Transcript: The Problem with Plastics | Jun 27, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and spotted blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "The problem with plastics. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says IT'S CONVENIENT.
IT'S CHEAP AND IT'S EVERYWHERE.
AND THAT'S WHAT MAKES PLASTICS
SUCH A TRICKY ISSUE.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS NOW
DECIDED A BAN ON SINGLE USE
PLASTICS IS PART OF THE
SOLUTION.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF IT?
THAT EVEN AFTER DECADES OF
RECYCLING PROGRAMS, THEY'RE
STILL PILING UP HERE AND AROUND
THE GLOBE.
WITH US TO CONSIDER THAT, IN
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA,
SARAH KING, HEAD OF GREENPEACE
CANADA'S OCEANS AND PLASTICS
CAMPAIGN.

Sarah is in her thirties, with long straight brown hair and bangs. She's wearing a colour-patterned blouse.

Steve continues AND HERE IN OUR STUDIO, JO-ANNE
ST. GODARD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
RECYCLING COUNCIL OF ONTARIO.

Jo-Anne is in her late fifties, with shoulder-length wavy blond hair. She's wearing a black blazer and a white blouse.

Steve continues USMAN VALIANTE, POLICY ANALYST
AND AUTHOR OF THE SMART
PROSPERITY INSTITUTE'S RECENT
REPORT "A VISION FOR A CIRCULAR
ECONOMY FOR PLASTICS IN CANADA."

Usman is in his forties, clean-shaven and balding. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and checked red tie.

Steve continues AND DOMENIC DI MONDO.
COFOUNDER AND VICE-PRESIDENT OF
TECHNOLOGY AT THE CLEAN TECH
FIRM GreenMantra.

Dominic is in his late thirties, with wavy brown hair gelled back and a boxed beard. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit, and a checkered white shirt.

Steve continues AND IT'S GOOD TO HAVE EVERYBODY
HERE IN OUR STUDIO.
AND, SARAH NICE TO HAVE YOU ON
THE LINE FROM THE LEFT COAST.
I WANT TO JUST THROW A FEW
NUMBERS OUT HERE TO SET THE
TABLE FOR THE DISCUSSION TO
COME.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Plastics in Canada by the numbers."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
IN CANADA, 3.84 MILLION DOLLARS TONS OF
PLASTIC IS GENERATED EVERY YEAR.
ONLY 11 TO 12 percent OF THAT IS
COLLECTED FOR RECYCLING.
AND EVEN LESS IS ACTUALLY
RECYCLED.
OKAY.
LET'S GET INTO THIS.
SARAH, IT SEEMS THAT CANADIANS
ARE WAKING UP TO THE FACT THAT
OUR RECYCLING SYSTEM IS NOT
QUITE WHAT IT WAS.
SO LET'S COMPARE AND CONTRAST
HERE.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE GENERAL
SENSE AMONG CANADIANS ABOUT HOW
EFFECTIVE OUR RECYCLING PROGRAMS IS?

The caption changes to "Sarah King. Greenpeace Canada."
Then, it changes again to "Recycling: Not what it's cracked up to be."

Sarah says I DEFINITELY THINK
THAT PEOPLE WERE QUITE SHOCKED
TO LEARN THAT, YOU KNOW, MOST OF
WHAT THEY'RE PUTTING IN THE BLUE
BIN ISN'T ACTUALLY BEING
RECYCLED.
DEFINITELY JUST IN TALKING WITH
FRIENDS AND FAMILY, YOU KNOW,
PEOPLE REALLY TRY THEIR BEST TO
SORT, CLEAN, PUT THINGS IN THE
RIGHT PLACES AND, YEAH, I THINK
THEY'RE REALLY DISAPPOINTED AND
SHOCKED ACTUALLY TO LEARN THAT
DESPITE BEST EFFORTS, YOU KNOW,
WE'RE REALLY NOT LIVING UP TO
OUR... THIS RECYCLING IDEAL THAT
WE HAVE SET FOR OURSELVES.
SO, YEAH.

Steve says GIVEN YOU'RE RIGHT
THERE ON AN OCEAN, MAYBE YOU
COULD TELL US HOW MUCH OF WHAT
WE THINK WE'RE RECYCLING
ACTUALLY ENDS UP IN AN OCEAN.

Sarah says IN TERMS OF SCALABLE
PROBLEMS ABOUT A DUMP TRUCK OF
PLASTICS ENTERS OUR OCEANS EVERY
DAY.
SO WHILE WE'RE HAVING THIS
DISCUSSION THERE WILL BE 20 TO
30 TRUCK LOADS OF PLASTIC.
THE PROBLEM HAS REACHED A CRISIS
LEVEL.
IN TERMS OF WHAT WE'RE ACTUALLY
SEEING WHEN WE DO SHORELINE
CLEAN UPS, WHEN WE'RE OUT AT
SEA, OF COURSE QUITE A LOT OF
THE PLASTIC THAT ENTERS OUR
OCEANS ACTUALLY FALLS TO THE SEA
FLOOR.
BUT WHAT WE SEE IN CLEAN UPS AND
WHAT WASHES UP ON BEACHES ARE
THINGS LIKE BOTTLES, BOTTLE
CAPS, FOOD WRAPPERS, THINGS LIKE
STRAWS.
AND THEN, OF COURSE,
MICROPLASTICS.
THE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN BROKEN
DOWN A LOT INTO A LOT OF
DIFFERENT PIECES: STYROFOAM...
A NUMBER OF TYPES OF PLASTICS
THAT ARE KNOWN AS SINGLE USE
PLASTICS.

Steve says USMAN LET ME GET YOU
INTO THE DISCUSSION NOW.
HOW DID WE GET INTO A SITUATION
WHERE SO LITTLE OF OUR PLASTICS
ARE BEING RECYCLED AND SO LITTLE
OF WHAT WE'RE COLLECTING AND
THINK WE'RE RECYCLING IS BEING
RECYCLED?

The caption changes to "Usman Valiante. Strategycorp."

Usman says SO IN FACT PLASTICS
ARE UBIQUITOUS.
THEY'RE IN YOUR CELL FIONA
HUNTER, YOUR CAR, THE TEXTILES,
IN YOUR CARPET.
THEY'RE IN YOUR CURTAINS.
THEY'RE IN OUR CLOTHING.
PLASTICS ARE EVER EVERYWHERE.
AND WE'RE ONLY RECYCLING 9 percent.
THAT 9 percent ACTUALLY A LOT OF WHAT
IS BEING RECYCLED IS COMING FROM
RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS.
SO WE HAVE BOTTLE SYSTEMS ACROSS
THE ONE INTEREST THAT COLLECT
PLASTIC BOTTLES AND CURBSIDE
RECYCLING THAT'S COLLECTING IT.
SOME OF IT IS BEING EXPORTED TO
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.
SO A HUGE CHUNK OF THE PLASTIC
IN OUR ECONOMY IS NOT BEING
ADDRESSED THROUGH RECYCLING
SYSTEMS.
SO IT ENDS UP BEING DISPOSED OF
OR THROWN IN THE LANDFILL.

