For immediate release: June 7th, 2019

Toronto, Ont. – We congratulate David Lindsay on his appointment as Special Advisor on Recycling and Plastic Waste. Today’s appointment is a welcome move towards completing the long-overdue transition to a full Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system in Ontario.

A full EPR system, where producers pay the costs of managing the waste their products cause, is a fair and cost effective way to improve the province’s dismally low recycling rate. Taxpayers should not be paying the cost for the huge amounts of packaging that cannot be recycled, and a move to EPR will save Ontarians $175 million in the cost of Blue Box operations alone.

It’s estimated that 10,000 tonnes of plastic waste enter the Great Lakes every year, so reducing the amount of plastic waste we create and improving recycling rates is vital for protecting Ontario’s environment. Making producers responsible will help, but to be effective it’s vital that the system also sets high and enforceable collection targets of at least 80 per cent for all materials, and requires producers to pay for cleaning up the litter that they don’t recover.

The special advisor should also focus on reducing the amount of waste going to landfills, by setting high tipping fees, and banning plastics that can’t be recycled in Ontario. Ontario should also set recycled content standards that require that new plastics contain a certain percentage of recycled materials, and the province should end the export of waste and recycling and capture more of the economic benefits of recycling at home.

We look forward to working with Mr. Lindsay in his capacity as Special Advisor and to working with the province of Ontario on improving recycling rates and stopping plastic pollution.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Rachel Kitchin, Environmental Defence, rkitchin@environmentaldefence.ca