Enviro Group Calls on New Provincial Government to Adopt Zero-Cost Waste Management Strategy

For Immediate Release
October 11, 2011

Toronto: A Toronto-based environmental group today called on political parties to work together to adopt a new waste management strategy that costs the provincial treasury nothing and saves municipal taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by forcing companies to take full responsibility for handling their packaging and product waste.

“I’m hoping the new Legislature will agree to a plan that saves municipal taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year and helps the environment,” said Franz Hartmann, Executive Director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance. “We think there may be support to quickly enact new legislation that forces the companies that create the huge amount of packaging and product waste to finally take full responsibility for dealing with this waste.”

The Toronto Environmental Alliance released a report today called Don’t Trash our Environment: Why Companies Need to be Part of Ontario’s Waste Solution. It outlines how Ontarians have become the financial victims of bad packaging and design decisions made by most companies. Unlike other jurisdictions, Ontarians have to pay most of the costs for the handling of packaging and product waste through municipal taxes and garbage fees that pay for Blue Box collection and garbage disposal. The report calls on the Province to pass new laws that make Extended Producer Responsibility, or Product Stewardship, a reality in Ontario.

“The good news is that companies in Ontario, like the Beer Store, make it clear that companies who take responsibility for their packaging waste can be financially successful, help the environment and save Ontarians money,” said Emily Alfred, the report author and Waste Campaigner for the Toronto Environmental Alliance.

“Making companies take responsibility for their product and packaging waste works in Ontario and many other places in the world,” said Franz Hartmann. “Now it’s time every company in Ontario should take financial responsibility for their product and packaging waste. That’s why we are calling on the new Legislature to make Extended Producer Responsibility the law in Ontario.”

Hartmann noted that a copy of the report was sent to the Premier and the two party leaders and hopes the new government will agree to implement an EPR law as quickly as possible.