Statement from Minister Yurek on Waste Reduction Week
TORONTO - Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, released a statement today to mark the start of Waste Reduction Week in Canada:
"Waste Reduction Week is an opportunity to celebrate our environmental efforts, encourage innovative ideas and solutions, and help us all to start thinking in a more envrionmentally conscious way.
Ontarians want to play a part in a healthy environment. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts for the last 15 years, our waste diversion rate has been stalled at about 30 per cent, meaning 70 per cent of waste materials continue to end up in landfills. There is still more we all need to do to reduce the amount of waste we produce, divert more waste from landfills, and recover its valuable resources.
That's why in our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, we committed to moving Ontario's existing waste diversion programs to a producer responsibility model that will promote waste diversion, save taxpayers money, and incentivize producers to redesign products to reduce waste and make them easier to recycle. The Blue Box Program will transition to this model starting in 2023 to address the serious problem of plastic pollution and increase Ontario's recycling rates, making recycling more efficient and consistent.
We are also committed to helping reduce food and organic waste from households and businesses, reducing waste going to landfills or becoming litter, and enhancing opportunities for Ontarians to participate in waste reduction and cleanup efforts.
Throughout this week, our government will be sharing helpful waste reduction tips and resources, as well as updates on the important steps we are taking to address the issue of waste and litter. I encourage everyone to participate in waste reduction efforts, from cleaning up our communities, to donating used clothes, properly sorting recycling, to packing a waste-free lunch, we can all play a part in protecting our environment, because as we know, true environmentalism starts with meaningful action close to home.
This week, and every week, let's explore ways to reduce waste in our everyday lives."