Retail Council of Canada have called for the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks to create a conclusive plan for single-use plastic management.
Retail Council of Canada (RCC) issued an open letter to Minister Yurek, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks earlier today, asking for a harmonised approach to single-use plastics.
Across Ontario, several municipal and regional councils are in the process of developing proposals on how to reduce single-use plastics within their local area.
Ontario consumers have increasing concern over the environmental impact caused by single-use plastics. Retailers are the first point of contact between consumers and brands and are sensitive to their needs. In RCC’s open letter today, recognises the sentiment behind these motions by local governments to reduce single-use plastics. Instead of taking local individual action, RCC’s letter to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks indicates our support for a harmonised approach, taken by the provincial government.
Business owners are concerned that one-off location initiatives will lead to a patchwork of plastic bag by-laws across the province of Ontario – something RCC’s members are struggling to cope with in other jurisdictions. In Quebec, for example, there are 40 different municipal jurisdictions with 19 unique sets of rules governing plastic shopping bags.
Retailers of all sizes – especially those with multiple locations across multiple municipalities – find it difficult to manage the complexities of unique local restrictions which, in many cases, apply to a single store location. A patchwork of single-use plastic by-laws adds compliance costs and operational burden to retail stores.
Today’s letter from RCC indicates their members’ support of action taken at a province-wide level. With ongoing engagement starting between the Ontario Government, municipalities and stakeholders around the Blue Box system in Ontario, RCC’s letter encourages the Minister to use Blue Box discussions as a platform to work towards a province-wide solution.
With this, Ontario can both realise the objective of the various municipal/regional motions on single-use plastics, while avoiding the negative impact of different rules for businesses in each jurisdiction.