Fewer plastic bags are ending up in landfills thanks to the efforts of Ontario shoppers and the grocery, retail and plastics industries who are working together to reduce Ontarians’ use of carry-out plastic bags.
Ontarians used 269 million fewer plastic bags in 2007 and recycled 80 million more bags than they did in 2006, according to the first annual report released today by the Plastic Bag Reduction Task Group.
That’s a reduction of plastic bags to landfill of 8.2 per cent, which includes a 6.2 per cent reduction in the distribution of new plastic bags to shoppers, and an increase in recycling of two per cent compared to 2006. In 2006, Ontario grocers and retailers distributed 4.32 billion carryout plastic bags to shoppers.
The plastic bag reduction initiative is the result of a voluntary agreement between the Task Group and the Ministry of the Environment to reduce the number of plastic bags entering the marketplace by 50 per cent by 2012. The Task Group is made up of the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD), the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG), the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) and Retail Council of Canada (RCC).
“While we’re pleased with consumers’ response to reusable bags and the progress we’ve made, we still have a lot of work to do to achieve a 50 per cent reduction,” said Task Group members. “We will continue to make reusable bags readily available and to find innovative ways to remind customers to bring their bags with them when they go shopping. We’re quite certain we will see a greater increase in the use of reusable bags and recycling in the future.”
The Task Group’s goal is to work with governments, industry and business, and the broader community to increase the use of reusable bags and to reduce, reuse and recycle carry-out plastic bags. A copy of the Annual Report can be found on each contact’s website.
Kim McKinnon, Vice President-Ontario
Canadian Council of Grocery
Gary Sands, Vice President
Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG)
Cathy Cirko, Vice President, Environment & Health
Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA)
Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director
Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO)
Mark Beazley, Director of Communications
Retail Council of Canada (RCC)
416-922-0553 ext. 228