The Ontario government is planning a total revamp of the province’s garbage-handling programs, aiming to reduce the amount of waste we make by 80 per cent over the next 35 years. Ironically when the blue box program was started in 1967, its main objective was not to create a recycling industry but to get people to think about their consumption patterns.
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has prepared a Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy, now in its final round of public comments. We want to “close the resource loop,” the strategy says, using even less raw material and reprocessing even more, so the same atoms can keep going round and round. To make it happen, we’ll have “Government leadership, producer responsibility, and consumer education and awareness (to) enable market mechanisms that drive higher resource productivity, innovation and economic growth.”
Perhaps as my latest class talked about in addition to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle and recovery’, we should add at the first, ‘refuse’.