reusable cutlery toronto

Toronto restaurants could soon be forced to offer reusable plates and cutlery

Single-use utensils are on the out, if you haven't noticed the recent mass shunning of evil plastic straws.

Bars, cafes and restaurants around the world are taking steps to reduce the amounts of waste they generate, and plastic waste is enemy number one thanks to the ubiquitous (and hazardous) material's presence in lakes, oceans, air, food, drinking water and sea turtle noses everywhere.

In an effort to tackle plastic pollution at the local level, Toronto city councillors just greenlit a study on the "the feasibility of implementing a requirement for all dining establishments to provide reusable food serviceware for eat-in customers to reduce the use of single-use plastics in Toronto's restaurant industry."

Put more simply, the city will commission a report on how realistic it would be to mandata that all Toronto restaurants provide reusable cups, plates, bowls, knives, spoons, forks and the works to customers.

"Toronto's Long Term Waste Management Strategy is an ambitious plan that includes strategies to promote resource conservation, reduce environmental impacts, and maximize the value of items before disposal," reads a motion put forth on Thursday at City Hall by councillor Jaye Robinson, seconded by Brad Bradford.

"To advance these goals further, it is necessary to reduce the use of single-use items, such as disposable dishes, take-out containers, and plastic cutlery, in Toronto restaurants."

Canada's federal government has pledged to completely ban single-use plastics by as early as 2021, and many local retailers have taken it upon themselves to hop aboard the no-plastic train early.

Robinson's motion suggests that the city could take further action against plastic pollution by making all quick-service restaurants provide reusable food serviceware for eat-in customers.

Council clearly agreed, voting unanimously to pass the motion this afternoon.

A report from Solid Waste Management Services on the feasibility of implementing such a mandate is expected sometime during the third quarter of 2020.

Lead photo by

Herman Wong


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