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Straws, stir sticks and bags among first targets of countrywide plastics ban – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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OTTAWA – Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says six single-use plastic items that aren’t easily recycled and already have more environmentally-friendly alternatives will be the first to go under Canada’s new restrictions on plastics.

That means it’s the end of the road for plastic straws, stir sticks, carry-out bags, cutlery, Styrofoam dishes and takeout containers and six-pack rings for cans and bottles.

The proposed ban still has to go through the government’s regulatory process but Wilkinson said the goal is to have it in place by the end of 2021.

He also said a ban is just one part of a zero-plastic waste strategy that includes making plastics that aren’t being banned easier to recycle by standardizing their production, and creating a market for recycled plastic by requiring most plastic packaging to include recycled material.

A discussion paper released today suggests that at least half the content of some plastic items should be recycled material by 2030, the same year more than half of all plastic packaging needs to be reused or recycled.

Canadians throw away more than three million tonnes of plastic every year, and less than one-tenth of it is recycled. Even when we think it’s being recycled because we put it into the blue bin on the curb, there are so few options for recycling here or abroad that much of that is still eventually trucked to a garbage dump.

“I know it is presently hard to come back from the grocery store without a single-use plastic item, particularly around packaging on food,” Wilkinson said. “You use it, you throw it in the recycling bin and more often than not it ends up in a landfill. This has to change.”

Sarah King, head of Greenpeace Canada’s plastics and oceans campaign, said Wednesday this proposed plastics strategy is nowhere close to the full ban on producing single-use plastics that is needed.

She said at the very least, bottles and coffee cups and lids needed to be on the list of banned items, and was disappointed there was no funding or specific plan to show a path toward getting more plastic recycled.

“I think the government in general thinks this is a balanced approach but the reality is this is an urgent situation,” said King.

Wilkinson said the new standards for plastic content will spur investments in a domestic recycling industry that is currently quite small. A 2019 report commissioned by Environment Canada said there are fewer than a dozen recycling companies in Canada.

The Alberta government announced Tuesday it wants to position itself as western North America’s epicentre for plastics diversion and recycling by 2030.

Wilkinson said he thinks that dovetails nicely with Ottawa’s plastics plan, which he stressed is not zero plastics, but rather zero-plastics waste.

He stressed repeatedly bans are only going to be applied to a small number of products which are really hard to recycle.

Plastics are very useful and we all use them,” he said. “We just need to make sure that we’re not throwing them in the landfill or dumping them in the ocean. We need to ensure that they stay in the economy and that is exactly what this plan is aiming to do.”

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage was less certain.

She said plastic continues to be the foundation of the modern world and the province’s petrochemical industry needs to be able to take advantage of that.

“They have to approach everything as in do no harm,” Savage said in Calgary Wednesday. “Don’t damage us any further. Don’t harm us in Alberta. Stay in your own lane. Stay within your own constitutional bounds and let Albertans get back to work.”

Canada intends to add plastics to a list of toxic items under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, a designation that comes after a scientific assessment found plastics to be harmful. Designating them as toxic is a required step in order to ban the planned items.

A need to beef up domestic recycling arose in 2018, when China stopped accepting foreign plastics for recycling because it was tired of that material arriving loaded down with garbage that could not be recycled.

Canada will join dozens of nations that have enacted various bans on single-use plastics. The United Kingdom just began enforcing a ban on plastic straws and stir sticks and plastic-stemmed cotton buds last week.

France began phasing in a ban in January, starting with plastic plates, cups and cotton buds. Straws and cutlery will be added in 2021, and tea bags, fast-food toys and takeout containers in 2022.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2020.

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Fastly Announces Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results – Business Wire

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SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fastly, Inc. (NYSE: FSLY), provider of an edge cloud platform, today posted its financial results for the third quarter 2020 in its shareholder letter on the Investor Relations section of its website at https://investors.fastly.com.

“Despite the customer-specific challenges we faced this quarter, we are pleased with the continued strength and resilience of our business, including a 42% year-over-year top-line growth in the third quarter,” said Joshua Bixby, CEO of Fastly. “We not only continued to gain new customers, with the second-highest quarter of new customer additions since going public, but we also expanded our engagement with existing customers. Looking ahead, we remain confident in the future of Fastly. Customers are increasingly relying on our platform to transform their businesses, and we are delivering on two key pillars of our long-term strategy with Secure@Edge and Compute@Edge.”

