Creating the circular economy.

The Project Zero incubator program helps entrepreneurs with new business ideas or early start-ups turn waste into a resource rather than a liability.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to contribute to a circular economy,” says Victoria-based entrepreneur and Vancity business member Laska Paré. “Anything you purchase, you’re responsible for it until the end of its life cycle.”

It was this idea that inspired Laska to start Flipside Plastics, a micro-recycling business helping turn plastic waste, such as coffee cup lids, into new, useful products, such as soap dishes, clothespins and coasters. “Currently, plastic on Vancouver Island is collected and shipped to the mainland to be processed – and it’s not guaranteed it will actually be recycled after that.”

Anything you purchase, you’re responsible for it until the end of its life cycle.

She knew what problem she wanted to solve. But, with limited industry knowledge or business expertise, she didn’t know where to start. Enter Project Zero.

A partnership between Synergy Foundation and Vancity, the program helps entrepreneurs with new business ideas or early start-ups. With a focus on the circular economy, participants learn entrepreneurial skills, connect with mentors and develop a business plan for their idea.

In 2021, Project Zero expanded to the Lower Mainland. In addition to the incubator, Project Zero fosters community connections through educational presentations and workshops and by hosting roundtables with policymakers to highlight challenges and find solutions.

Project Zero (project-zero.ca)

Banking on the Downtown Eastside.