The city of Toronto is preparing to release a report on ways to reduce packaging waste. The news could come as soon as tomorrow. But while the proposal has not been released yet, it is already generating attention, especially from representatives of the plastics industry that worry that their products could be banned. The Globe and Mail newspaper wrote last week: "Many options are in play, such as an outright ban on materials used in food takeout, a tax on plastic bags, a city deposit-return program, encouragement for customers to leave packaging at the store and, there's that word again, a ban on bottled water at city facilities." (Sorry, that story is behind a pay wall). The story quotes city councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, identified as one of the forces behind the proposal, saying: "I think it is appropriate to consider banning things that cannot be recycled," but adding that "polystyrene would not fall into that [category]." Still, some in industry are concerned, and today they announced the formation of a "coalition on city in-store food packaging source reduction" that has requested a meeting with Mayor David Miller to discuss the plan. The coalition presents its case in a news release today: "Businesses with expertise in food retailing and food distribution want to ensure their voice and expert opinion is heard. Food packaging is a very complex subject and decisions related to it cannot be solely dictated by waste diversion concerns. ... Business and industry are calling on the City to use voluntary approaches and to exercise caution. Heavy emphasis on taxes, environmental fees, deposits, and licensing restrictions to force reduction could have a number of unintended negative consequences that could end up hurting residents, consumers, retailers and ultimately the City with a marginal environmental win." The coalition includes the plastics industry trade group the Environment and Plastics Industry Council.
Toronto looks at packaging
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