Understanding the challenges and opportunities for local businesses and customers.

Since 2021, the Toronto Environmental Alliance and the UofT TrashTeam have been working together to identify the challenges and opportunities associated with implementing reusable programs in local businesses within the City of Toronto.

In response to concerns over increases in plastic pollution and to the federal government’s decision to ban some single-use plastic items by 2023, the City of Toronto has focused on reducing plastic waste as part of its Long-Term Waste Management Strategy. The City of Toronto has also approved the Single-Use and Takeaway Items Reduction Strategy use and takeaway items regardless of the material type and the waste stream in which they are currently managed.

This report includes the results of a 2021 study on the challenges and opportunities for reducing single-use foodware and switching to reusable options in local food service businesses. Surveys and interviews were conducted with 12 small businesses from across Toronto including sit-down restaurants, quick-service restaurants, cafes and a bakery. Our findings summarize the potential for success in increasing and sustaining the use of reusable takeout options across Toronto to reduce single-use waste and plastic pollution. Access the full report here and access the summary here.