Reuse not single-use

REUSE, NOT SINGLE-USE: Support bold City-wide action to reduce waste and single-use plastic 

Single-use plastics and other wasteful packaging are a growing problem affecting our health and environment. To truly tackle waste, we can’t just recycle, or substitute plastic for other materials. We need to make a real shift away from single-use and focus on reuse. 

One of the key ways Toronto can reduce single-use plastics is by supporting a shift from single-use to reuse in local restaurants and food businesses. 

There are solutions that can eliminate waste, conserve resources and support our local economy. Imagine:

  • Cafes that encourage you to bring your own cup
  • A take-out meal served in a reusable container that you can borrow and bring back when you’re done
  • Reusable dishes for your dine-in food, even at fast-food establishments 
  • Delivery that asks first if you need condiments and utensils 

Other jurisdictions are passing reuse policies that put solutions into action. 

Toronto launched work on single-use plastics - but we need them to go further and focus on promoting reusable alternatives as a solution. 

  • In July, the City of Toronto voted to move ahead with the first phase of a Single-Use Reduction Strategy, focused on educating businesses to reduce single-use items voluntarily. While education is a good start, we need to do a lot more. 
  • We need our Council to move quickly with phase two, which must include regulations to require that all businesses reduce single-use items, and create a strategy that supports the shift from single-use to reuse. The City also needs to follow through on their commitment to lead in City-run facilities.

Take action - send a letter to your City Councillor and the Mayor. We want our City Council to continue to hear from individuals, businesses and community groups about why reuse needs to be at the core of Toronto’s strategy and future regulations. 

While plastics industry lobbyists falsely push single-use products and packaging as the safest option, public health professionals around the world have said reusables are safe [1]. Focusing on non-toxic reusables is the best way to protect our health and environment. 

 

[1] SOURCE: "Over 125 health experts defend safety of reusables during COVID-19 pandemic." (June 23, 2020) [LINK