KAWARTHA LAKES: At their meeting on Tuesday, November 19th, councillors passed a motion to proceed with a voluntary ban on single use plastics throughout the municipality.
The report was originally brought forward at the November 5th Committee of the Whole where staff discussed the possibility of implementing the ban and presented both the environmental and economic impacts surrounding the municipality.
To lead by example, Council approved that the voluntary ban will be implemented at all administrative facilities as soon as possible. Kawartha Lakes will also work on an education campaign to assist residents and stakeholders, such as local businesses, to start thinking of new ways to address single-use plastics. For example, Councillor Seymour-Fagan brought a show-and-tell to the Council meeting, bringing forward ideas such as using avocado based cutlery instead of plastic and switching from Styrofoam take out containers to paper boxes.
As part of the approved motion, Styrofoam has also been removed from our recycling stream and will now be discarded through the waste stream.
“We hope the voluntary ban will act as an initiative for the municipality to prepare for potential provincial and/or federal legislation that may come,” explained Mayor Letham. “It acts as a good middle ground, bringing further awareness to the environmental impact these materials are causing while also giving stakeholders enough time to prepare for the enforced changes.”
Anticipated changes to waste and recycling are expected to occur throughout the course of the next few years. With the implementation of goals included in the updated Waste Strategy, the municipality will be constantly reviewing current practices in place to ensure we’re on track to help keep costs down while managing the size of our environmental footprint.