Act on single-use plastics

TAKE ACTION: Show your support for local action on single-use plastics!

This week, City Council will vote on Phase 1 of Toronto's Single-Use Reduction Strategy, which would kickstart a City-run program to encourage and support businesses like restaurants to shift away from disposable, single-use items and towards reusable alternatives. 

This would be a great first step of a Single-Use Reduction Strategy for Toronto and a critical opportunity to help businesses make the transition towards sustainable options as they reopen, and lay the groundwork for bans and mandatory regulations. 

But the City needs to move quickly with this program this summer to help businesses make sustainability and reuse part of their reopening plans. These voluntary programs must be followed with mandatory regulations to curb the flow of unnecessary and toxic single-use plastics that are causing havoc in our recycling system, polluting our environment and harming our health.

TAKE ACTION: contact your City Councillor and urge them to: 

  • Vote to approve the Strategy and ensure Toronto moves quickly with the new “Voluntary Measures” program to support and encourage businesses this summer. 
  • Promote the safety of reusables with clear public health messages. 
  • Lead by example: commit to implementing the Reduction Strategy in City-run and City-supported facilities. 
  • Launch strong, mandatory regulations in 2022 and Phase 2 of the Single-Use Reduction Strategy.

We know from the two years of public consultations in Toronto, from national public opinion polls, and from the new reusable-focused businesses popping up around our city, that a strong majority of Torontonians want bold municipal action to reduce and regulate single-use items[1]. 

The plastics industry is pushing disposable, single-use items as a safer option, but public health professionals around the world have said reusables are safe[2]. Right now, Toronto has an opportunity to support local businesses and communities to reopen safely and sustainably and move our city towards a resilient circular economy.

 

[1] SOURCE: City of Toronto website, "Reducing Single-Use and Takeaway Items" (accessed June 5, 2021) [LINK]

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