Reduce waste in Ottawa by eliminating single-use, disposable plastics & bags

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Ottawa is a beautiful city, a city many of us have had the opportunity to witness incredible growth and change over the years. With Ottawa being the nation’s capital, we believe that we should be a city that leads and inspires change that is beneficial not only to it’s citizens, but to our community around us.

We believe that it is our responsibility as citizens of Ottawa, to protect and care about our city. Caring for it and protecting it shows great respect for our city, as well as ourselves. It is no secret that we are facing a global waste issue but we believe we can work together to prevent further waste and create a long-lasting and impactful change.

Currently our landfills are full. With our city growing larger, we don’t have the capacity to hold the increasing amount of waste. While the green bin and recycling is helpful, we believe we can further reduce our waste by:

  • Banning the use and sale of single-use, disposable plastic bags
  • Banning single-use, disposable plastic items such as cutlery, plates and cups

Cities that have already implemented these changes are:

  1. Fort McMurray, Alberta is the first city in Canada (since 2010) to ban single-use bags both paper and plastic, including biodegradable bags. They allow bags from fast-food restaurants and bags for bulk use like produce and bags from pharmacies and liquor stores.
  2. Leaf Rapids, Manitoba banned single-use plastic bags in 2007. The town imposed the ban not only because of the detrimental impact the bags have on the environment but also because of the impact on the community's aesthetics
  3. Montreal, Quebec is banning plastic bags by January 1, 2018
  4. San Francisco, California became the first state in the U.S. to ban plastic bags and plastic bottles in 2014.
  5. France became the first country to ban plastic bags, plastic plates and cutlery, a ban which goes into effect in 2020.
  6. Bangladesh became the first nation to ban plastic bags in 2002, after they blocked up drainage systems during flooding.
  7. Other cities, such as Toronto, Ontario and Halifax, Nova Scotia are also considering banning plastic bags as well.

Why is this important?

  • It will help to reduce plastic waste in the landfill as we move to biodegradable items that can be composted.
  • Plastic is not biodegradable. It supports the use of petroleum, blocks drainage systems, is harmful to wildlife and ruins the aesthetics of the city’s streets and parks.
  • Plastic bags cost retailers an estimated $4 billion dollars a year. Businesses will save money, and can also earn more by selling reusable bags which can be made locally using scrap fabric. Ikea is a great example of a company that went from using 25 million disposable bags a year to banning them altogether in 2009.

Our city is about to have our firstly named “zero waste” store, Nu Grocery, opening this year, which means we are a community that is already seeking ways to reduce our waste. A Dream Lived Greener has personally been living a “zero waste” life and striving to avoid single use plastics in their daily lives since 2015. There are many others just like them joining the movement to reduce waste and seek alternatives all over our city and our province.

We are leaders in Ottawa, striving for change and we care deeply about the city and environment we live in.

Please help us reduce waste and be the change by banning single use, disposable plastics!

The Citizens of Ottawa