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Province considering plastics ban

Discussion paper recommends reducing amount of waste generated

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

In an attempt to curb the amount of waste generated in Ontario, the provincial government is considering a ban on single use plastics.

The government recently released a discussion paper on reducing litter and waste, which includes the idea of banning single use plastics, and is asking for the public’s opinion on the matter.

The comment period on the discussion paper runs until April 20.

Durham Region council has been discussing the ban of single use plastics for some time.

In May 2018, Vancouver became the first major Canadian city to completely ban single use plastics.

However, the region has been using a “wait and see” approach, as council was unsure of what the province would do.

Single use plastics include items such as plastic bags, plastic water bottles, cups and other drink containers, cup lids, straws, stir sticks, cutlery, plates, and fast food take out containers.

According to the discussion paper, Ontario produces one ton of waste per person every year, and its overall diversion rate has stalled just below 30 per cent over the last 15 years.

It is recommended the province continue to reduce the amount of waste generated, and divert more from landfills through “proven methods” such as the provincial Blue Box program, and municipal green bin programs.

Other actions include making producers responsible for the waste generated by products and packaging from their own products, and reducing and diverting food and organic waste from households as well as businesses.

Other specific recommendations include preventing litter in neighbourhoods and parks, increase the opportunities the residents of Ontario have to reduce and divert waste at home, work or while travelling, recovering value of resources found in waste, and supporting competitive and sustainable end-markets for the province’s waste.

Feedback on the discussion paper can be made at https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/013-4689