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PPEC asks Ontario to ban corrugated boxes from dumps

Canada's Paper and Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC) has directed the Ontario government to ban old corrugated boxes from dump sites, as Quebec did it earlier, to free landfill space and save costs.

PPEC executive director John Mullinder said zero packaging waste should go to the landfill, and if a provincial ban should be implemented if that helps.

"We need the province to step up and demonstrate leadership in this area. It makes good sense to harmonize with what Quebec is doing." added Mulinder.

PPEC said it is stressing on old corrugated boxes for now, and the focus is on Canada’s most populous province with a potential to cut GHC by 85,000 tons.

More OCC is likely to move south to the US initially, but waste haulers will soon have to factor in the increased energy costs of shipping that OCC those greater distances, and divert them to either Ontario or Quebec instead, the council observed.

A provincial ban on old corrugated boxes could extend the life of current landfills by up to two-and-a-half years, and allow Ontario and Quebec municipalities to achieve operational cost savings of between $12m-$18m from a box ban, said the body.

The council also noted Nova Scotia achieved major waste diversion as it cut waste by 50% per capita between 1988 and 2000 by banning recyclables from landfills.