Take Action before July 10 & 23, 2018 to help get single use plastics regulations passed in Toronto


take action now both before July 23, 2018, and throughout this process through 2020

latest update –

– – – – – – –
The City of Toronto is discussing and voting on options and recommendations to reduce single use plastics in Toronto, using bans, fees, or other regulations.

Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) held 2 advocacy training and action planning events May 31 & July 4, 2018, and recommends

every person, group, and organization take actions especially before July 10th & also July 23rd to let your requests on single use plastics be known and why,

to show broad and deep support for City of Toronto councillors to pass strong regulations reducing single use plastics in the shortest amount of time possible

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and to help drown out voices of corporate paid lobbyists who would be making their own submissions to attempt to influence what happens which lobbyists have done before;

for example

the City of Toronto considered acting on single use coffee cups in 2008 and

was convinced by corporate paid lobbyists to allow industry to voluntarily regulate themselves (*)

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after which major chains of coffee shops in Toronto claimed to be recycling single use cups and 

journalists have since proven that wasn’t true. (*)

20180704_192503 (2)At April 2018 meetings: the Public Works & Infrastructure Committee (PWIC) recommended, and City Council approved, that City of Toronto Solid Waste Management Services (SWMS) staff be directed to report back by July 10th on “a process to reduce and/or eliminate single use or takeaway packaging or products” in Toronto.

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Tuesday July 10th, 2018, is the next PWIC Meeting at City Hall.

July 23, 24, 25, 2018, is the next City Council Meeting.

The options / recommendations contained in the staff report may be voted on, debated and/or amended or added to by councillors at the PWIC meeting.

TEA has viewed the report. The timeline proposed in the report is too slow:

[*Update: at the July 10, 2018, PWIC meeting, the Chair (councillor Jaye Robinson) introduced a motion (which passed) to improve the timeline. Next it goes to City Council.]

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The best case scenario – which will be helped if you make your wishes known both now and throughout the process through 2019 – is that:

PWIC votes in favour of strong recommendations to reduce single use plastics on as fast a timeline as possible, with solid enforcement, and consequences for violations; 

it would then go to the upcoming City Council meeting (July 23, 24, 25) (this depends on what happens July 10th) [*update: it passed July 10th, next it goes to City Council] where they also vote in favour of it; after which,

there may be more work done on the regulations by City staff and maybe some public consultations on it; then

the municipal election happens in Oct; and 

new regulations could be enacted as soon as Jan 2019.

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Take action now:

TEA (3)
1. Sign TEA’s petition to Toronto City Council and/or

use the petition as a template to send a (respectful, polite) letter on behalf of yourself personally or a group or org you are authorized to represent; reference agenda item #PW31.10 [FYI it was previously called PW28.8];

Plastics expertise does not need to be reflected in the letter, simply whatever reasons someone has / wants to indicate on why they personally are asking councillors to act on plastic.

2. Engage with your councillor via phone call / voice mail, meeting, or at community events; reference agenda item #PW31.10 [FYI it was previously called PW28.8]:


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3. Increase awareness and help keep this topic top of mind: 

Take real life photos in Toronto of

single use plastics, or alternative solutions being actively used, for example if you

– either organize or simply attend events, or
– take other actions that involve single use plastics or their alternative solutions, and/or
– see litter hot spots

(Keep reading for more tips below, including hashtags, councillor twitter handles, meeting info, and more.)

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– event organizers:

email the local councillor’s office and ask them if they can include the event invite in their latest enewsletter to constituents and/or if they can share the event invite on social media

(lookup councillors using a street address or postal code here – https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/data-research-maps/neighbourhoods-communities/ward-profiles/ )

invite the local councillor to attend the event

ask participants at your event to sign a letter and/or write their own messages

– tweet photos of the event, action, and/or letter .

– Suggested hashtags FYI are

Primary: #ActOnPlasticsTO 

Secondary: #TOpoli #BreakFreeFromPlastic

Others: #LetsGetWasteless or #LetsGetWastelessTO,
#0wasteTO #zerowasteTO, #TorontoIsReady, #ActionForWater

– tweet the photos at the PWIC councillors’ twitter handles

(they are listed toward the end of this post https://www.waterdocs.ca/water-talk/2018/5/31/take-action-for-water-by-acting-on-plastics & https://www.waterdocs.ca/water-talk/2018/7/9/plasticfreejuly-heres-how-you-can-make-a-real-difference-in-toronto)

– tweet the photos at your own councillors and/or the councillor whose ward they are taken in

– send that letter as a written submission to the PWIC secretariat [*or City Council] & ask that it be shared with the councillors on PWIC [*or all councillors at City Council]

– send the letter also to your own councillor/s and to the councillor whose ward the event or photo is from

– Register to depute (speak) at the Tuesday July 10th PWIC meeting to have your say if you like, personally or especially on behalf of an org or group, to ask councillors to take the actions you want and why.

– Plan to attend the City Council meeting Jul 23, 24, 25 to show support.

-> PWIC Meeting July 10th, 2018 @ Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 1 (agenda item PW31.10) –


-> City Council meeting July 23, 24, 25 @ Toronto City Hall, Council Chambers (agenda item PW31.10) –


-> Learn more –

http://www.torontoenvironment.org/news_media … & …

“TEA Talks: Plastics in Ontario” which also includes
myths and seductive traps to avoid (11Apr2018) –

-> Ref: PW31.10 –


[ Background from April: PW28.8 –

http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2018.PW28.8 – scroll to “Public Works and Infrastructure Committee consideration on April 11, 2018” & click the “+” sign to expand it & see the part called “Decision Advice and Other Information”. ]

– tweet your councillor to let them know that you are attending the meeting regarding PW31.10, and care about the issue, as a resident, or as an org, and, if you like, what action you’re asking them to take and why;

tweeting them publicly can invoke more awareness of constituent requests, and accountability

– bring photo/s for display on Tuesday July 10th (ask TEA for help w this if you like)

– invite the media to your event and/or send them copies of your photos and letter after the event;
-> help keep this in the news and in public awareness / consciousness;

– as TEA & Greenpeace both have said, we need to show that enough – a lot of us – care, and why, and keep it up, to drown out the voices of corporate paid lobbyists.

If you have any questions please ask TEA.

Thank you for helping get this done!


(*) http://www.torontoenvironment.org/coffee_cups_recycling … & …