(Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / januaryxii)

Ontario NDP aiming to ban many single-use plastics by 2020

Plastic coffee cup lids, plastic straws, and plastic bags could all be on the way out in Ontario as soon as next year if the NDP’s environment critic has his way.

Those items are all the target of Kingston-area MPP Ian Arthur’s private member’s bill that aims to ban all single-use plastics in Ontario by 2025, with the “worst offenders” being phased out by 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.”

According to Arthur, the Single-Use Plastics Ban Act would eliminate the following items in 2020 with others to follow by 2025:

– 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)

The bill does include some exemptions, though, that will exclude items needed for medical supplies and people with disabilities.

“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,” said Arthur. “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.”

The provincial NDP has also set up an online petition, asking people to show their support by adding their names to phase out single-use plastics by 2024.

The Ontario government recently released a discussion paper on waste management that allows the public to weigh in on reducing reduce plastic litter and waste. That paper is open to submissions until April 20, 2019.