Reducing Plastic and Supporting Local Businesses go hand in hand!

Roncy Reduces and Parkdale High Park for Climate Action (PHP4ClimateAction) are two community groups that are encouraging residents and businesses to phase out single-use plastics and instead Bring Your Own (BYO) bags and containers:

During the pandemic, use of single-use plastic packaging has increased dramatically. It is visible in our community, and invisibly works its way into the ground, water and our bodies. But over 100 global scientists and health experts (1) as well as the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment CAPE (2) confirm that reusable bags and containers are safe. Toronto Public Health simply requires containers to be clean and leaves the decision with businesses whether to accept reusables. (3)

As individuals and a community, we are already starting to change our “disposables” lifestyle, ahead even of the 2021 proposed federal ban of 6 plastic items. Many places accept BYO bags, cups and containers in Roncesvalles, including: Coffee shops: All That Jazz, Extra Butter, Sunny Joe’s; Restaurants: The Goods, TDot Jerk, Shadi Shawarma, Sushi Kira, Kami Sushi, The Dizzy, Sunrise Grill and Crepe, Café Polonez, Round the Horn, Cinco Mexican Restaurant; Refill/Bulk: Kim Natural Foods, Ecotique, Pollock’s; Produce stores: Maple Produce, Roncesvalles Fruit Village. While many chains and bulk stores officially have policies of non-acceptance, many have not been preventing shoppers bringing their own bags for loose items/produce, especially at, self check-out. It’s worth a try! And a discussion!

Experiments with deposit and return systems will soon be launching in our neighbourhood — look at start-ups such Inwit (containers) (4) and Muuse (coffee cups) (5). You can also check out Roncy Pickup Dinner for a monthly takeout dinner in deposit & return containers (supported by Roncy Reduces) — the next one is November 27.

We can help our struggling local businesses who are still taking up the challenge of reducing plastic both by our patronage and by reducing their packaging expenses when we BYO. Let’s support them now, when they really need it.