For Immediate Release
June 06, 2013
Toronto: A proposed Provincial Waste Reduction Strategy is an important move in the right direction to overhaul Ontario’s broken waste diversion regulations and programs, says a Toronto environmental group that has been calling for better waste diversion for over 15 years.
“Waste reduction and diversion has stalled in Ontario,” says Emily Alfred, Waste Campaigner for the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA). “The strategy released today shows the Government is serious about fixing the laws in ways that help the environment, create jobs and cut costs to municipalities.”
The proposed Waste Reduction Act would ensure that the companies that make the products and packaging sold in Ontario have a responsibility to keep it out of landfill. It will eliminate the current industry price-fixing model and make individual producers responsible for their packaging and product waste, with strict government oversight. This will protect the environment, and will provide an incentive for companies to reduce waste in the first place and to design with the environment in mind.
“Companies need to understand that being environmentally responsible is not optional in Ontario, that it’s not something they can ignore,” said Alfred. “This Strategy makes it clear the Province wants companies to transform how they do business so that waste reduction is a core part of their activities, not a problem and cost that they pass on to municipalities to be paid for by waste fees and property taxes.”
TEA has been calling on the Province to make companies responsible for the full life cycle management of the products they sell for a number of years. “The good news is that companies like the Beer Store make it clear taking responsibility for their packaging waste can be financially successful, help the environment and save Ontarians money,” said Alfred.
TEA will be working hard to ensure the new laws and regulations include strict government oversight, high standards for waste reduction and recycling, and excellent enforcement to protect the environment and Ontario residents.