Steve says JO-ANNE MAYBE I CAN
GET YOU IN ON THAT, TOO, HOW IS
IT THAT SO LITTLE OF WHAT WE
THINK IS BEING RECYCLED IS BEING
RECYCLE.

The caption changes to "Jo-Anne Saint Godard. Recycling Council of Ontario."

Jo-Anne says TO BUILD ON USMAN'S
POINT, ONLY 30 OR 40 percent IS
ACTUALLY IN PACKAGING.
IN FACT 50 percent OF THAT 40 percent IS
DESIGNED TO BE SINGLE USE.
SO PART OF IT... THE MAJOR
PROBLEM IS, YOU KNOW, WHAT ARE
WE PUTTING ONTO THE MARKETPLACE?
AND WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES
FOR CONSUMERS AS IT RELATES TO
MAKING BETTER CHOICES?
SO NOT ONLY DO WE HAVE TO CLEAN
UP OUR RECYCLING PROGRAMS AND
MAYBE EVEN RESET THOSE BASED ON
THE REALITIES OF HOW PLASTICS
ARE MOVING IN THE WORLD TODAY,
BUT COUPLED WITH THAT, WHAT ARE
WE CHOOSING TO PUT ONTO THE
MARKETPLACE AND HOW ARE
CONSUMERS ABLE TO MAKE BETTER
CHOICES?
WHAT'S THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
THE PRODUCTION CYCLE AND OUR
CONSUMPTION CYCLE?

Steve says DO WE LOVE PLASTICS
THAT MUCH?

Jo-Anne says WELL, I THINK PEOPLE
PROBABLY DON'T THINK ABOUT IT.
THE WORD THAT WE USE
CONSISTENTLY IS UBIQUITOUS.
THEY'RE EVERYWHERE.
THEY ARE IN THINGS WE DON'T
THINK ABOUT.
I READ ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF
PLASTIC IN TEA BAGS.

Steve says TEA BAGS?

Jo-Anne says TEA BAGS.
30 percent OF A TEA BACK ACTUALLY HAS
PLASTIC IN IT.
IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, WHEN IT'S
EVERYWHERE I DON'T THINK PEOPLE
ARE CONSCIOUSLY THINKING ABOUT
HOW MUCH THEY LOVE PLASTICS.
I THINK QUITE FRANKLY PART OF
THE PROBLEM IS WE'VE TAKEN IT
FOR GRANTED.

Steve says CERTAINLY WE HAD THE
FEDERAL ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE
CHANGE MINISTER HERE NOT TOO
LONG AGO, DOMINIC AND SHE WAS
PRETTY CLEAR ABOUT HER DESIRE TO
BAN SINGLE USE PLASTICS.
AND YOU'VE GOT A SOMEWHAT
DIFFERENT APPROACH TO IT.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS.

The caption changes to "Domenic Di Mondo. Greenmantra."
Then, it changes again to "What we should do about it."

Domenic says SURE.
SO JUST KIND OF ON A HIGH LEVEL
WHAT WE'RE DOING AT
GreenMantra IS WE'RE USING
CHEMISTRY TO ALLOW US TO
REDESIGN OR TRANSFORM THE
PLASTIC MOLECULE AND CREATE NEW
MATERIALS.
AND THESE MATERIALS CAN BE
ADDITIVES USED BY MANUFACTURERS
AND PRODUCTS LIKE ROOFING
SHINGLES, OR BACK AND MOLDED
PLASTIC PRODUCTS.
THE BENEFIT OF DOING THAT IS ONE
AS A MANUFACTURER YOU CAN
PRODUCE A PRODUCT THAT PERFORMS
BETTER.
BUT, TWO, YOU'RE OFFSETTING
PRODUCTS THAT ARE DERIVED FROM
FOSSIL OR CRUDE SOURCES.
AND IN ADDITION YOU TALKED ABOUT
PLASTIC BANS.
WE MIGHT GO INTO IT WITH THE
PANEL IN MORE DETAIL.
THE PLASTIC BAN DOES A GREAT JOB
AT BRINGING TO THE FOREFRONT
THAT WE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH
WASTE PLASTIC.
BUT I DO THINK IT FALLS A BIT
SHORT AS BEING THE MAJOR
SOLUTION FOR WASTE PLASTIC.
AND THERE ARE TWO REASONS I KIND
OF FEEL THAT WAY.
ONE, WHEN WE SEE THAT THESE
PLASTIC BANS ARE QUICKLY BEING
IMPLEMENTED IT CAN GIVE THE
CONSUMER A FALSE SENSE OF
SUCCESS.
THAT THE BAN'S IN PLACE, WE'RE
DOING WHAT WE NEED, WE'RE
TACKLING THE PROBLEM.
WHEREAS THE BAN MIGHT BE A SMALL
PART OF THE BIGGER STRATEGY
AROUND HOW WE'RE GOING TO GET TO
A CIRCULAR ECONOMY FOR PLASTIC.
I THINK THE OTHER SIDE THAT'S
REALLY IMPORTANT TO TAKE INTO
ACCOUNT WHEN WE DIVE DEEPER INTO
PLASTIC BANS IS BEFORE WE RUSH
TO PUT A BAN IN PLACE WE NEED TO
MAKE SURE THAT THE ALTERNATIVE
MATERIAL THAT'S GOING TO TAKE
THE PLACE OF SINGLE USE PLASTIC
ACTUALLY HAS A GREENER
FOOTPRINT.
THERE HAVE BEEN STUDIES DONE BY
THE U.K. AND THE DENMARK EPA,
EVEN THE ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL.
WHERE THE TYPICAL PAPER THAT
MIGHT BE USED IN A FULL CYCLE
HAS A WORSE FOOTPRINT RELATED TO
THE ACTUAL PRODUCTION OF THE
PAPER PRODUCT.
AND TYPICALLY THESE PAPER
PRODUCTS ARE HEAVIER.
AND THAT MEANS WHEN YOU'RE
TRANSPORTING THEM TO DIFFERENT
LOCATION IT IS WEIGHS MORE SO
THERE'S MORE FUEL CONSUMED
DURING TRANSPORT.
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT PLASTIC BANS
THERE ARE SOME GREAT THINGS THEY
DO IN THE DISCUSSION.
BUT WE DO NEED TO HAVE A MORE
WELL THOUGHT OUT APPROACH BEFORE
WE JUST IMPLEMENT THEM.

Steve says LET ME GET SARAH'S
VIEW ON THAT.
DO BANS ON SINGLE USE PLASTIC IN
YOUR EXPERIENCE, SARAH WORK?

The caption changes to "Sarah King, @sckinger."

