Plastic Awareness Campaign

Photo by the Jane Goodall Institute in New Zealand


The City of Victoria Youth Council’s Plastic Awareness Campaign was started by Matthew, Christine and Alex in the spring of 2019 to help share some important info on why we should all rethink the plastic we are consuming in order to protect our planet. 

Plastic has become one of the leading environmental issues on Earth! We believe it is up to all of us to make the necessary changes needed to end our constant consumption of single-use plastic. 

We see the potential for large-scale change in the CRD. The BC Supreme Court ruled in favour of the City of Victoria’s by-law banning single-use plastic bags in June of 2018. This is a great step towards creating a more sustainable city – with the plastic bag ban representing only the beginning of what’s both possible and necessary!

We understand that the research surrounding plastic can feel overwhelming.
We’re here to help.  We’ve collected data and assembled a master-list of resources that we feel can help make our plastic problem more easily digestible. Our group has also developed a sustainable living guide to show some simple steps that we can all make to create a more positive impact in our community! 

We plan to distribute the guide (and a poster-version of it) to local businesses, community centres and schools in the CRD. You can find a downloadable pdf version here. 


We have a lot of questions surrounding plastic.
How long does plastic stick around? (+1,000 years) How much plastic is generated every year in Victoria? (Over 17 million plastic bags used – CBC article). How much has been generated on the planet? (+8.3 billion tonnes)How has plastic become so entrenched in our everyday lives? (Video) Read on to find more answers. 

This graph from Hartland Landfill outside of Victoria shows that plastics make up about 13.1% of the solid waste accumulated in our community. However, it is estimated that less than 11% of all plastics are recycled in Canada. Almost 90% end up in our landfills, lakes/oceans or incinerated (which creates some of the most dangerous emissions on Earth). 

How long does plastic stick around?
Petroleum-based plastics don’t decompose the same way organic material can. Plastic items like single-use plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in a landfill – while leaking pollutants into our soil and water systems. 

What Can We Do To Help? 

  • Reducing plastic consumption
  • Alternatives to plastic 
  • Support brands that care, Encourage other brands to take action, etc. 
  • Sign this petition (and ones like it to help protect our oceans/encourage world leaders to act on climate!) 


Our ‘Bad For Your Brand’ account on Twitter shares up-to-date information on plastic pollution, the brands that are enabling it, climate change and more!

Sustainability Guide
(Be sure to include local brands that offer plastic alternatives: Beeswax wraps, Zero Waste Emporium, etc.)

Plastics Poster


Green Peace – Break Free from Plastic 

Our World in Data – Plastic Pollution

Biological Diversity’s Sustainability Tips
Reducing Single-Use Plastic at the Local Level
The Story of Stuff – Plastics/Bottled Water 

Plastic Free Mermaid 

Tiny Trash Can 


We understand that there is still so much to do when it comes to creating an awareness around plastic that has a lasting impact. 

Here is a list of our plans going forward: 

  • Encouraging policy changes Victoria’s ‘Ban the Bag’ to spread across Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada and worldwide! 
  • Creating a larger plastic ban that includes all types of single-use plastic (styrofoam, cutlery, etc.) and while offering reusable options. 
  • We’d like to see brands that are fighting against single-use plastic celebrated! 
  • Awards displayed in local businesses that are plastic free 
  • An annual ‘Plastic Free Victoria’ event to bring together active community members

Vote to Improve Life for Youth in Victoria

M e d i a  R e l e a s e

 Date: Monday, June 17th                                                        

For Immediate Release

VICTORIA, BC —Victoria residents are invited to cast their vote on which community projects should receive funding in this year’s City of Victoria Participatory Budgeting.

The focus in 2019 is on projects that improve the lives of youth in Victoria.  Sixteen shortlisted projects are vying for up to $50,000 in funding. Now it is the community’s turn to weigh in.

Some of the projects include a series of workshops to learn about upcycling and altering unwanted clothes, an art and recreation program for underprivileged youth, and a ‘Perfect Parenting’ program for young parents.

The projects that receive the most votes from the community will receive funding. To vote and view all 16 projects go to or in person at City Hall through July 19, 2019.

The Participatory Budgeting “Street Team” will also be hosting pop-up voting stations in the community. Watch for them at Fern Fest on Saturday, June 22 and at other community events throughout the city.

Participatory Budgeting is an innovative, democratic process that gives the entire community the opportunity to participate and decide how to invest a portion of the City budget. The City’s citizen-led volunteer Participatory Budget Steering Committee is being coordinated this year by the City of Victoria Youth Council. 

“The Participatory Budgeting Steering Committee would like to thank the many enthusiastic individuals, groups, and community organizations for the thoughtful and diverse proposals we received,” said Emma-Jane Burian, a member of the Steering Committee and a member of the City of Victoria Youth Council.

“The creativity of each proposal is a testament to this city having great people with innovative ideas and a drive to make a difference. It’ll be a tough choice at the ballot box,” said Tara Skobel, Youth Programs Coordinator with Quadra Village Community Centre, who is hosting the Youth Council this year and involved with them on the Steering Committee.

The rewarded projects will be announced in August and projects will get underway later this fall.

To learn more about the City of Victoria’s Participatory Budgeting process and cast your vote, please visit

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For More Information:

Tara Skobel
Youth Programs Coordinator

Quadra Village Community Centre
250.388.7696 ext 224

Bill Eisenhauer
Head of Engagement
City of Victoria


Participatory Budgeting 2019 Launched!!!



We are NOW Accepting Proposals for Participatory Budgeting 2019/20

Funding for Youth Projects and Programs

Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.  The process was first developed in Brazil in 1989 and is now practiced in over 1,500 cities around the world.

In 2019, the City of Victoria has $52,000 for Participatory Budgeting projects that will be voted upon by the public.  These projects may be implemented by the City, a non-profit organization or citizens of Greater Victoria depending upon the nature of the project.  This year projects MUST benefit youth ages 9-24.  The three steps are as follows:

  1. Members of the public submit the Proposal Form and Budget Form (Budget Form available at ca/pb)
  2. Steering Committee and City of Victoria reviews proposals to ensure they meet the criteria outlined on the website ca/pb.
  3. Public Voting (more than one project may be chosen for implementation)

While we encourage creativity and innovation and don’t want to put too many limits on your thinking, there are a few criteria every idea must meet:

  • Projects and events must take place within the City of Victoria
  • Projects and events must benefit youth
  • Projects must be submitted by a resident of the Capital Region District (CRD)
  • Projects can be put forward by individuals, groups, or non-profit organizations
  • Private businesses cannot put forward a project, but can sponsor one by providing additional funds


Day or Evening of Learning

People considering applying for this funding are encouraged to attend one of our learning opportunities:

Evening of Learning

Date: Wednesday, April 10, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Location: Victoria City Hall Antechamber

Who: Everyone’s invited

Details: Part 1: Participatory Budgeting 101, Part 2: Build Your Own Proposal

A light dinner will help fuel the conversations.

RSVP for this event


Day of Learning

Date: Saturday, April 13, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Location: Quadra Village Community Centre, 901 Kings Road

Who: This event has been designed for youth, but everyone is welcome!

Details: Part 1: Participatory Budgeting 101, Part 2: Build Your Own Proposal

Join us for lunch, music and some fun and games.

RSVP for this event


Important Deadlines

  1. Proposal and Budget From: Due May 6, 2019
  2. Voting: June 16 to July 19, 2019
  3. Winners Announced: Late July


If you have any questions while filling out the Proposal Form or the Budget Form please email  or call Tara at 250 388 7696 ext 224.