The province is inviting public feedback on proposals to reduce plastic litter and waste in our neighbourhoods and parks across Northern Ontario, including Sault Ste. Marie. They are looking at ways to divert and reduce food and organic waste from households and businesses and increase opportunities for people to participate in waste reduction efforts. A discussion paper has been posted on the Environment Registry for a 45-day period.
“We know that Ontarians want to do their part to reduce litter and waste, whether at home, at work or on the go,” said Rod Phillips, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “There are so many great ideas out there in the province that we want to build on to reduce waste and divert more of it away from landfills and get our diversion rate moving in the right direction again.”
Ontario is also committed to making producers responsible for the waste generated from their products and packaging, encouraging them to find new and innovative cost-effective ways to recycle their products and lower costs for consumers. The transition to extended producer responsibility will increase the amount of household material recycled, while shifting the cost of recycling from municipalities – and taxpayers – to producers.
“Litter-reduction efforts will hinge on fostering a greater sense of personal responsibility for the people of Ontario and, in particular, our youth,” said Phillips. “It begins with recognizing that real environmentalism involves more than just the social media of activists and celebrities but is instead founded on the personal decisions each of us make in our day-to-day lives.”
· Ontario generates nearly a tonne of waste per person each year.
· Our diversion rate has stalled at 30 per cent over the past 15 years, meaning 70 per cent of our waste materials continue to end up in landfills.
· A total of 60 per cent of food and organic waste in Ontario is sent to landfill, emitting methane – a potent greenhouse gas – when it decomposes.
· Every 1,000 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill generates seven full-time jobs and $360,000 in wages, as well as totaling more than $700,000 in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).