Sarah says WE'VE DEFINITELY SEEN
BANS PLAY A IMPORTANT ROLE IN
STOPPING WASTE.
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ZERO WASTE OR
A CIRCULAR ECONOMY YOU CAN'T
HAVE A CIRCULAR ECONOMY WITHOUT
ADDRESSING THE REDUCTION ISSUE
AND BASICALLY REMOVING FROM
CIRCULATION THINGS THAT ARE
KNOWN TO GENERATE, YOU KNOW,
SIGNIFICANT AND PROBLEMATIC
WASTE.
AND SO I THINK WE REALLY NEED TO
ENSURE THAT WE'RE WEEDING OUT
THE MOST PROBLEMATIC AND
UNNECESSARY PLASTICS IN THIS
CASE.
AND I WOULD SAY, YOU KNOW, A
CONCERN THAT WE HAVE WITH MOVING
TOWARDS REALLY INVESTING IN A
LOT OF INFRASTRUCTURE THAT DEALS
WITH THE WASTE, OF COURSE IT'S
ESSENTIAL AS WE TRANSITION TO A
MORE CIRCULAR ECONOMY TO DEAL
WITH ALL THE PLASTIC THAT'S OUT
THERE.
DEAL WITH THIS MASSIVE WASTE
PROBLEM WE HAVE NOW.
BUT WE DON'T REALLY WANT TO PUT
ALL OF OUR EGGS IN A BASKET THAT
IS RELIANT ON WASTE BECAUSE
ULTIMATELY WE WANT TO BE MOVING
AWAY FROM THE GENERATION OF
PLASTIC WASTE.

Steve says USMAN LET ME GIVE YOU
A FEW EXAMPLES: PLASTIC
CUTLERY, PLASTIC STRAWS, PLASTIC
BAGS, THEY'RE ALL SINGLE USE.
ENVIRONMENTALISTS RAIL AGAINST
THEM.
IF YOU BAN THEM WOULD THAT SOLVE
A PROBLEM?

Usman says BANS ARE ONE POLICY
TOOL SO WHAT PROBLEM ARE YOU
TRYING TO FIX?
BANS TYPICALLY ARE BROUGHT IN TO
DEAL WITH MARINE PLASTIC
POLLUTION.
SO THINGS THAT ARE FOUND ON THE
WATER IN BEACHES THAT ARE A
THREAT TO MARINE MAMMALS AND
REPTILES AND FISH OR END UP IN
OUR FOOD.
SO AS DOMINIC POINTED OUT.
THEY'RE A NARROW APPLICATION FOR
DEALING WITH THIS SPECIFIC SET
OF PLASTIC THAT IS ARE FOUND IN
THE OCEAN AND ARE A PROBLEM.
ARE THEY EFFECTIVE FOR DEALING
WITH THAT?
YES, THEY ARE.
BUT DOES THAT DEAL WITH THE
BIGGER PLASTIC PROBLEM?
WE NEED ANOTHER SET OF POLICIES
TO DEAL WITH THE LOWER
COLLECTION AND RECYCLING PROGRAM
THAT WE HAVE.
IT'S JUST ONE POLL AT THIS TOOL.

Steve says DO YOU HAVE A VIEW ON
THE PLASTICS BAN?

The caption changes to "Jo-Anne Saint Godard, @RCOntario."

Jo-Anne says I THINK PARTICULARLY
WHERE WE HAVE ALTERNATIVES AND
WE DO FOR THINGS LIKE COFFEE
CUPS OR THINGS LIKE PLASTIC BAGS
AND IT'S NOT SUCH A HUGE ASK OF
THE POPULATION TO MAKE THOSE
LIFESTYLE CHANGES.
WE'RE SEEING IT ALL THE TIME GO
INTO ANY GROCERY STORE NOW OR
ANY RETAILER AND YOU'VE GOT A
RE-USEABLE BAG ALTERNATIVE.
AND, IN FACT, IT DOESN'T AFFECT
OUR LIFESTYLE WHATSOEVER AND
IT'S NOT TICKING AWAY TOO MUCH
CONVENIENCE IN YOUR LIFESTYLE.
SO ABSOLUTELY, BANS FROM SALE
ARE ONE TOOL.
AS HAS BEEN INDICATED BY USMAN.
BUT, YOU KNOW, I THINK WE HAVE
TO ADMIT THAT WHERE THERE ARE
ALTERNATIVE IT IS MAKES
TREMENDOUS SENSE.
THE OTHER BAN THAT REALLY WHAT
WE SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR IS BAN
FROM DISPOSAL.
WHICH IS THE SUPPORTIVE POLICY
TOOL THAT HELPS COMPANIES LIKE
DOMINIC AND OTHER PROCESSORS IN
OUR COMMUNITY, BUSINESS THAT IS
HAVE MADE INVESTMENTS ACROSS
CANADA WHO ARE LOOKING FOR GOOD
FEEDBACK SO THEY CAN ACTUALLY
USE THEM IN REPRODUCTION CYCLES
AND THEY SHOULDN'T BE COMPETING
WITH RELATIVE CHEAP DISPOSAL
ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WHEN WE
TALK ABOUT BANS NOT ONLY BANS
FROM SALE BUT BANS FROM DISPOSAL
AS WELL.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says CAN I FOLLOW UP WITH
YOU ON THAT?
THIS WHOLE NOTION AFTER CIRCULAR
ECONOMY WHEN IT COMES TO
PLASTICS?
CAN YOU JUST FILL IN THE BLANKS
ON THAT FOR US?

Usman says A CIRCULAR ECONOMY IS
WHERE YOU HAVE THE MANUFACTURER
OF A PRODUCT DESIGNS THE PRODUCT
TO BE COLLECTED AND RE-USED OR
RECYCLED.
SETS UP SYSTEMS TO DO THAT AND
THAT MATERIAL THEN GOES BACK TO
COMPANIES LIKE GreenMantra
WHERE THE PLASTICS ARE THEN
RECYCLED BACK INTO NEW PRODUCTS
AND IT FLOWS BACK INTO THE
ECONOMY.

Steve says THE POINT IS NOT TO
END UP IN A LANDFILL.

Usman says EXACTLY.
AND TO RECOVER THOSE
HYDROCARBONS, THOSE RESOURCES IN
PLASTIC FOR CONSISTENT RE-USE
AGAIN AND AGAIN IN PRODUCTIVE
CYCLES.
THE NEXT STEP WOULD BE TO START
PRODUCING PLASTICS DIFFERENTLY
RATHER THAN PRODUCING THEM FROM
FOSSIL FUELS LIKE NATURAL GAS
BUT START PRODUCING THEM USING
RENEWABLE CHEMISTRIES.
WHEN YOU BRING THOSE TOGETHER,
THEY'VE GOT A LOW CARBON PLASTIC
SYSTEM THAT'S ZERO WASTE.
AND THAT'S REALLY WHAT WE'RE
ASPIRING TO.

