What are single-use items?

These are items that are used once and then thrown away. Common single-use items include plastic retail bags, polystyrene (Styrofoam) serving trays and bowls, plastic straws, plastic utensils, coffee stir sticks and stoppers, and polystyrene, plastic or paper cups.

Why is it important to reduce the amount of single-use items?

While single-use items are convenient, they have a great negative impact on our environment. These items end up as litter or in landfills and can take thousands of years to break down.

In addition, North America relies on foreign markets to recycle our materials. With recent changes, places like China will reject shipments of recyclables that are contaminated with some of these single-use items. These shipments are then sent back to be landfilled having a lasting negative effect on our environment, in addition to creating significant emissions and shipping costs.

What is waste diversion?

Landfill waste diversion includes reduction (avoiding use), recycling, composting, or reusing items instead of throwing them in the garbage. Reducing the amount and type of materials that end up in the landfill leads to a cleaner and more sustainable environment.

What solutions for reducing single-use items are being considered?

No decisions have been made on how we will achieve single-use item reduction, however options include a complete ban, a fee structure for the products, reporting on the number of single-use items distributed, products can only be offered if asked for, or other solutions we haven’t even considered yet.

Let’s work together to determine the best path forward. Your feedback, together with learnings from around the world, will help us determine an approach that will be embraced and successful in Spruce Grove.