Helping Restaurants Reduce Reliance on Single-Use Plastics

Tackling plastic pollution provides an opportunity to reorient the Canadian economy toward circularity – minimizing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while simultaneously reducing waste management costs, and creating jobs. It is estimated that a circular economy would reduce waste management costs by $500 million annually and create 42,000 new jobs.

The government has committed to banning non- essential, single-use plastics by 2021, and this, along with other regulatory measures, such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) requirements and targets, is the key to solving the plastic pollution problem.

To support evidence-based decision-making on priorities for improving circularity, and the development of effective EPR requirements, we recommend that Canada provide funds to collect and aggregate data on the amounts and types of plastic packaging introduced to the economy, their use, and end-of-life management. This information is essential when benchmarking Canada’s progress towards zero plastic waste.

To further accelerate a shift away from single- use plastics and assist with the transition, we recommend establishing a fund for SMEs— specifically restaurants and food service providers— and municipalities that implement the federal procurement guidelines as they relate to plastics. This would provide much needed financial support to a sector hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, support the transition away from single-use and hard-to-recycle plastic packaging, and enable the expansion of nascent reuse systems.

Recommended Investment:
•   $500 million to establish a fund to support SMEs — specifically restaurants and food service providers — and municipalities in implementing the federal procurement policies as they relate to plastic. [ISED]

• $5 million for ECCC and Statistics Canada to collect and aggregate data on the amounts and types of plastic packaging introduced to the economy, their use, and end-of-life management. See also Expanding Ghost Gear Clean-Up.

CONTACT
Ashley Wallis – awallis@environmentaldefence.ca