Today Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and Andrea Khanjin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks released the following statement:
“Today is the first Provincial Day of Action on Litter in Ontario, a day when all Ontarians can raise awareness and take action to reduce litter and waste at home and in our communities.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen people across the province doing their part to combat the health crisis from home, or as essential service workers on the frontlines. These are extraordinary times with our focus entirely on staying safe and stopping the spread, but we must never forget the importance of preserving our environment.
When the time is right, our government will work with communities and our partners to organize litter clean-up days across the province. We know that Ontarians are eager to return outdoors, and this will be a great opportunity to reconnect with nature.
There are actions all of us can still take to put litter in its proper place while staying at home and physically distancing. Today, and every day individuals and families can reduce, prevent or divert waste, in the following ways:
- Choosing products with less packaging and replace single-use food wraps with reusable storage containers.
- Becoming experts in what goes in the green bin and blue box.
- For anything that does belong in the trash, such as disposable gloves and masks, making sure garbage bags are properly tied or sealed, to keep our neighbourhoods clean and safe.
Our government is working hard to meet our Made in Ontario Environment Plan commitment to keep our neighbourhoods, parks and waterways clean and free of litter and waste. We’re expanding green bin or similar collection systems, developing a proposal to ban food waste from landfills, and supporting safe food donation. We’ve also started the process of making producers responsible for the waste they create by managing the blue box program.
Businesses across the province are also stepping up to the challenge by opening package-free shops, developing eco-friendly products such as sustainable textiles, and reducing food waste by connecting surplus food to those in need.
The Provincial Day of Action on Litter is a reminder of the importance of our greenspaces and the role we all play in maintaining a cleaner, healthier Ontario for our communities and loved ones now and for future generations.”