Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Toronto is considering banning foam takeaway containers and cups

Should Toronto ban single-use styrofoam takeout containers and cups? That's one of the big questions the city is asking in their survey on how to reduce specific single-use and takeaway items. 

Toronto is currently in phase two of the consultation process on how to reduce single-use items, and they're asking residents to provide input to help them move forward with a bunch of potential bylaws. 

The survey opened to the public on September 25, and will close on Monday, November 4.

It asks residents their thoughts on potential bylaws, such as requiring businesses to charge a fee for single-use cups, requiring businesses to charge customers a fee per single-use plastic bag, requiring that single-use straws of any material be distributed to a customer only upon request, and more.

It also asks what people think of a bylaw that would ban businesses from distributing and using expanded polystyrene (foam) food takeaway containers and cups.

According to the survey, foam containers and cups were chosen because there are readily available alternative containers designed for single use, and it is often challenging to collect, process and market. 

The survey also says foam takeaway containers and cups are common litter items, other Canadian cities are beginning to implement bans on them, and the federal government has placed them on a preliminary ban list. 

Back in July of 2016, city council adopted a Long Term Waste Management Strategy, and the current consultation process supports recommendations established in the strategy.

According to the city, the objective of phase two "is to gather feedback that will help the City create a Single-Use and Takeaway Item Reduction Strategy."

"The primary goal of the Reduction Strategy will be to reduce the use and disposal of specific items, regardless of which waste stream (e.g. garbage, Blue Bin recycling, Green Bin organics) they are currently managed in and the material they are made of."

Phase one consultations took place in the fall of 2018, and more than 20,000 people in Toronto participated. 

The city says "the majority of participants expressed support for the reduction of single-use and takeaway items, a desire for reusable items instead of disposable items, and support for the implementation of both mandatory and voluntary approaches to ensure reduction of these items in the City of Toronto."

Once phase two consultations are complete, city staff will further refine any proposed initiatives and report to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee in 2020.

Until then, make sure to take the survey and make your voice heard when it comes to the role Toronto plays in fighting the global climate crisis. 


by Mira Miller via blogTO

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