Photo: Jonathan Hayward, The canadian Press
Ontario produces annually about one ton of waste per person.
Ontario is considering a ban on plastic single-use in the context of a more global strategy aiming to send less waste in the landfills.
The province annually produces about one ton of waste per person, and the rate of re-use of these waste — through recycling and composting, for example — has stagnated at around 30 % over the past 15 years.
The government has recently published a working paper on the reduction of waste. He wants to take the pulse of the population on the best way to solve the problem. One of the questions it raises is whether a ban on plastic single-use would be efficient to reduce waste.
The minister of the Environment, Rod Phillips, said that this was an area in which the government was very open.
“Plastics are a priority from the point of view of our government, in particular, when we speak of matter in our waterways,” he said.
According to the document of work, it is estimated that about 10 000 tons of scrap plastic can be found in the Great Lakes each year. The recycling program blue box did not pick up that approximately 28 percent of plastic packaging in the province.
Ontario is also considering a deposit-return system for plastic bottles and other containers, as is the case in other provinces.
Keith Brooks, program director of Environmental Defence, said that many of the plastic non reusable were useless, referring to the straws and cutlery.
“A ban of some single-use plastics a lot of sense, he said. It is a good conversation to have. “
But if you ask a question as broad, the answer may well be no, warned Mr. Brooks. According to him, no government has yet banned all single-use plastics. “There are single-use plastics, which will likely continue to be used… for reasons of food security, among other things,” he argues.
The canadian Association of plastics industry has not responded to an interview request from The canadian Press.
125 million of savings by year
Many of the ideas presented in the working paper are similar or identical to those proposed by the previous liberal government in its plan for waste diversion, such as the banning of food waste in landfills and the accountability of producers.
“We refer to the experience of other governments, including British Columbia, said Mr. Phillips. We are also looking into other countries where the producers of waste will have to be accountable for their entire existence. This pushes them to adopt a look more responsible on the nature of the packaging. “
According to the document of work, deliver the full responsibility of the recycling program blue box will allow the province to save annually more than $ 125 million.
The province also seeks to harmonize what is accepted in blue boxes, because the municipalities accept different materials. Ontario could also allow a greater number of articles to diversion programs such as household appliances of all sizes, power tools, rechargeable batteries, light bulbs and fluorescent tubes as well as clothing.
Public comments are accepted until 20 April.