Statement from Minister Piccini on Waste Reduction WeekPublished on October 19, 2021
On October 18, 2021, David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, released a statement today to mark the start of the 20th annual Waste Reduction Week:
“Reducing the impacts of waste on our environment and communities has been a major focus of our government over the past three years. From waste reduction at the source to reuse and recycling, our province is embracing new technologies and innovations to tackle the ongoing problem of waste and litter at home, at work and in our communities.
Today, the start of Waste Reduction Week gives Ontarians the opportunity to celebrate the work many communities and industries are doing to reduce waste, and to take stock of the ways that each of us can make more environmentally conscious choices in our every day lives. Every change makes a big difference in keeping our environment clean, safe and healthy for generations to come.
This is important because the average Ontarian generates one tonne of waste each year – about the weight of a great white shark. Of Ontario’s waste, 22 million pounds of plastic ends up in our Great Lakes annually. Additionally, when you consider the wasted food that emits greenhouse gasses and electronics no longer being used, and it’s not hard to imagine the volume of waste we need to address.
For our part, the Ontario government is working towards our commitment to eliminate food and other organic waste from our landfills by 2030. Instead, they are increasingly being converted into renewable natural gas thanks to our investments in the sector, creating clean energy jobs.
We are tackling recyclables by introducing a new convenient and accessible Blue Box Program and exploring new technologies for materials that couldn’t be recycled in the past. We have made huge progress on batteries: from ending up in landfills to now where over 50% of Ontario’s batteries are being recycled into products like fertilizer and metal for reuse.
My fantastic Parliamentary Assistant Andrea Khanjin introduced a private member’s bill in 2019 to establish Ontario’s Provincial Day of Action on Litter, which reached a digital audience of 3.1 million people this year – just under a quarter of the province’s population! As a continuation of this work, this summer PA Khanjin led Waste-Free Wednesday litter cleanups across the province that have removed thousands of pounds of litter from our parks, trails, and neighbourhoods.
The list goes on, as it does for Ontario families who are committed to keeping our shared home clean and healthy.
Throughout this week, we will be sharing waste reduction tips and resources to help Ontarians of all ages incorporate small changes into our lives. I encourage everyone to follow along at @ONEnvironment and participate in waste reduction efforts, such as donating used clothes, properly sorting recycling, and packing a waste-free lunch.
It will take all of us doing our part to keep Ontario free from waste for future generations.”