Fastly management will host a live Q&A session today at 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET to discuss financial results and outlook.

Fastly Third Quarter 2020 Q&A Session

When: Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Time: 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET

Conference ID: 2491525

Live Call: (833) 968-2077 (US/Canada) or (236) 714-2139 (International)

Webcast: https://investors.fastly.com

The webcast will be archived on the investor relations site following the call.

About Fastly

Fastly helps people stay better connected with the things they love. Fastly’s edge cloud platform enables customers to create great digital experiences quickly, securely, and reliably by processing, serving, and securing our customers’ applications as close to their end-users as possible — at the edge of the internet. Fastly’s platform is designed to take advantage of the modern internet, to be programmable, and to support agile software development with unmatched visibility and minimal latency, empowering developers to innovate with both performance and security. Fastly’s customers include many of the world’s most prominent companies, including Vimeo, Pinterest, The New York Times, and GitHub.

This press release contains “forward-looking” statements that are based on our beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to us on the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our future financial and operating performance, including our outlook and guidance, our ability to gain new customers and expand engagement with existing customers, our customers’ reliance on our platform to transform their business, and our ability to deliver on our long-term strategy. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. Important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially are detailed from time to time in the reports Fastly files with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Copies of reports filed with the SEC are posted on Fastly’s website and are available from Fastly without charge.

Source: Fastly, Inc.

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Canadians are feeling pandemic fatigue. Experts say ‘greater good’ message isn’t enough – Global News

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COVID-weary. COVID-tired. COVID-fatigued.

No matter how you chop it up, the feeling likely resonates for many at this point in the coronavirus pandemic. Months of isolation, fears and lifestyle changes have taken its toll. In turn, following COVID-19 safety guidelines has begun to feel like more and more of a challenge.

A new poll puts into perspective just how fatigued Canadians are. The poll, conducted by Ipsos, found nearly half of Canadians are getting tired of following public health recommendations and rules related to the virus. The feeling of burnout was most prominent in Quebec (52 per cent) and Alberta (53 per cent) and less so in British Columbia (34 per cent).

Read more:
Coronavirus ‘fatigue’ is real, but we can’t give up, says World Health Organization

The challenge now — both for people and policymakers — is tackling it.

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Igor Grossmann, psychology professor and director of the Wisdom and Culture Lab at the University of Waterloo, said understanding the situation at hand might help strengthen our resolve.

“We often get this ‘hunker down and get through it’ message,” he said. “But if we start accepting that this is a marathon situation, the sooner we develop meaning out of the situation.”


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Riots in Italy, pushback in Spain over COVID-19 curfews and rules


Riots in Italy, pushback in Spain over COVID-19 curfews and rules

Falling off the bandwagon

Not only has the medley of measures imposed by countries plunged economies into a sharp contraction, it’s also had a profound impact on people’s psychological well-being. Nine months since the lockdown, rules and restrictions still keep many aspects of life fenced in. In a separate poll, 25 per cent of Canadians said their stress level is higher than during the first COVID-19 wave.


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Coronavirus: How stress and fatigue is taking its toll in the pandemic


Coronavirus: How stress and fatigue is taking its toll in the pandemic

Understandably, “we’re exhausted,” said Steven Joordens, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

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High-stress situations often elicit a “fight-or-flight” response, he said, but that reaction is “meant to be short term.”

“When there’s a predator in front of you, you either take on the predator or get the heck away from them. Either way, 15 or 20 minutes and it’s over, and you come out of that state,” he said.

“We’ve had this predator staring in our face for months.”

What’s followed is a collective burnout or exhaustion, and everyone experiences it differently. Some may feel restless, irritable, lack motivation or have difficulty concentrating on tasks. Some people may find themselves withdrawing from socializing, while others might feel physical symptoms like changes in eating and sleep habits. Young people are particularly susceptible, according to Joordens.

Read more:
As cases increase, are Montrealers suffering from ‘COVID-19 fatigue’?