Steve says LET ME FOLLOW UP WITH
YOU NOW.
YOUR RAW MATERIALS, WHERE DO YOU
GET IT FROM?

Domenic says WE GET OUR RAW
MATERIALS FROM DIFFERENT
MUNICIPALITIES OR DIFFERENT
PROCESSOR WHO IS ARE COLLECTING
WASTE PLASTICS THAT ARE GOING
INTO THE BLUE BOX.

Steve says AND ARE YOU GOING TO
CHANGE THE ACTUAL CHEMICAL,
MOLECULAR STRUCTURE OF THAT RAW
MATERIAL AND TURN IT INTO WHAT?

Domenic says SO WHEN YOU THINK
ABOUT CHEMICAL RECYCLING...
MAYBE I'LL START THERE.
I THINK THERE TENDS TO BE FOR
THE AVERAGE PERSON A NEGATIVE
CONNOTATION WHEN THEY HEAR
CHEMICAL RECYCLING.
YOU HEAR THE WORD CHEMICAL AND
IT SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING
DANGEROUS IS HAPPENING.
BUT WE USE CHEMISTRY TO EXTEND
THE LIFE AFTER PLASTIC RESOURCE.
THERE ARE DIFFERENT APPROACHES.
ONE IS REDESIGNING THE MOLECULE.
THAT'S WHAT WE DO AT
GreenMantra.
WE CHANGE THE PROPERTIES TO
CREATE NEW MATERIALS THAT ARE
EITHER SYNTHETIC WAXES OR
POLYMER ADDITIVE THAT IS ARE
GOING INTO OTHER NEW
APPLICATIONS.

Steve says HOW DO YOU MAKE THOSE
CHEMICAL CHANGES?

Domenic says IN THIS CASE WITHOUT
GOING TOO DEEP INTO THE
CHEMISTRY WE'RE USING CATALYSTS.
THAT ALLOWS US TO CUT THE
BONDS... YOU THINK OF PLASTIC AS
A LONG CHAIN.
IT ALLOWS US TO PICK AND CHOOSE
WHERE WE'RE CUTTING THE BOND TO
REDESIGN THE MOLECULE AND ADD
VALUE.

Steve says DO YOU BURN IT?

Domenic says WE DO NOT BURN T
THAT'S A BIG MISCONCEPTION WITH
CHEMICAL RECYCLING IS THAT
PEOPLE THINK WE'RE BURNING IT
AND USING ENERGY.
THAT'S ONE SMALL COMPONENT AND
IT'S PROBABLY THE LOWEST VALUE.

Steve says AND TURN IT INTO WHAT?

Domenic says WE TURN IT INTO A
RAW MATERIAL THAT'S BEING USED
BY OTHER MANUFACTURING COMPANY
THAT IS ARE ADDING IT TO BETTER
PERFORMANCE OR PROCESSING
FACILITIES.
CAN YOU MAKE A SHINGLE TO LAST
LONGER OR MAKE IT EASIER TO
MOULD THE PLASTIC PART, FOR
EXAMPLE.

Steve says Sarah, LET ME GET
YOUR TAKE ON WHETHER THIS IS A
VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO HAVING
MORE STUFF END UP IN LANDFILL.

Sarah says THE PROBLEM FOR US,
REALLY IS THAT IT DOES CONTINUE
TO CREATE A DEMAND FOR PLASTIC
MATERIAL.
WHILE WE WOULD LIKE TO HOPE THAT
WE WOULD REACH 100 percent CAPTURE AND
RECYCLE BEING, WE JUST FEEL THAT
WE'RE SO FAR FROM THAT THAT IT'S
HARD TO IMAGINE THAT THAT WOULD
BE THE CASE.
AND THAT'S WITH SINGLE USE
PLASTICS OR WITH PLASTICS EVEN
DESIGNED FOR CHEMICAL RECYCLE,
YOU KNOW, PLASTIC BOTTLES ARE A
GREAT EXAMPLE.
THEY ARE ONE OF THE MOST
RECYCLABLE, RECYCLED PRODUCTS IN
CANADA AND YET WE STILL SEE IT
ON CONSTANTLY IN THE ENVIRONMENT
IN OUR OCEANS, IN OUR PARKS AND
WATER WAYS.
AND SO THERE IS THIS ISSUE OF
PRODUCING SOMETHING THAT STILL
HAS, YOU KNOW, A NEGATIVE IMPACT
ON THE ENVIRONMENT.
LASTLY, I THINK THERE ARE A LOT
OF QUESTIONS STILL AROUND
CHEMICAL RECYCLING.
YOU KNOW, WHERE ARE THE
CHEMICALS COMING FROM THAT ARE
USED IN IT?
AND MAYBE YOU CAN SPEAK TO THAT
DOMINIC.
BUT, YEAH, I THINK THERE'S JUST
A LOT OF QUESTIONS STILL ABOUT
WHAT REALLY THE IMPACT OF THAT
IS AT A LARGER SCALE.

Steve says OKAY.
DOMINIC, DO YOU WANT TO SPEAK TO THAT?

The caption changes to "Domenic Di Mondo, @GreenMantraTech."

Domenic says I THINK THAT'S
IMPORTANT, SARAH THE QUESTION
YOU HAD THERE.
WHERE ARE THE CHEMICALS COMING
FROM.
A LOT OF CHEMICAL RECYCLING,
YOU'RE NOT NECESSARILY ADDING A
CHEMICAL TO THE PLASTIC.
IN OUR CASE WE'RE ADDING A
CATALYST.
THAT'S A MATERIAL THAT DOESN'T
GET CONSUMED OR LEACHED INTO THE
PLASTIC BUT ALLOWS US TO CHANGE
THE PROPERTY.
I THINK THE VALUE IN CHEMICAL
RECYCLING ISN'T AS A SILVER
BULLET.
AGAIN IT'S ONE PART OF MANY
STRATEGIES.
OBVIOUSLY WE WOULD AGREE THE
BEST STRATEGY IS RE-USE.
WE WANT TO RE-USE THE PLASTIC AS
MANY TIMES AS WE CAN.
BUT EVENTUALLY IT'S GOING TO GO
APP GET TO THE END OF USE.
THEN YOU WANT TO REFORMAT IT.
IF THOSE PROPERTIES DON'T WORK
THEN YOU START USING CHEMICAL
RECYCLING TO CREATE THAT
ABILITY TO EXTEND THE VALUE OF
THE RESOURCE.

