Toronto Council has voted to ban the sale of water in plastic bottles at City Hall and civic centres. This new policy (and two other policies that deal with plastic shopping bags and food containers) emphasizes source reduction, a key component of Toronto’s overall goal to achieve 70 per cent waste diversion. Less material requiring disposal will extend the life of Toronto’s volume-based landfill. It is estimated that implementing these new measures will eventually divert more than 10,000 tonnes of waste.

“I’m very proud that Toronto is leading the way. It’s the right thing to do. Waste diversion begins with reduction and Torontonians want to reduce their dependence on disposable products,” said Mayor David Miller. “Reusable packaging options are already very popular and we know Torontonians will continue to embrace alternatives that do the right thing for the environment and the economy.”

Starting in June 2009, and continuing over the next two years, retailers will be required to implement a range of options to enable customers to make positive environmental choices and reduce their use of single-use container packaging by taking advantage of convenient reusable alternatives.

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