On June 1st, the Ontario government passed the new Waste Free Ontario Act (Bill 151).
While we have some concerns, we’re very glad to see this long-overdue policy passed, as it will mark a new phase for waste regulations in Ontario.
The Waste Free Ontario Act marks a turning point in Ontario, and it will fundamentally shift how we deal with waste. The Act includes zero waste goals, plans for full Extended Producer Responsibility, an acknowledgement of the massive climate change implications of waste, and a commitment to create a Circular Economy.
If implemented quickly, with high environmental standards and strict regulations, the Waste Free Ontario Act could make Ontario a world leader in progressive and sound waste policy.
However, there are some weaknesses in the Act, and there will be significant push back from producers and those who have a vested interest in the existing system.
TEA has been monitoring and advocating for good waste policy in Ontario for decades. Emily, TEA's Waste Campaigner, attended stakeholder meetings with the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, submitted joint letters, and spoke to a Queens Park Committee about the draft Act. Read more about our impact here.
TEA will monitor the creation of new regulations and advocate for the highest environmental standards.
The Waste Free Ontario Act replaces the Waste Diversion Act of 2002. The WDA was meant to be reviewed and updated every 5 years, unfortunately, new policy was proposed but failed to pass three times. The strong and conflicting interests of the different players have blocked progress on new policy - for example, big companies and manufacturers have lobbied to prevent the Province from making them pay more for waste management.
- See our past updates and thoughts on the draft Act and our letters to the MOECC
- Read the Province's press release here