Steve says YOU ARE THE THIRD
OPTION IN SOME RESPECTS.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Domenic says IT'S ALMOST A
DECISION TREE YOU'RE GOING
THROUGH CAN I DO THIS OR THIS.
WHAT WE'RE DOING THERE IS JUST
CHANGING THE PROPERTIES AND
MATERIAL TO ALLOW US TO EXTEND
THE RESOURCE.
A LOT OF PEOPLE GET CONFUSED
WITH CHEMICAL RECYCLING THINKING
THAT IT'S PLASTIC TO FUEL OR
PLASTIC ENERGY.
THAT'S REALLY I THINK THE LAST
RESORT.
YOU CAN KIND OF THINK OF THAT AS
MORE TRADITIONAL CHEMICAL
RECYCLING.
FOR A LOT OF THE WORLD THAT
GreenMantra AND OTHER
COMPANIES WHICH CANADA IS DOING
A GREAT JOB AT BEING A LEADER IN
CLEAN TECHNOLOGY AROUND
PLASTICS.
YOU CAN THINK OF IT AS MORE
ADVANCED RECYCLING AS AN
ALTERNATIVE.

Steve says YOU MEDITATE AND YOUR
MANTRA IS "GREEN."
IS THAT WHY YOU CALLED THE
COMPANY THAT?

Domenic says IT'S EXACTLY THAT.
BUT OUR METHODOLOGIES TO BE
GREEN AND TO TRY TO BE AS
RESOURCE EFFICIENT WITH
MATERIALS WE HAVE.

Steve says I AM BEING A LITTLE
TOO LITERAL IN MY
INTERPRETATIONS.

Domenic says NO, WITH OUR
EMPLOYEES, OUR TEAM, THAT'S OUR
FOCUS IS TO BE AS GREEN AS WE
CAN.

Steve says GOT T THERE IS THIS
EXPRESSION I KEEP RUNNING INTO
EXTENDED USE POSSIBILITY WHAT
DOES THAT MEAN.

Usman says THAT MEANS HAVE YOU A
CELL FIONA HUNTER AND IT HAS
METALS AND PLASTIC THIS IS THE
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR
RECOVERING THAT PLASTIC AND
METAL.
THE PRODUCER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR
COLLECTING IT END OF LIFE AND
MAKING SURE THE RESOURCES ARE
RECOVERED FROM IT AND REALLY
THAT'S WHAT THAT CONCEPT IS.

Steve says DO WE HAVE LAWS THAT
FORCE THAT?

The caption changes to "Usman Valiante, @UziValiante."

Usman says THEY'RE NASCENT.
ONTARIO IS EXTENDING ITS LAWS ON
PACKAGING.
WE DO IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS.
BRITISH COLUMBIA IS THE FIRST
JURISDICTION FOR ALL RESIDENTIAL
RECYCLING.
YOUR PRODUCERS, YOUR PROCTER AND
GAMBLES, YOUR UNILEVERS ARE
RESPONSIBLE FOR OPERATING A
BOTTLE SYSTEM AND COLLECTING.
THAT IS NOW AN EMERGING CONCEPT.
SOME JURISDICTIONS HAVE HAD
MUNICIPALITIES PAY TO COLLECT
AND RECYCLE.
WHAT THEY FOUND IS THAT DOESN'T
REALLY WORK BECAUSE THE
PRODUCERS ARE LESS STUCK WITH
THE PLASTICS TRYING TO DO
SOMETHING WITH IT.
YOU REALLY NEED TO HAVE
PRODUCERS TAKE MUNICIPAL
RECYCLING SYSTEMS AND TURN THEM
INTO PROVINCIAL RECYCLING
SYSTEMS TO GET SCALE EFFICIENCY
AND RECYCLE WITH COMPANIES LIKE
GreenMantra.

Steve says SARAH WE JUST HEARD
THIS IS HAPPENING IN BRITISH
COLUMBIA.
CAN YOU TELL US WHETHER OR NOT
IT'S WORKING IN?

The caption changes to "Extended producer responsibility."

Sarah says DEFINITELY WHEN WE
LOOK ACROSS CANADA B.C. IS DOING
A BETTER JOB I WOULD SAY OF
COLLECTING AND RECYCLING A LOT
OF OUR PLASTIC HERE.
BUT EXTENDED USE TECHNOLOGY IS
ONLY ONE PIECE OF THE LARGER
PROBLEM WE'RE FACING.
PLASTIC WASTE, POLLUTION, AND
UNLESS AGAIN WE'RE REALLY
TALKING AND CONSIDERING HOW
WE'RE REDUCING IN THE FIRST
PLACE IT'S DIFFICULT FOR, YOU
KNOW, ALL THE PLASTIC WASTE TO
ACTUALLY BE CAPTURED AD AND
RECYCLED.
EVEN THOUGH, AGAIN, GOING BACK
TO BOTTLES EVEN THOUGH BOTTLES
HAVE A REALLY GOOD COLLECTION
AND RECYCLING RATE, THIS YEAR,
COLLECTING OR IF YOU'RE
PRODUCING A BILLION DOLLARS BOTTLE AS
YEAR AND ONLY 85 percent OF THAT IS
ACTUALLY BEING RECYCLED, THEN
THAT'S STILL A LOT THAT'S BEING
LOOKED INTO THE ENVIRONMENT
THAT'S GOING TO LANDFILL, ET
CETERA.
SO I THINK, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, THE
EPR REALLY NEEDS TO BE PART OF A
LARGER STRATEGY AND THAT
STRATEGY REALLY NEEDS TO BE
FOCUSED ON REDUCTION AND ALSO
OTHER WAYS OF DELIVERING
PRODUCTS.
SO RE-USE, REFILL, SOME OF THE
POINTS THAT JO-ANNE'S MADE.

Steve says I WANT TO FIGURE OUT,
SARAH IF PART OF... IS PART OF
GREENPEACE'S APPROACH HERE THAT
WE STOP USING PLASTICS AS MUCH
AS POSSIBLE, MAYBE EVEN ALL
TOGETHER?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THAT KIND
OF WORLD?

Sarah says YEAH, I MEAN IDEALLY
WE'D LIKE TO SEE US MOVE AWAY...
ESSENTIALLY REMOVE OUR RELIANCE
ON NON-ESSENTIAL PLASTIC.
WHEN WE SEE WHAT IS MOST OFTEN
ENDED UP IN THE ENVIRONMENT,
WHAT WE'RE SEEING HAS LOW
RECYCLING RATES WHAT WE KNOW ARE
TOXIC TO HUMAN HEALTH, TO
WILDLIFE, WE'D REALLY LIKE TO
SEE THESE PHASED OUT.
YOU KNOW, THEY'VE CONTRIBUTED
SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE GLOBAL
PLASTIC SOLUTION CRISIS.
AND WE'RE SEEING ALMOST WEEKLY
NOW UNFORTUNATELY, THE NEGATIVE
IMPACTS ON MARINE WILDLIFE IN
PARTICULAR.
YOU KNOW, AND JUST LIKE WITH THE
OZONE LAYER AND THAT MASSIVE
PROBLEM, SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO
BAN THINGS IN ORDER TO ENSURE
THAT THEY WILL NOT ANY MORE
POLLUTE AND END UP IN THE
ENVIRONMENT.
SO THAT'S, YOU KNOW, WE REALLY
WANT TO SEE THEM MOVING AWAY
FROM ALL THE PLASTICS THAT
REALLY, YOU KNOW, ARE COMPLETELY
UNNECESSARY.
WE'VE GROWN ACCUSTOMED TO THEM
FOR VARIOUS REASONS.
BUT THEY'RE NOT NECESSARY.
AND A LOT OF ALTERNATIVES
ALREADY DO EXIST FOR THEM.

