and sustainability efforts at the PNE and Playland. Return-It is providing recycling training for PNE seasonal staff, updated educational recycling signs across the fairgrounds, and promoting a Return-It-themed midway game to teach kids and adults about recycling.

The PNE is one of the largest employers of youth in B.C., Canada, and is an attractive venue for young people to visit. Those factors mean that the PNE can play a large role in helping to shape future recycling habits. Through this partnership, the PNE and Playland staff will receive training to actively promote and support recycling initiatives as part of a shared commitment to empower youth to become recycling role models.

"We are thrilled to join forces with the PNE to bring sustainability to the forefront of the visitor experience," says Cindy Coutts, president and CEO of Return-It. "This partnership aligns with our mission to foster a world where nothing is waste. We know that convenience is key to encouraging the recycling of empty beverage containers, so by making recycling bins readily available and recognizable throughout the park and educating both staff and visitors, we are empowering them to actively participate in creating a cleaner and more sustainable community."

Playland and the PNE have long been a destination for thrill-seekers, attracting over 380,000 visitors annually, which makes it a perfect venue to inspire responsible recycling practices. As part of the enhanced partnership, Return-It has refreshed and updated signage for the 220 dedicated on-site beverage container recycling bins throughout the park, making it easier for guests to conveniently recycle. These stations will again be managed by hundreds of trained binners hired to help guests put waste in the proper place.

"The PNE is pleased to partner with Return-It on this initiative, which will enhance our existing recycling infrastructure at Playland and help to further increase our site-wide diversion rate of 78 percent," says PNE President and CEO Shelley Frost. "As one of the best-attended family and youth attractions in the province, giving opportunities to support and promote environmental stewardship aligns with our core organizational values."

Also, as part of this collaboration, Return-It has introduced a fun and educational "Roll-a-Ball" game located at the Playland midway where guests can race their favourite Return-It character to the depot. The winner of the race will earn their own plush Return-It character.

"I am delighted to see Return-It's partnership with the PNE. I think we are all understanding more and more about our personal environmental impacts and how we can work together to reduce waste," says Honourable Niki Sharma, Attorney General and MLA for Vancouver-Hastings. "This is an important effort to promote environmental sustainability, and a fun way to teach kids about recycling and taking care of the environment."

"The PNE and Playland is a popular summertime destination for many people, so providing options for recycling is important," says Vancouver City Councillor and PNE Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung. "It's great to see the PNE and Return-It partner together in educating staff and visitors on recycling, and promoting used beverage container recycling stations to help keep the venue and our city clean and green."

With a focus on recycling education, staff training, and conveniently located recycling stations, the partnership is expected to inspire employees and guests to embrace a greener future and make a difference in their communities.

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