Toronto has launched the ReduceWasteTO program to reduce single-use waste that often ends up in landfills or become litter resulting in harming the ecosystem.
A single-use or a takeaway item is any product designed to be used once, which is then disposed of in the garbage, Blue Bin (recycling) or Green Bin (organics).
The new program is the first stage of the city’s Single-Use and Takeaway Items Reduction Strategy.
It focuses on providing businesses with different ways by which they can eradicate the excessive use of single-use and takeaway items.
Mayor John Tory recognized single-use items as a big problem and urged businesses in the city to support them in reducing the usage of single-use and takeaway items.
“Now is the time to encourage and enable Toronto businesses to voluntarily reduce the unnecessary use of single-use and takeaway items in their day-to-day operations,” Tory said.
The Reducing Single-Use program supports the city’s two other initiatives which set goals of a zero-waste future and moving toward a circular economy in Toronto.
One of the strategies is the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy adopted by the city’s council last year on December 15 which outlines a pathway to achieve net-zero emissions in Toronto by 2040.
The other strategy is the Long-Term Waste Management Strategy which is a road map toward waste management in the city over the next 30-50 years.
The program will help businesses in the process of eliminating unnecessary use of single-use waste items by providing them with examples of simple actions they can perform.
The program will also recognize and showcase the leadership of businesses already taking action to eliminate waste from single-use and takeaway items.
Along with the businesses, service providers with innovative business solutions or a service that is helping businesses reduce single-use waste will also be recognized.
However, businesses which are already taking initiatives to reduce such waste will be included in the first edition of the online directory if they complete the city’s new online survey to share their success stories and innovative business solutions.
The directory will let Torontonians know where they can shop to reduce waste and will connect businesses with service providers that will help them reduce single-use waste.
Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), the chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, said the program builds on the momentum of public support.
“The Reducing Single-Use program will be phased in over the next few years and builds on the momentum of public support heard during the city’s consultations on single-use and takeaway items,” she said.
“The city of Toronto is committed to helping businesses reduce their usage of single-use and takeaway items and will continue to seek feedback on how to enhance available resources,” McKelvie said.