Amazon returns tracking; Single-use plastic ban: CBC’s Marketplace cheat sheet


Missing something this week? Do not panic. CBC Marketplace brings together the consumer and health information you need. Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.

We’re back with a brand new season

Most of us are now online shoppers and with the pandemic, distance shopping has actually doubled in Canada. Almost half of us do something called “bracketing” – where you buy multiple items with the intention of returning at least some of them. So what happens to all these returns? You might think that they are just being sold to someone else. Think again.

We’ve shopped online at Amazon, the e-commerce goliath. And then we turned over all the items except with location trackers secretly placed inside. It’s a fascinating journey – and not the one that always ends in Amazon fulfillment centers.

You can see the full investigation – learning what liquidators are really doing with Amazon auction returns, and seeing where the tracked returns have been sent – on CBC Gem.

It makes you think twice about bracketing and the claims by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that his company is going green and reducing its carbon footprint.

– David Common and the Marketplace team

To find out where online returns go, Marketplace producers hid trackers in a dozen Amazon items and then sent them back to the online giant. (Anu Singh / CBC)

Say goodbye to plastic grocery bags, cutlery and straws

Prepare for big changes in grocery stores and restaurants across the country starting next year. The Liberal government announced this week that a ban on certain single-use plastics will go into effect by the end of 2021.

“Your local stores will offer you alternatives to these plastic products, such as reusable bags or paper bags instead of plastic,” Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said. Read more

In 2019, Marketplace traveled to Malaysia and found that recycling Canadian plastic was being dumped and burned overseas.

The end is coming for plastic grocery bags, straws, cutlery, stir sticks, six-pack rings and hard-to-recycle plastic take-out containers. (CBC Graphics)

Confused about Thanksgiving this year? You’re not alone

The second wave of COVID-19 hits Ontario and Quebec head-on. But a lot of people still don’t know what to do for turkey dinner this year. In some parts of the country, gatherings may be possible, but in the hardest-hit areas, you’ll want to be more careful. “If you’re in Ontario and Quebec, I think the smartest thing to do is stay in your immediate social circles,” says Dr. Theresa Tam. Read more

Canadians are trying to decipher confusing advice from public health officials on what type of gathering, if any, is appropriate and safe for Thanksgiving. (wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock)

It’s been a year since Devan Selvey was killed in his high school. What changed?

The 14-year-old stabbing sparked conversations about bullying across Canada. But are things different now? It remains to be seen.

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) responded by setting up a committee to look at four areas of bullying – prevention, response, reporting and intervention. But the final report, which was originally due on May 31, was delayed by COVID-19. Read more

In 2019, Marketplace investigated violence in schools and conducted a survey which found that four in 10 boys are physically assaulted at school.

Photos of Devan Selvey can be found among stuffed animals, flowers and messages of support at a memorial outside the home of Hamilton, 14, after her death on October 7, 2019 (Dan Taekema / CBC)

She found a broken needle in her spine. How did he get there?

It was a medical error that took over a decade to uncover – after medical staff at the time failed to report it. Now Giovanna Ippolito wants answers, but experts say that with a system stacked against Canadians harmed by medical errors, it is likely that no one will have to take responsibility. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, more than 132,000 patients suffered some kind of medical injury in 2018-2019. Read more

An x-ray shows the partial five-centimeter-long needle stuck in Giovanna Ippolito’s spine – a mistake discovered years after giving birth that medical staff at the time did not report. (Submitted by Giovanna Ippolito)

What else is going on?

Netflix again increases some subscriber plans in Canada
The standard monthly plan increases from $ 1 to $ 14.99 and the premium from $ 2 to $ 18.99.

For many workers, reduced hours or pay cuts have beaten layoffs due to pandemic
WestJet pilots have agreed to cut their pay by 50% to help preserve jobs.

Health Canada recalls eye drops claiming to contain human placenta from Edmonton company
The eye drops were sold at the Calgary Trail Vision Center.

Few provinces still resist the COVID Alert app as new features under consideration
Quebec becomes the sixth province to launch an exposure notification app, with NS and Prince Edward Island not far behind.

These CB2 tables have been recalled
The table legs can collapse during movement or use, posing a risk of injury.

Marketplace needs your help

CBC Marketplace is looking for people who have experienced racism in real estate. Did you receive a bad review? Have you removed cultural objects to showcase your home? We want to hear from you. Write to us at [email protected]

Catch up on past episodes of Marketplace anytime on CBC Gem.


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