dimanche 19 avril 2009

Beat the Wrap : No Time to Waste

Old habits die hard. But they can be changed, as anti-smoking and drunk driving campaigns have proved. We are learning to recycle our garbage, which is perilously close to exhausting our landfills. But experts say that's not enough. The crucial challenge is to reduce it.

"We have been completely drilled into thinking of recycling as the solution to this problem of packaging (...) It is not. Recycling is the last thing you would do before you throw it away. What we really have to do is teach the hierarchy of the `Three Rs'; we must reduce first, then reuse and, finally, recycle." Heather Marshall, Toronto Environmental Alliance.

  • 383 kg Amount of solid waste generated by each Canadian in 2002

  • 20% Percentage of that waste that was recycled or otherwise diverted

  • 1 million Coffee cups discarded daily in Toronto

  • 1 million Plastic water bottles discarded daily in Toronto

  • 1 billion Bottles of water consumed by Canadians in 2008

  • 400-800M Estimated number of those bottles that end up in landfill

  • 1% Percentage of municipal solid waste in 1960 that was plastics

  • 15% Percentage of municipal solid waste in 2001 that was plastics
Sources: Statistics Canada, Human Activity and the Environment report, 2005; City of Toronto; Polaris Institute

  1. Apr 18, 2009: Why we have to cut down on packaging; how we got so wrapped up.

  2. Apr 19, 2009 : Trying to live a week without plastic; reducing the carbon footprint at the Air Canada Centre.

  3. Apr 20, 2009: Super-size packaging a legacy society finds tough to shrink.

  4. Apr 21, 2009: What you can and can't recycle throughout the GTA.

  5. Apr 22, 2009: Making the producer responsible for packaging waste; 10 things you can do; finding a substitute for plastic.

Waste packaging is choking our future as our landfills near capacity. Yet examples of excessive packaging destined for landfills can be found every day in virtually every store in the GTA.
The Star wants you to tell us about the worst. Send us a photograph of the product in its packaging, along with an email telling us what it is and why you think it ranks among the worst.
We'll present the evidence to those who can do something about it.
Send your photographs to Fanpix@thestar.ca with "Beat the Wrap" in the subject line.

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