City considering price increase on single-use plastics to encourage more recycling

This article, from August 26, has details about a draft strategy which could charge higher prices for single-use plastic containers or cups at city facilities.

Single use plastic

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

A draft strategy, which could charge higher prices for single-use plastic containers or cups at city facilities, will be part of a study on ways the City can reduce waste and the flow of those products to municipal waste facilities.

For more details, please continue reading below…

As reported by the Hamilton Mountain News, the draft strategy includes the possibility of charging higher prices for a cup of coffee from a city facility or offering a potential discount to customers if they bring reusable containers.

Ryan Kent, project manager for waste planning, said one idea would be to charge an extra 25 cents for a cup of coffee for an estimated total cost of $1.25.

In recent years, grocery stores have attempted to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags by charging patrons five cents or more, something the public has been willing to pay for.

Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko, chair of the committee, said the idea between higher prices or providing a discount is a perfect opportunity for staff to test it out on the public, asking the committee “What is the threshold? What is the tipping point, 25 cents, 50 cents, or one dollar?”.

City of Hamilton waste facility (Ward 8 Office)

According to committee member Kevin Hunt, the price needs to be high enough to make an impact on customers and “drive home the point.”

The draft strategy is scheduled to be introduced to the Oct. 19 public works committee for discussion.

Other proposals contained in the strategy include banning water bottles at all recreation and community centres that have a water-filling station and at King’s Forest Golf Course. The city has already been replacing fountains with water-filling stations at recreation centres as part of the goal to eliminate plastic water bottle use.

The strategy, though, would focus on the city-owned golf course, which sold 1,600 plastic water bottles last year. If a water-filling station is installed at the golf course, then plastic water bottles can be banned from being sold to golfers, Danko told the committee.

“If we are going to be going through the effort of installing filling stations and making city water available, it would make sense that the golf course stop selling bottled water because there is an alternative available” – Ward 8 Councillor  John-Paul Danko

The committee approved banning the sale of water in plastic bottles from all city-operated facilities.

Danko has championed the idea since the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board did the same several years ago.

Hamilton Moving Towards a Zero Plastic Waste Plan

The strategy also includes a requirement that vendors that operate on city property, such as at a park or event, and want the city to pick up their trash have to use compostable items that have been approved by the city. The city would also ban single-use plastic items at city-held meetings and offices and replace them with glasses and pitchers of water for instance.

Banning single-use plastics had been approved by council last May, which requested staff to study how the city can establish a zero plastic waste plan.

Councillor Danko cautioned staff that before the city bans particular single-use plastic items, it has a list of city-approved alternatives for citizens and vendors to use and the cost associated.

“We don’t want to make someone do something that there is not a good alternative,” he said.

Questions or concerns?

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