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March 11, 2019

Ontario considers ban on use of single-use plastics

Canada's Government of Ontario is considering a ban on the use of single-use plastics in an effort to reduce plastic waste entering landfill.

Canada’s Government of Ontario is considering a ban on the use of single-use plastics in an effort to reduce plastic waste entering landfill.

The government has recently released a discussion paper on minimising litter and waste. It has also sought inputs from the public and stakeholders on ways to tackle the problem.

Among the several questions asked, one was on the effectiveness of banning single-use plastics to reduce plastic waste.

Inputs will be accepted on the ban until 20 April.

On average, 1t of plastic is being produced by each person annually in the province while the rate of waste diverted from landfills has been reduced to around 30% across 15 years, reported globalnews.ca.

In an interview, Ontario environment minister Rod Phillips told The Canadian Press: “Plastics is a priority from our government’s point of view, particularly as we talk about plastics in our waterways.”

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According to estimates, every year around 10,000t of plastic debris is entering the Great Lakes while the Blue Box recycling programme is able to collect only 28% of all plastic packaging generated in the province.

“Plastics is a priority from our government’s point of view, particularly as we talk about plastics in our waterways.”

To address this issue, the government is considering the introduction of a deposit-return system for plastic bottles and other containers.

Ontario environmental defence programmes director Keith Brooks noted that most of the single-use plastics such as straws and cutlery are unnecessary, reported the news website.

Brooks continued: “I think that a ban on some single-use plastics makes a lot of sense. I think it’s a good conversation to have.

“There’s some single-use plastics that are probably going to continue to be used for food safety reasons.”

The government is also likely to collect more items such as small and large appliances, power tools, rechargeable batteries, fluorescent bulbs and clothing through the Blue Box programme.

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