Toronto launches waste reduction program for businesses

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Toronto is addressing single-use waste through a new program designed specifically for businesses.

Through this initiative, businesses will be provided with examples of simple actions that they can take to eliminate the unnecessary use of single-use and takeaway items. The program will also showcase businesses already taking action to eliminate waste from single-use and takeaway items, as well as service providers with innovative business solutions or a service that is helping businesses reduce single-use waste.

“We know single-use items are a problem,” said Mayor John Tory. “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.”

A single-use or 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). Typically, these items are not designed for durability or reuse. Single-use and takeaway items require valuable resources and energy to be produced, collected and disposed of. They often end up in landfill or as litter, which can pose risks to the environment, animals and people.

Businesses are encouraged to visit the city’s Reducing Single-Use & Takeaway Items webpage to find out what they can do to help reduce the unnecessary use of single-use and takeaway items in their operations.

Businesses already taking the initiative to reduce their waste from single-use and takeaway items are encouraged to complete Toronto’s new online survey to share success stories and innovative business solutions to be included in the first edition of the online directory, which will be published at a later date.

The directory will let residents know where they can shop to reduce waste and will connect businesses with service providers that will help them reduce single-use waste.

“The Reducing Single-Use program will be phased in over the next few years and builds on the momentum of public support heard during consultations on single-use and takeaway items,” said Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee.

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