The National Zero Waste Council is a leadership initiative bringing together governments, businesses and non-government organizations to advance waste prevention in Canada. Founded by Metro Vancouver in collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in 2013, the Council has united, among others, five of Canada’s largest metropolitan regions – Metro Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Edmonton – with key business and government leaders, academia and non-profit organizations in a call for national action and systems change to address waste generation.

A focus on waste prevention and on cross-sector collaboration uniquely positions the Council as an agent of change driving innovation in the design, production and use of goods in support of a circular economy. In just two short years, the Council has strategically grown its membership and network of partners, undertaken national outreach and engagement, and delivered a first set of “lighthouse” projects through its member-led working groups. With a focus on product design and behaviour change the Council is taking action on the factors that drive waste generation in support of a high quality of life, environmental sustainability and economy prosperity while consuming fewer resources and less energy.



Canada united in the achievement of zero waste, now and for future generations.



To act collaboratively with business, government and the community, at the national and international level, as an agent of change for waste prevention and reduction in the design, production and use of goods.

Guiding Principles

  1. Commit to collaboratively working with business, government and community partners to develop new solutions.
  2. Adopt a waste prevention and reduction framework that positions Canadian cities and businesses to compete globally in an emerging resource-constrained economy.
  3. Align with global and international initiatives.
  4. Stress the economic, social, and environmental benefits associated with the conservation of resources
  5. Consider local and global consequence and long term impacts.



Implement National Communication Campaigns
Develop and support national communication and education campaigns to build public awareness that products and packaging can and should be designed to prevent waste, with benefits for the economy, the environment and lifestyles.

Advance Policy Development
Research and assess opportunities for policy harmonization that will facilitate producers to improve the design of products and packaging, and pursue targeted initiatives to help facilitate this shift in identified product streams.

Facilitate Knowledge Exchange and Dialogue
Support and leverage existing initiatives and opportunities that promote best practices and facilitate knowledge exchange between industry, government and other key stakeholders.