Steve says JO-ANNE, WHAT'S YOUR
VIEW ON THAT?

Jo-Anne says I WOULD HAVE TO
AGREE WITH SARAH'S SENTIMENTS.
I THINK THE POSITIVE APPROACH
THAT THE POLICY IS TAKING NOW AT
A FEDERAL LEVEL, THAT IS A
MULTIPRONGED APPROACH.
THERE'S NOT ONE POLICY TOOL
THAT'S GOING TO SOLVE 50 YEARS
OF A GROWING PLASTIC PROBLEM.
SO, I MEAN IT'S GOING TO TAKE
MULTIPLE DIFFERENT SOLUTIONS TO
BE ABLE TO GET THERE AND I THINK
IT'S GOING TO BE A LITTLE BIT OF
EVERYTHING.
IT'S GOING TO HAVE TO BE
PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITY AND NOT
JUST PRODUCERS THROWING MONEY AT
RECYCLING SYSTEMS OR BEING
RESPONSIBLE FOR TAKING BACK
THEIR PACKAGING AND FIGURING OUT
A RECYCLING SOLUTION.
BUT IT IS ABOUT REDESIGN.
IT IS ABOUT EXAMINING
ALTERNATIVES, INCENTING THE
CONSUMERS TO BE PART OF THIS
POLLUTION WITH THEM.
SO EPR IS THIS POLICY TOOL THAT
CAN DO MUCH MORE THAN JUST
RECYCLING.

Steve says EXTENDED PRODUCER
RESPONSIBILITY.

Jo-Anne says EXTENDED PRODUCER
RESPONSIBILITY.
AND THAT IS AT THE HEART OF THE
CONSUMER ECONOMY.
IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT RECYCLING
IT IS ABOUT UPSTREAM DESIGN AND
EVEN THIS RE-USE PIECE WHICH IS
REALLY MISSING FROM THE EQUATION
ARE OFTEN NOT TALKED ABOUT
ENOUGH.
SO TO SHARE SARAH'S SENT I AM,
IT'S GOT TO BE LOOKING UPSTREAM.
IT'S ALSO GOT TO BE A BAN ON
THINGS THAT HAVE ALTERNATIVES,
THAT REALLY ARE ONLY DESIGNED
FOR THAT SINGLE USE THAT WE
STARTED THIS CONVERSATION ABOUT.
AND THAT'S GOT TO BE CONSUMERS
NEED TO RESPOND TO THAT.
AND WE CAN'T JUST PUT THINGS IN
OUR BLUE BOX ANY MORE AND EXPECT
THAT TO BE OUR ROLE.
WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT NOT ONLY
DO I PARTICIPATE IN MY BLUE BOX
FULSOMELY, AND THAT IT'S
PERFORMING BUT HOW AM I BUYING.
AM I BUYING THINGS THAT I CAN
RECYCLE AND WHAT IS MY ROLE AS A
CONSUMER?
WE'RE SEEING ALL SORTS OF STORE
THAT IS HAVE PLASTIC-FREE
AISLES.
PLASTIC-FREE STORES.
THEY ARE BOUTIQUE AT THE MOMENT.
BUT MANY STORES IN EUROPE THAT
HAVE ACTUALLY ONLY REFILL AS AN
OPTION.
SO YOU GO ON AND YOU REFILL YOUR
OLIVE OIL CONTAINER INSTEAD OF
BUYING OLIVE OIL IN A DISPOSABLE
OR RECYCLABLE CONTAINER YOU CAN
GO IN WITH A REFILLABLE
CONTAINER USE THE DISPENSER AND
WALK OUT.
SO I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF
EMERGING BUSINESS MODEL THAT IS
ARE OUT THERE THAT ARE PART OF
THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY THAT
BUSINESSES ARE EMBRACING.
AND WOULD I SAY THE MESSAGE TO
US AS CONSUMERS IS TO SUPPORT
THAT.
AND IF YOU ARE SEEING SOME OF
THESE EGREGIOUS PACKAGING
EXAMPLES OUT THERE DON'T BUY T
USE YOUR POWER AND SEND A
MESSAGE TO INDUSTRY TO SAY THIS
IS FAR TOO MUCH AND UNNECESSARY
AND I'M NOT GOING TO BUY THAT
THEN YOU WILL SEE INDUSTRY START
TO PAY ATTENTION.

Steve says IT STARTS WITH ALL OF US.

Jo-Anne says IT SURE DOES.
WE HAVE ENORMOUS BUYING POWER
THAT ISN'T USED.
PART OF WHAT'S IN THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENTS IS THEY
ARE LOOKING AT THEIR OWN
PROCUREMENT.
THEY BUY 200 BILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF
GOODS AND SERVICES EVERY YEAR.
GOVERNMENT DOES.
AS ENTITIES.

Steve says ARE YOU SAYING THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OR ALL OF THEM?

Jo-Anne says ALL OF THEM.
GOVERNMENT BUYING POWER IN
CANADA IS ABOUT 15 percent OF OUR GDP.
AND SO THEY ARE THE BIGGEST
CONSUMERS OF GOODS AND SERVICES
IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.
AND THEY NEED TO LOOK INWARDLY
AND HAVE COMMITTED AT THE
FEDERAL LEVEL ON SINGLE USE
PLASTICS TO DO THAT.
WHAT IS MY BUYING POWER?
YOU HAVE PUBLIC DOLLARS THAT YOU
ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR.
YOU SHOULD BE PRUDENT ABOUT THE
MANAGEMENT OF THOSE DOLLARS AND
THE USE OF THAT.
SO CONNECTING THOSE TWO POLICY
OBJECTIVES IS PRETTY
INTERESTING.

Steve says USMAN, DO YOU THINK
THAT THE SOLUTION THAT WAS LAID
OUT BY SARAH A MOMENT AGO, JUST
A DRAMATIC REDUCTION, A
RETHINKING, AN UPSTREAM SOLUTION
TO THIS USE OF SINGLE PLASTICS
IS DO-ABLE?