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How ‘pandemic fatigue’ could be leading to case surge


How ‘pandemic fatigue’ could be leading to case surge

The age divide is reflected in the Ipsos poll. Pandemic fatigue was highest among Generation Z (57 per cent), Millennials (50 per cent), and Generation X (53 per cent).

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The burnout has become somewhat of an adversary for governments trying to quell a second wave of the virus.

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Canada’s top doctor has repeatedly urged Canadians “not to give into COVID-19 fatigue.” So has the WHO. Its researchers estimate that about half the population of Europe is experiencing “pandemic fatigue” as infections surge yet again.

But the “stay home” message has expired, and experts worry the “greater good” or “we’re all in this together” message designed to keep people engaged has too.

“It’s very abstract,” said Grossmann. “For some people, it might work. But for individuals facing economic hardships because of the crisis, or people who are more concerned about simply surviving the next day with kids running around, that doesn’t resonate anymore.”


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Coronavirus: WHO acknowledges pandemic fatigue, asks people not to give up


Coronavirus: WHO acknowledges pandemic fatigue, asks people not to give up

What needs to change?

For one, we need to acknowledge “things are different now,” said Samantha Yammine, a neuroscientist and science communicator.

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Not only do we know far more about the virus than in March, we also have tools to make activities safer, said Yammine. She said too much of the focus has been the “no’s” and “you cant’s” despite the public appetite for wanting to do things, but do them safely.

“Fatigue comes from frustration.

“If we focus on what we can’t do rather than what we can, that’s why we fatigue. It feels very limiting.”

This is where adopting a harm reduction approach would be helpful, she said, both on an individual level and policy level.

“Every decision is a big task. … We’re at a point where should say, ‘Here’s how you reduce your risk as much as possible.’”

Read more:
What is the ‘Swiss cheese model’ and how can it apply to coronavirus?

Yammine said people need to feel empowered to make a choice through the right information.

“I think then they’ll feel less trapped and hopefully less fatigued,” she said.

According to the recent polling, 93 per cent of Canadians say they’re doing their best to abide by public health recommendations and rules. Support for safety measures also remains high. On masks, nearly 86 per cent of Canadians say they support the mandatory wearing of face masks when in public, with younger Canadians even more likely to be wearing them when out-and-about.

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“We’re in this process of modifying all of our habits, and it will get easier,” said Joordens.


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Coronavirus: Trudeau acknowledges COVID-19 fatigue setting in with ‘tough winter ahead’, says it ‘really sucks’


Coronavirus: Trudeau acknowledges COVID-19 fatigue setting in with ‘tough winter ahead’, says it ‘really sucks’

He said it was trickiest when things first reopened, which might have sent out mixed signals. When governments opted to open bars, restaurants and gyms, even with new rules, he said some people might have interpreted that as these places being safe or safer.

“Habits are triggered by the environment. So as soon as you go back into that bar, everything about it triggers you to behave like you did the last time you were there,” he said.

“The hope is that we develop new habits over time to keep up with the changes.”

But it won’t be easy, said Grossmann. He said the vagueness in some of the ever-changing recommendations deviates from the core message — that “this won’t be over anytime soon.”

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“Not every situation is alike, but we need to figure out how to balance something that is challenging in different ways across different provinces and different municipalities,” he said.

“You don’t want a new rule to come in and have people say, ‘Well, that doesn’t apply to me.’”

Read more:
A Canadian coronavirus winter is looming — and it could ‘amplify loneliness’

What can you do personally?

A looming winter will provide an extra challenge, experts agree. Weariness over restrictions might grow as cold weather forces people indoors.

It comes down to arming yourself with the “basics,” said Joordens — a good night’s sleep, good nutrition and routine exercise.

“Leading a random life makes our body unhappy,” he said. “You have to find activities that bring you to a better place mentally.”

Before the snow piles up, think about ways to get outdoors in advance, he said. And once it does, make sure you stay connected socially.


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Winter blues setting in? How to cope during colder months


Winter blues setting in? How to cope during colder months

“I recommend the phone because people actually pay attention when they’re talking to you on the phone,” he said with a laugh.

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It’s also good to remember that we’re not perfect, said Yammine.

“We’re still going to face tough decisions. It’s still going to feel exhausting,” she said. But keeping up with the twist-and-turns of pandemic rules and recommendations is “like any goal you can set.”

