Single-use plastics are harmful, toxic and downright misleading, with non-recyclable items like black takeout containers and coffee pods wreaking havoc on our local recycling system and environment. While all decision makers consider how to act, communities need to be loud and demand bold action.
Will Toronto Act on Single-Use Plastics?
Looking back on the years of heated debates and disagreement about plastic bag bans and fees in Toronto’s history, it might seem like talking about bans on plastics is out of the question.
But, faced with ongoing problems with Toronto’s recycling system, including blue bin contamination and the rising cost and complexity of recycling, City Council is reconsidering whether bans and fees are a key part of reducing problem plastics.
We need to work on solutions at the Federal and Provincial level - like making companies fully responsible for ensuring that what they sell is collected and recycled into new things. This helps to take the financial risk off the City and give companies a reason to pause and think about their design. However, new Federal and Provincial regulations aren’t moving fast enough and we can’t wait for action.
Seeing the rising costs and problems, the City is taking another look at what it can do right now to reduce the flow of plastic products and packaging that are filling our waste bins. If City Council agrees, City staff will spend the next two months investigating options to restrict, discourage and flat out ban problem plastics.
City staff are likely to look closely at problem plastics like black plastics, which are common in take-out food containers but are not recyclable in City litter bins or residential blue bins, and coffee pods, which are growing in popularity but currently just contaminate the recycling stream.
Staff will also be looking at what the City can do when companies promote their products as recyclable or compostable, but they can’t be recycled or composted in Toronto’s blue bin.
On July 10th, City of Toronto staff will bring their report to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee for consideration of Councillors.
We’re mobilizing to ensure they consider all of the options and tools they have to deal with single-use plastics.
Lobbyists are powerful, and they are meeting with decision-makers. Collectively, we need to push our Councillors to take bold actions and show them there is broad and deep support for action on plastics.
While other levels of our government consider what to do, and other jurisdictions like Vancouver and the EU take big steps to ban types of plastic, Toronto needs to rise to the challenge.
- Read TEA's articles and analysis about action on plastics.
- Visit the City of Toronto's website to see the item coming to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting.
Send a letter to your City Councillor and the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee
Meet with or call your Councillor
Share the petition on social media and use #ActOnPlasticsTO