QUEEN’S PARK — NDP MPP Ian Arthur, the Official Opposition critic for the Environment and Sustainability, is laying out the details of his private member’s bill — one that will ban all single-use plastics in Ontario by 2025, with the worst offenders being banned in 2020.
“Our kids and grandkids deserve to have clean drinking water, clean air to breathe and unpolluted soil in which to grow food,” Arthur said. “We know that diverting waste from landfills is essential to cleaning up the soil, water and air pollution we’re living with as a result of corporations producing single-use, non-biodegradable plastics at an alarming rate.”
The Single-Use Plastics Ban Act would first eliminate, in 2020, an initial group of the worst single-use plastics offenders; and would culminate in 2025 with a complete ban on all single-use, throw-away plastics. The bill includes an exemptions list that excludes from the ban products needed for people with disabilities — including straws — as well as medical supplies.
The items to be banned in 2020:
- Single-use, plastic-lined coffee cups
- Plastic coffee cup lids
- Black plastic
- Plastic straws
- Plastic drink stirrers
- Expanded polystyrene foam food and beverage containers
- Plastic bags
- Oxo-degradable and oxo-fragmentable plastics (types of plastic that break down into microplastics)
“Liberal and Conservative governments have long ignored the urgency of the climate crisis, and have failed to create laws that put pressure on producers to reduce plastic container and packaging waste, or develop a less wasteful alternative,” Arthur said. “Doug Ford is putting the environment at further risk — he cancelled our participation in the cap and trade market, created a scheme to give money to big polluters and has done nothing to change Ontario’s dismal emissions targets.
“The Ontario NDP’s comprehensive bill to ban single-use plastics has been carefully considered, and has undergone consultations with experts. Our bill is ready to become law. I encourage both the Conservatives and Liberals not to drag their feet or stall, and not to take the side of the manufacturers of single-use plastics. Vote for this bill.
“Ontarians deserve a government that shows the political courage to put the onus on corporations and manufacturers to stop manufacturing pollution.”