Ontario strides towards zero waste and a circular economy

In our latest blog we hear from Curtis Harnanan, Senior Consultant, on the ambitious commitment from Ontario to minimize waste to landfill, and achieving a circular economy.

Ontario strides toward zero waste and a circular economy

Do you sell products in Canada? If your answer is “yes”, then please sit up and take note!  Canada’s Province of Ontario just stepped up its game on minimizing landfill waste with its newly promulgated Waste-Free Ontario Act.

 What you need to know about the Waste-Free Ontario Act:

It came into effect on 9th June 2016 and will:

  • require manufacturers who sell in Ontario to take full responsibility (i.e., environmental accountability & financial responsibility) for their products and packaging at end of life.

The Act boasts some environmental benefits such as: lowering recycling costs (shifting these costs from municipal taxpayers to manufacturers); consumer benefits by giving access to more convenient recycling options; and eliminating landfill GHG emissions from products that could otherwise be recycled or composted. While the Act is geared toward boosting recycling for all sectors, it is particularly aimed at the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors.

The Act also aims to overhaul Waste Diversion Ontario into the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority, a strong oversight body with new compliance and enforcement powers that will oversee the new approach and existing waste diversion programs until transition is complete.

While the end goals may have evolved with this Waste-Free Act, Ontario actually initiated action in 2002 with its Waste Diversion Act and the establishment of Waste Diversion Ontario.  The initial regulation covered 15% of Ontario’s waste stream before hitting the proverbial “glass ceiling” in regards to creating meaningful change with landfill diversion. Seeking to make even greater strides, the Province has drawn “a new line in the sand” with the Waste-Free Ontario Act.

What should you be doing now?

If you are still planning your next move, here are some questions to ponder:

  • What are the implications to your business of this new Act?
  • Does your company have a strategy to respond?
  • Is innovation driving your company’s ability to make its recycling processes more economical while staying competitive?
  • How can your company contribute to and thrive within Ontario’s vision for a circular economy?

Ask us more about how we can help you navigate this new Act or align your existing practices and programs with a circular economy strategy that is tailored to your strategic business goals. We are happy to discuss how to move your business from a position of liability to resilience.

At Anthesis, we have been working with clients to help support their circular economy ambitions and mitigate environmental impacts for several years, and we have a well-defined offer of services which covers the full life cycle, such as chemical footprinting for various sectors.

Read about how our experts are helping clients with their Circular Economy strategies.

Curtis Harnanan is a Senior Consultant with Anthesis Group.


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