“A New Year’s resolution, even,” she said.

“People often say you give up on your resolution the first time you slip up — but that’s not the right thinking. Just because maybe you have more riskier encounter or you just don’t care one day, it doesn’t mean you can’t do better the next.”

“Risk is cumulative. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. We can try again.”

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 23-26, 2020, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Canadian entrepreneur launching T. Kettle tea chain from the ashes of 45 shuttered DavidsTea locations – CBC.ca

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A Canadian entrepreneur with a track record of retail turnarounds is launching a chain of tea shops across the U.S. and Canada, out of recently closed DavidsTea locations.

Doug Putman, the owner of Sunrise Records, is set to open 45 locations across nine Canadian provinces and six U.S. states this weekend.

Named T. Kettle, the chain will have about 250 employees when they open, which is expected to happen this Sunday, Nov. 1. And the chain hopes to expand beyond that.

Waylaid by the COVID-19 pandemic that walloped foot traffic to malls and stores, DavidsTea went into insolvency proceedings this summer and shortly after announced plans to close about 200 locations and focus more on selling tea online. The Montreal-based tea shop says it will still have 18 locations when all is said and done, but that’s a drastically reduced retail footprint.

The tea shop is just one of many retailers to have been hit hard by the pandemic including clothier Reitmans, fashion chain Le Château, outdoor gear sellers MEC and Sail, fashion chain Mendocino, the company that owns Ricki’s Cleo and Bootlegger, and shoe retailer Aldo.

Retail sales overall only recently got back to the level they were at before the pandemic, and even then unevenly so, as there are wildly different situations in different areas and sectors.

But while the carnage is continuing in some sectors of retail, Putman sees an opportunity.

“When we found that they were filing for bankruptcy we were thinking about it, and then when they said they were closing all their stores, I started reaching out to landlords,” Putman told CBC News in an interview. “Sure enough everyone was pretty interested.”

Putman has a track record of turning around retail chains in sectors others think are doomed. In 2014, he purchased music store chain Sunrise Records. In 2017, he bought up the leases of 70 HMV locations across Canada when that chain went bust and converted them to Sunrise locations.

In 2019, he bought the HMV chain in its home market of Great Britain, and while several locations were closed, nearly 100 are still in operation. Then late last year he spent $10 million US to buy For Your Entertainment, a music, film and pop culture outlet that operates across the U.S.

Now he seems to be trying the same thing in the hot drink market.

Canadians consume about 500 million cups of tea a year. The country drinks about six times as many cups of coffee, Robert Carter says. (iStock/Getty Images)

“Everyone asked why would I buy a record chain as well, [but] we’ve always done well with the contrarian view so we’re sticking with that,” he said. “It’s definitely a tough time but there’s always opportunity in the tough times if you can see it.”

Putman says the chain will specialize in certified vegan, kosher and organic blends, and has an ethically sourced and sustainable supply chain.

Food industry consultant Robert Carter with StratonHunter says the plan is a “bold move” considering how niche the tea industry is. Canada is predominantly a coffee-drinking culture, with more than three billion cups consumed per year. Tea, meanwhile, is only about 500 million cups a year.

“It’s going to be a challenge for sure,” he said, adding that sales in the food category overall are only at about two-thirds of what they were before. 

Carter says he assumes the rent on those locations must be extraordinarily advantageous. “His deals must be off-the-chart sweetheart deals,” he said.

Retail consultant Farla Efros, president of HRC Advisory, says while restaurants and retail are still hurting, sales of hot drinks such as coffee and tea are faring comparatively better because they are seen as badly needed escape from consumers wary of being locked up at home.

“People want to support local,” she said in an interview. “So people are still going out to coffee shops and get some air and clear their heads.”

Although she had no inside knowledge of the financial terms of the deal between Putman and his landlords, she suspects the endeavour is probably fairly low risk for him.

“He’s probably getting the real estate for dirt cheap, landlords are desperate at this point,” she said, adding that she would not be surprised if the rent on the locations is something like a percentage of sales.

And taking over former tea shops is smart because the infrastructure is likely already in place. “He just needs to paint the sign and turn the lights on,” she said. “He’s such an idea generator, and if anyone can do it he can do it,” Efros said. 

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