Usman says WELL, IT SHOULD HAPPEN
BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMICS.
SO RIGHT NOW IT IS CHEAP TO MAKE
PLASTICS.
IT'S CHEAP TO USE THEM ONCE AND
IT'S CHEAP TO DISPOSE OF THEM.
SO WHEN YOU START INTERNALIZING
THESE COSTS TO PRODUCERS BY
MAKING THEM COLLECT AND RECYCLE
THINGS, THEN THEY START TO THINK
OUT... SHOULD I BE MAKING THIS
AS A DISPOSABLE?
MAYBE RE-USEABLE MAKES MORE
SENSE BECAUSE IT'S VERY COSTLY
TO COLLECT AND RECYCLE THIS AND
MAYBE I SHOULD BE USING LESS.
NOW, IF THEY ARE PICKING UP THE
FULL LIFE CYCLE COST THE
DECISION ABOUT HOW THEY MAKE
THEIR PRODUCTS, HOW RECYCLABLE
THEY ARE, ARE THEY RE-USEABLE,
THOSE THINGS START TO COME TO
MIND.
RIGHT NOW IT'S TAKE NATURAL GAS,
MAKE PLASTIC, USE IT ONCE AND
PUT IT IN A LANDFILL OR
INCINERATE IT.
AND WE'VE GOT TO START TAKING
THOSE COSTS AND PUTTING IT BACKS
TO THE PRODUCER TO MAKE BETTER
CHOICES TO DO ALL OF THOSE
THINGS IN A CIRCULAR ECONOMY.

Steve says HMM.
WHAT'S YOUR VIEW?

Domenic says I THINK I AGREE WITH
BOTH THE PANELISTS' POINTS ON
WANT TO GO MOVE TO A RE-USEABLE
SYSTEM WHERE WE HAVE LESS SINGLE
USE PLASTIC.
AND I APPRECIATE SARAH'S PASSION
AROUND THE PLASTIC WASTE
PROBLEM, THE CALL TO ACTION THAT
SHE IS SAYING REMOVE ALL
PLASTICS.
THE CONCERN I HAVE WITH THAT IS
ESSENTIALLY WHAT WE'RE SAYING
THEN IS IT'S INEVITABLE THAT
THINGS ARE GOING TO END UP IN
OUR ENVIRONMENT AND WATER WAYS
SO LET'S MOVE TO A BIODEGRADABLE
SYSTEM.
THAT NECESSARILY DOESN'T CLOSE
THE LOOP.
WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW WE CAN
CLOSE THE LOOP.
RECAPTURE THE VALUE IN DIFFERENT
WASTE STREAMS AND ACTUALLY
RE-USE THEM.
AND SO IN SOME CASES THAT MIGHT
BE, YOU KNOW, ELIMINATING
CERTAIN TYPES OF PLASTICS.
BUT IN OTHER CASES IT'S
UNDERSTANDING HOW WE CAN PUT
THAT RESOURCE BACK INTO THE
SYSTEM AND NOT ACCEPTING THAT
INEVITABLY OUR WASTE RESOURCES
ARE GOING TO UNDER UP IN THE
ENVIRONMENT.
I DON'T THINK THEY SHOULD.
IF WE PUT A TANGIBLE VALUE
BEHIND T SO JO-ANNE WAS TALKING
ABOUT THE INFRASTRUCTURE WITHIN
THE GOVERNMENT.
THE ZERO WASTE STRATEGY THAT THE
CANADIAN GOVERNMENT IS PUTTING
TOGETHER DOES INVOLVE SOMETHING
THAT'S CALLED CIRCULAR
PROCUREMENT.
SO THEY'RE STARTING TO DISCUSS
PUTTING IN MANDATES WHERE THEY
REQUIRE WHEN THEY'RE GOING OUT
TO PROCUREMENT THAT IT INVOLVES
A CERTAIN PERCENTAGE OF RECYCLED
CONTENT.
THAT GROWS THE MARKET.
THAT HELPS CLOSE THE LOOP.
AND THAT WILL REDUCE THINGS
GOING INTO THE ENVIRONMENT.

Steve says ARE THEY PUSHING THAT
AGGRESSIVELY ENOUGH?

Domenic says I THINK THERE IS
MORE ATTENTION TO THE BAN AS
OPPOSED TO THE THINGS AROUND THE
PROGRAM LIKE CIRCULAR
PROCUREMENT.
THAT WILL REDUCE LEAKAGE INTO
THE ENVIRONMENT.

Steve says USMAN IS THERE A ROLE
FOR TAXATION HERE?

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Usman says CERTAINLY FOR
REGULATION.
A NUMBER OF THE THINGS WE TALK
ABOUT THE EXTENDED PRODUCER
RESPONSIBILITY LAWS IS ONE.
DOMINIC POINTS OUT RECYCLED
CONTENT ENVIRONMENT.
SAYING IF YOU ARE PRODUCING
PLASTIC BOTTLE THAT IS WILL BE
USED IN THE SOFT DRINK INDUSTRY
THAT THOSE BOTTLES HAVE TO HAVE
50 percent RECYCLED CONTENT THEN STARTS
TO CREATE DEMAND FOR RECYCLED
CONTENT OR PLASTIC.
THERE IS NO SILVER BULLET HERE.
WE TALKED ABOUT DISPOSAL LEVIES
OR BANS ON DISPOSAL.
THAT MAKES IT MORE EXPENSIVE TO
DUMP STUFF.
THERE IS A ROLE FOR PUBLIC
POLICY AND IT NEEDS TO HANG
TOGETHER IN A COORDINATED WAY
SO WE START TO SCALE UP THESE
COLLECTION SYSTEMS AND START
SENDING SIGNALS TO PRODUCERS.

Steve says CAN I TALK ABOUT A SIGNAL?

Usman says SURE.

Steve says I AM JUST PULLING THIS
OUT OF MY EAR HERE.
I HAVEN'T DONE A STUDY.
BUT LET'S SAY IF YOU WANTED TO
PURCHASE SOMETHING THAT HAD AN
EGREGIOUS AMOUNT OF PLASTIC
PACKAGING ON IT, FOR EXAMPLE,
THERE WOULD BE A SPECIAL 50 percent OF
THE COST OF THE ITEM TAX PUT ON
THAT.
THAT WOULD GET PEOPLE'S
ATTENTION DON'T YOU THINK?

Usman says THAT WOULD GET THEIR
ATTENTION BUT IS THAT THE MOST
ECONOMICALLY CORRECT THING TO DO
IN TERMS OF PLASTIC?
I THINK IF YOU ARE GOING TO PUT
THE PLASTIC IN THERE YOU ARE
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LIFE OF
COLLECTING AND MANAGING IT.
I DON'T MEAN 50 percent.
I MEAN 90 percent.
SO A REALLY HIGH RECYCLING
TARGET.
IN EFFECT RATHER ATTACK YOU ARE
IMPOSING THE COST HE OF
RECYCLING THAT SENDS THAT PRICE
SIGNAL BACK TO THE MANUFACTURER.

Steve says THAT'S PREFERABLE IN
YOUR VIEW.

Usman says IN MY VIEW THAT'S THE
FIRST BEST POLICY.

