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Ontario government proposal to further reduce landfilled food waste

Provincial government to expand materials that should be collected in green bins

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In a statement on September 30th from Jeff Yurek, Ontario Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, the provincial government there is moving forward with its plan to reduce the amount of food waste going to landfills by proposing changes to its Food and Organic Waste Policy Statement. 

According to Yurek, "Consumers and businesses want to cut down on the amount of waste they create by composting food and other organic materials, but with programs and services varying from community to community, there is a lot of inconsistency and confusion about how to do this. 

"Our proposal provides greater clarity and encourages innovative compostable products and packaging, so we can help businesses and the public make better decisions about packaging and food waste in order to keep it out of our landfills."

According to Yurek, Ontario's Food and Organic Waste Policy Statement is meant to provide direction to municipalities, industrial and commercial businesses, and institutions on reducing and diverting food and organic waste.

Proposed changes to the policy statement would:

• Clarify and expand the types of materials that may be collected in municipal green bins and other collection systems, including certain compostable products and packaging such as certified compostable coffee pods.
• Support consumers and businesses in making better decisions about packaging and food waste and spur innovation in the management and processing of compostable products, for example, through technology updates, research, and piloting.
• Reduce waste from going to landfill.

The province will also work with municipalities, businesses and institutions to identify ways they can improve the tracking and reporting of their efforts to meet waste reduction and diversion targets. Proposed changes to the Organic Waste Policy Statement were informed by the Compostable Products Technical Working Group, made up of experts from municipalities, industry and the waste management sector.

"As the country's largest food company, Kraft Heinz Canada shares the Ontario government's goal of protecting our air, land and water," said Bruno Keller, President, Kraft Heinz Canada. "With our commitment to a more sustainable future, we are pleased Ontario's update of the Food and Organic Waste Policy recognizes the value of innovations like our Maxwell House compostable coffee pods in achieving that goal."

"Consumers want products and packaging that are better for the environment. Premier Ford, Minister Yurek and this government are opening the door for businesses like Club Coffee to deliver those results through the updated Food and Organic Waste Policy that addresses innovations such as our compostable coffee pods that are creating more jobs for Ontario workers and cutting plastic waste," said John Pigott, CEO of Club Coffee.

The public can provide their feedback on amendments to the Food and Organic Waste Policy Statement, which is open for public comment on the Environmental Registry until November 11, 2020. These comments will help inform updates to the policy which are designed to prevent and reduce food waste and explore innovative options for compostable packaging changes.

"These actions, together with our other waste reduction initiatives, are part of our commitment to reduce litter and waste in our communities and make waste reduction and recycling easier for the people of Ontario," said Minister Yurek.

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