Last week Environment, Conservation and Parks Minister Rod Phillips released a discussion paper about reducing waste and litter which includes sections on making producers responsible for waste, diverting food and organic waste, reducing plastic waste going into landfills and providing clear rules for compostables, according to a media release from Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller’s office
“I am pleased to see our government focused on waste reduction and diversion,” said Miller. “It is shocking that we still only manage to recycle or otherwise divert 30 per cent of our waste from landfill.”
The discussion paper notes that Ontario’s waste diversion rate has stalled at 30 per cent for the past 15 years, with 70 per cent of waste still going to a landfill. Sixty per cent of food and organic waste is still sent to landfills where “it breaks down to create methane, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG), and contributes to climate change.”
The paper also addresses plastic waste and states, “We know that other jurisdictions have implemented a ban on single-use plastics to prevent plastic waste,” but stops short of recommending that move for Ontario, instead asking readers of the paper “Would a ban on single-use plastics be effective in reducing plastic waste?”
Related story: Local restaurants go straw-free to help reduce plastic waste
“We know that Ontarians want to do their part to reduce litter and waste, whether at home, at work or on the go,” said Phillips. “There are so many great ideas out there in the province that we want to build on to reduce waste, divert more of it away from landfills and get our diversion rate moving in the right direction again.”
Miller has, in the past, introduced a number of waste-reduction-related Private Member’s Bills including ones on compostable coffee pods, producer responsibility, and deposit return systems for liquor bottles and batteries.
The discussion paper can be viewed and commented on at the Environmental Registry here until April 20, 2019.
Don’t miss out on Doppler! Sign up for our free newsletter here.