Steve says JO-ANNE, WHAT ABOUT
TAXATION VERSUS REGULATION,
HEAVY STICKS VERSUS LIGHTER
STICKS, WHAT'S YOUR TAKE?

Jo-Anne says I THINK WE CAN
HONESTLY THAT I THAT MOST
GOVERNMENTS DON'T LIKE THE WORD
"TAX."
IT MAKES EVERYBODY FREEZE UP AND
I DON'T KNOW THAT IT'S PROVEN IN
THE SENSE THAT AROUND CONSUMER
GOODS IT'S NOT REALLY BEEN
UTILIZED SO WE'RE NOT SURE HOW
IT WOULD ACTUALLY PERFORM OR,
YOU KNOW, WE WILY CURTAIL THE
USE OF PLASTICS AND CERTAINLY
THE DISPOSAL OF IT.
SO WE'VE GOT SOME... GOOD POLICY
TOOLS AND EXTENDED PRODUCER
RESPONSIBILITY THAT HAVE PROVEN
ITSELF AND THAT'S THE PATH THAT
MOST GOVERNMENTS HAVE CHOSEN.
IT'S BEEN A POLICY ATTEMPT OR
APPROACH THAT THE EUROPEAN UNION
HAS USED IN MANY OF ITS MEMBER
STATES AND THEY'VE JUST BEEN
ABLE TO RATCHET UP THEIR
PROGRAMS AND TARGETS AROUND
THAT.
I THINK LET'S USE WHAT WE KNOW
WORKS.
I DO THINK, THOUGH, THAT THERE'S
AN UNTAPPED OPPORTUNITY BACK TO
THIS DISPOSAL OR BANNING FROM
DISPOSAL.
I THINK THAT THAT'S REALLY
SOMETHING WE NEED TO TAKE ON
SERIOUSLY.
WE'RE BLESSED WITH A LOT OF LAND
MASS IN CANADA.
DISPOSAL HERE IS PRETTY CHEAP.
AND I DON'T THINK HAD YOU HADN'T
GET ANY GOVERNMENT OF ANY STRIPE
THAT WOULD HAVE AN ARGUMENT
AROUND, YOU KNOW, LET'S BAN
THINGS WE DON'T WANT AND NOBODY
WANTS DISPOSAL.
SO WHY ARE WE NOT TAXING THAT,
IF YOU WILL, OR ADDING A LEVY TO
THAT ACTIVITY.
I THINK THAT'S A BLUNT
INSTRUMENT THAT AGAIN HAS PROVEN
ITSELF USEFUL AND EFFECTIVE.
AND IT CAN BE USED AND SCALED
ANYWHERE.
SMALL TOWNS, RURAL, URBAN, ANY
CORNER OF THE COUNTRY.

Steve says SARAH WITH ABOUT A
MINUTE AND CHANGE TO GO LET ME
GET YOU TO WEIGH IN ON THAT
DEBATE ABOUT REGULATION VERSUS
TAXATION VERSUS SOMETHING ELSE.

Sarah says I DEFINITELY TAXATION
ON THE DISPOSAL PART.
I'M NOT SURE HOW IT WOULD BE
ROLLED OUT.
BUT ALSO APPLYING IT TO THE
POLLUTION SIDE OF THINGS AS
WELL.
COMPANIES REALLY AREN'T HELD
ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT IS ENDING
UP IN THE ENVIRONMENT.
AND I THINK THAT NEEDS TO BE A
BIG PART OF ANY PUZZLE.

Steve says ARE WE... DO YOU THINK
WE AS THE POPULATION ARE
ADEQUATELY SEIZED OF THIS ISSUE
RIGHT NOW?

says I KNOW WE'RE GETTING SIGNALS
FROM ALL OVER THE PLACE TO BE
MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE
STARTING WITH CLIMATE CHANGE AND
GOING DOWN THE LINED.
DO YOU THINK WE'VE GOT BAND
WIDTH AS A POPULATION TO DEAL
WITH THIS?
SARAH?

Sarah says THIS IS ONE OF THE
ISSUES WE SEE NOT JUST WITH OUR
SUPPORTERS BUT WITH THE LARGER
CANADIAN PUBLIC THAT REALLY
IGNITES SOMETHING IN PEOPLE.
THE AWARENESS HAS GROWN
EXPONENTIALLY OVER THE LAST
COUPLE OF YEARS.
AND WE'RE REALLY SEEING PEOPLE
TURN THAT AWARENESS INTO A CALL
FOR ACTION AND REALLY WANTING
CHANGE.
BUT I THINK THE PEOPLE ARE READY
FOR A DIFFERENT MODEL.
YOU KNOW, OF COURSE, FOLKS ARE
CONCERNED ABOUT HOW THAT'S GOING
TO IMPACT THEIR DAILY LIVES,
THEIR SHOPPING ROUTINES, HOW IT
MAY IMPACT COST AND ALL OF THESE
QUESTIONS.
BUT I THINK PEOPLE RECOGNIZE
THAT PLASTIC POLLUTION IS A
MASSIVE PROBLEM.
THAT THERE'S TOO MUCH WASTE
BEING PRODUCED BY CORPORATIONS
AND THAT SOMETHING REALLY NEEDS
TO BE DONE ABOUT IT.
WE'VE SEEN RECENT FOLLOWS SHOW
THAT A MAJORITY OF CANADIANS
WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO ACT
FASTER, TO ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM.
AND TO BAN SINGLE USE PLASTICS.
AND, YOU KNOW, DEFINITELY
THROUGH MY WORK THERE'S A REAL
CALL ON SUPERMARKETS, ON MAJOR
PRODUCERS LIKE THE MENTAL
ILLNESSES, THE COKES AND THE
PEPSIS OF THE WORLD TO OFFER
RE-USE-REFILL MODELS.
DIFFERENT WAYS OF GETTING
PRODUCTS TO CONSUMERS THAT DON'T
PUT ALL OF THE ONUS BACK ON THE
CONSUMER.
THAT IT'S UP TO US TO DEAL WITH
THE PLASTIC PACKAGING ONCE WE
HAVE IT IT'S UP TO US TO PUT IT
IN THE BLUE BOX PROPERLY.
IT'S UP TO US TO BRING OUR OWN
PLASTIC R. BAGS AND CUPS.
WE'RE NOT THE ONES PRODUCING ALL
OF IT.
AND I THINK PEOPLE REALLY REALLY
WANT TO SEE CHANGE COME FROM
GOVERNMENTS, CORPORATIONS AROUND
THEM.

The caption changes to "Producer: Meredith Martin, @MeredithMartin."

Steve says SARAH KING, USMAN
VALIANTE, JO-ANNE ST. GODARD,
DOMENIC DI MONDO, WE THANK ALL
FOUR OF YOU FOR BEING ON TVO
TONIGHT AND HELPING US OUT WITH
THIS. THANKS SO MUCH.

All the guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: The Problem with Plastics