Canadian Tire

Circularity: Packaging & Product Waste

Our Commitment

As the Canadian retail market transitions from “take-make-dispose” to “reduce-reuse-recycle”, we are committed to being a leading retailer in the circular economy of the future.

A significant portion of consumer waste consists of packaging, and companies like ours that make and ship products can reduce how much waste ends up in landfill by reducing packaging, making products more recyclable and increasing the use of recycled materials. As a nationwide retailer with a significant portfolio of products that we design (which we refer to as our “owned brands”), we are investing in new designs and collaborative action to responsibly change the environmental impact of packaging and products, as well as creating opportunities for recycled materials to find a second life through reuse, repair and new packaging and products.

CTC is actively engaged in over 80 provincial extended producer responsibility programs that manage our customers’ products at end of life. Additionally, we participate in governance organizations for the stewardship of paper and packaging, tires, electrical appliances, power tools, paint, used oil and automotive materials to drive increased recovery rates, improved accessibility for customers and greater operational efficiencies.

We are channeling our entrepreneurial strengths to implement key strategies that:

  • address waste at the root cause by focusing our efforts on product design for our owned brands
  • capture more materials for recycling
  • develop circular opportunities for more materials, either in our value chain or for partners in other markets, to increase the reusability and recyclability of our products and packaging and;
  • provide Canadians with even more convenient opportunities to participate in recycling.

We Are Here to Make Life in Canada Better by actively working towards the reduction of product and packaging waste, and finding new lives for the materials in them, by collaborating with our customers and others.

Our Approach


We are committed to sourcing and designing our products with circularity in mind

We select and design products focused on customers’ expectations for durability, performance and value. While durability can reduce waste, we know that we can do more by thoughtfully selecting and designing products that will have a reduced impact on the environment through their use and end-of-life management. Within our various product categories, we seek different solutions, and within our owned brand products, we have accelerated our circular design capabilities.

Our Product Development and Merchandise teams are on a journey to continually improve our owned brand assortment to include recycled materials, safer chemical alternatives and follow design principles that enable reuse and recycling. To enable access to more recycled materials and to better support the Canadian circular economy, we are actively working with partners to recover more materials that can be recycled into new products for us to sell in our stores or use in our operations. Learn more about our Product Safety & Quality practices.

Outdoor Chair

Our teams are discovering more innovative ways to divert existing plastics, rubber and paper from the landfill, and are turning this knowledge into new products that Canadians can enjoy. For example, we are maximizing our competitive advantage of decades-long tire and rubber vendor relations to make innovative use of recycled crumb rubber.

Canadian Tire Logo
Marks Store

We foster industry and vendor collaboration

By working towards shared environmental goals with our peers, suppliers and other partners, we are discovering best practices and helping to set high national and international standards regarding plastics, packaging and circularity.

We are proud to be a founding member of the Canada Plastics Pact (CPP). This growing partnership of over 80 business leaders is committed to keeping plastics in the economy and out of the environment. The CPP is designed to foster aligned innovation and investment by all participants in the plastics value chain, including business, government, and non-governmental organizations. Together, the partners are rethinking how we design, use and reuse plastics, charting a clear, actionable path towards a circular economy for plastic by 2025. In addition, we are also members of the Circular Economy Leadership Canada, and the Circular Innovation Council.

The CPP is part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Pact Network, a globally aligned response to plastic waste and pollution. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, through its New Plastics Economy initiative, has united more than 1,000 organizations behind a shared vision of a circular economy for plastic.

Visit the Canada Plastics Pact and Ellen MacArthur Foundation websites for more information about these organizations.

Partnering with the Canada Plastics Pact:

In September 2021, the CPP released the most comprehensive and ambitious action plan to reduce plastic waste in Canadian history. As a founding member, we are working collaboratively with other members towards these key 2025 joint targets:

  • 100% plastic packaging designed to be reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • 50% of plastic packaging is effectively recycled or composted
  • 30% recycled content across all plastic packaging; and
  • Defining a list of plastic packaging that is to be designated as problematic or unnecessary and taking measures to eliminate them.
Visit the CPP’s Roadmap to 2025 to learn more

We are developing better packaging

We are reducing and improving the packaging of products in our stores, while maintaining their protection and safe transportation. In 2021, we introduced new sustainable product packaging standards for our owned brand products. These standards, which have been shared with all internal departments and vendors that produce our owned brand products, focus on five key priorities:  

  • reduce unnecessary packaging;
  • move from non-recyclable materials to recyclable materials;
  • eliminate packaging materials that are difficult to recycle, such as Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Polystyrene (PS);
  • improve ease of customer recycling by switching to single-material packaging; and
  • support the recycling materials markets and lower the costs of recycled material.

To support these priorities, we are leveraging the Consumer Goods Forum’s Golden Design Rules, a set of best practices for product and package design. Going forward, they will be used by our Owned Brand teams, and we will encourage our vendors to follow suit.

The Canada Plastics Pact and the 9 Golden Design Rules

The Golden Design Rules were developed by the Consumer Goods Forum, a consortium of international consumer goods manufacturing companies who combined represent more than 10% of the global plastics packaging market. The Canada Plastic Pact (CPP) is supportive of the 9 Golden Design Rules. As a founding partner of CPP, CTC continuously works to introduce new sustainable product packaging standards in support of the below 9 Golden Design Rules.


We reduce consumer waste by making it easier for customers to recycle old products

End-of-life recycling is an important step to reducing the creation of waste and enabling recycled materials to replace the use of virgin materials. At CTC, we are focused on increasing the recyclability of our products and packaging to ensure our customers are well-positioned for their own waste reduction efforts.

To help our customers recycle end-of-life products, we continue to work with stewardship programs to enable the collection of materials for processing. Where safe for our employees to do so, we manage programs that have collections at stores, including our Ontario Used Tire Recycling program, battery recycling and Go Eco in Quebec. For example, in 2021, we:

  • collected and recycled almost 950,000 automotive batteries through our partnership with East Penn Canada;
  • partnered with Recochem and RPM eco to collect nearly 62,000 windshield wiper fluid bottles from over 90 Gas+ and ONroute locations, which diverted 10 tonnes of plastic landfill to be incorporated into new windshield wiper fluid bottles (more information about our windshield wiper fluid bottle recycling program can be found in our Circularity: Operational Waste section); and
  • collected and recycled almost 600,000 tires in Ontario and expanded our assortment of products leveraging recycled crumb rubber that includes indoor mats, exercise mats, planters, garden edging and patio umbrella bases.

Car Enginer
Activewear drop off box

Unless otherwise indicated, information in this ESG Report is provided for the 2021 fiscal year. For further information on our approach to ESG reporting, including our Glossary, which sets out definitions of capitalized terms and acronyms that are not otherwise defined in this page, and our forward-looking information disclaimer, please click here.