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  • What is ShareWares?
    ShareWares is a citywide platform that supplies, sanitizes, and tracks reusable cups and other food packaging containers for Vancouver businesses. By harnessing current city infrastructure, we believe it is entirely possible to end the world's single-use garbage crisis within the decade. We do so by making reusable packaging borrowing services convenient and accessible so borrowing becomes the default choice for all packaging selection. With the help of our user-friendly web app, users can easily find locations to borrow and return reusable containers across Vancouver.
  • Why are reusable items important?
    In 2018, 1.1 billion single-use items were thrown away into Metro Vancouver's landfills and this has only been amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these items end up leaching toxins, chemicals, and microplastics into our environment. To combat this environmental issue, the City of Vancouver has developed a Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy, which includes a $0.25 single-use cup fee that started in January 2022. It’s time for change, and going reusable is a crucial step in supporting a circular, zero-waste economy that supports the well-being of our city.
  • Are reusable items safe to use during COVID?
    We understand that there is often confusion and uncertainty around the safety of using reusable products and services during this time. According to Metro Vancouver, reusable items can be used in retail settings during the COVID-19 pandemic as long as precautions remain in place. Furthermore, with our in-house WashLab, we have full control over quality control and can assure you that all our reusable products are washed and sanitized to a food-safe level.
  • What reusable products do you offer?
    Currently, we offer reusable products for: Hot & cold drinks (16 oz) Water & mixed drinks (10 oz/12oz) Wine (5 oz) Beer (16 oz/22 oz) Smoothies (16 oz/22 oz) Ice cream (10 oz/12oz) Takeout boxes (38 oz (6” x 9”))
  • What are your products made from?
    All ShareWares products are made from 100% recycled #5 Plastic: Polypropylene (PP) sourced from North America. It’s the second most widely produced plastic next to PET, and is light, heat resistant and very durable. PP is the choice resin for many food contact materials such as cups, containers, and utensils. This is mainly due to the non-volatile properties of the resin, and that it doesn’t react when in contact with hot foods, fatty foods, or acidic foods. It has the highest recyclability and reforming potential of all conventional plastics, and is considered the safest choice of all plastics according to the FDA.
  • Why do you use plastic?
    We considered all the material options and decided on polypropylene because of these 3 main reasons: Lightweight: this makes the items more stackable and convenient to carry, allowing for a lower carbon footprint during transportation Accessible + inclusive: plastic allows for us to offer a lower deposit price point, making it a more inclusive and accessible platform Closed-loop recycling: if our cups become damaged, plastic is easy and cost-effective to break down and reform
  • How do I borrow a reusable cup?
    Our reusable items can be found at any of our partner locations. Once inside, order your drink of choice and mention that you’d like it in a reusable ShareWares cup. The cafe will charge you the price of your drink plus a $1.50 deposit that is fully refundable. By borrowing a reusable cup you can save on the new $0.25 single-use cup fee imposed by the City of Vancouver and save a single-use cup!
  • What are the QR codes on your reusable items for?
    We have QR codes on our reusable products to allow users to quickly open our app to find a drop-off location to return them. By scanning it, it also tags the item to you so that you can easily get your deposit back. Additionally, it allows us to count the number of uses of each reusable item to measure the success of our program and track our waste reduction impact.
  • How do I create a ShareWares account?
    A ShareWares account can be easily created on our web app through Google or Facebook. Alternatively, you can create an account with just an email and password. We don’t collect any of your personal data and promise we won’t send you spam or ask you for any kind of bank or credit card information.
  • I don’t have a smartphone. Can I still borrow a reusable cup or takeout container?
    Yes! We wanted to make our reusable items as accessible as possible, including those who don’t own or choose not to use a smartphone. Reusable items can be returned directly to our ShareWares depot at 69 W 3rd Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia, V5Y 3T8 and we will give you your deposit back as cash.
  • How do I return a borrowed reusable cup?
    To return a borrowed item, just scan the QR code on your reusable item to get started. This will prompt you to either login or create a ShareWares account. Once logged in, tap the Return button on the bottom of our web app to find a return option. If you are dropping off at a partner location, head inside the store and look for our ShareWares bin. Scan the QR codes on each of your reusable items as well as the QR code on the bin. Then, drop everything in, press submit on your phone, and you’re done! If you are choosing home pick-up, place an order with one of our zero-waste grocer partners Jarr, WiseFill, or Livlite and get your ShareWares reusable items picked up with your next delivery. If you are choosing return to a depot, visit us at 69 W 3rd Ave, Vancouver for a cash refund.
  • How long do I have to return a borrowed reusable cup?
    We ask that users return their reusable cups within 7 days to reduce the number of cups produced to operate as a citywide initiative. The longer the cups are borrowed, the more cups are needed to keep businesses stocked up. However, at the moment we are not super strict on the 7 day return period, but be mindful of it as reduced deposit refunds may be imposed in the future.
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