Single-Use Plastics Ban: Ontario Seeks Input
Posted on: March 18, 2019

Shared Waters

Lake Superior’s waters move freely and are shared by Canadians and Americans alike; therefore, residents on Superior’s U.S. side might be interested in learning about something that is gaining considerable interest across the lake, in Canada.

Would a ban on single-use plastics be effective in reducing plastic waste?”

In a recently released discussion paper entitled Reducing Litter and Waste in our Communities, the Ontario government asks, “Would a ban on single-use plastics be effective in reducing plastic waste?” The paper contends that 10,000 tonnes of plastic debris enter the Great Lakes each year, and notes that “cleaning up our lakes and rivers after they have been polluted is not a sustainable solution. . . . Consistent, coordinated action is needed to prevent plastic from ending up in waterways . . . .”



The Paper Broaches the Idea of Groundbreaking, Large-scale Societal Change

Participants in shoreline cleanups would probably agree, knowing that cleaning up, time after time, becomes an endless cycle, superficial at best. The government’s discussion paper says Ontario will support shoreline cleanups, but it is most noteworthy for its emphasis on prevention and taking action before plastic enters the water. The paper broaches the idea of banning single-use plastics, a groundbreaking change that would impact many aspects of society in the province.

The paper also examines a wide range of waste management approaches including the following:

  • preventing and reducing litter
  • making producers responsible for their waste
  • diverting food and organic waste
  • increasing the effectiveness of composting programs
  • reducing plastic waste to landfills and waterways.

A recent province-wide phone-in program, which was run by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, featured an interview with a representative of the plastic industry and sought the opinions of Ontario residents about the ban on single-use plastics. The industry representative did not support the ban. The vast majority of callers, from across the entire province, did.


Plastic nurdles accumulated amongst natural beach debris, Nipigon Bay, Lake Superior, 2017. (Photo: infosuperior.com)

Input Welcomed

The Province of Ontario welcomes input on the discussion paper. 

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