The City of Toronto is considering imposing fees or even outright bans on certain packaging items and other materials as part of its plan to reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfill by 70 per cent by 2010. Potential targets include plastic water bottles, paper coffee cups, fast-food containers, plastic bags and more.
Staff recently conducted a forum with stakeholders from various packaging industries and other groups as part of their ramp up to preparing recommendations for city council about which materials to go after, especially those that are difficult or expensive to recycle, and for which end-markets are unreliable or non-existent.
In addition to coffee cups, Styrofoam cartons, “clam shell” plastic food containers and other packaging used for “in-store” food sales may be targeted.
However, at the forum, city staff indicated they may be willing to add plastic shopping bags to the city’s recycling cart program, despite the high cost of collecting and processing such film materials.
The forthcoming October/November edition of Solid Waste & Recycling magazine will report on Toronto’s forum and the packaging policy issues discussed there.