Norm Miller MPP Parry Sound - Muskoka

Miller’s Bill to Reduce Waste Passes Second Reading

November 23rd, 2017

QUEEN’S PARK –MPP Norm Miller’s Private Members Bill, the Reducing Waste One Pod at a Time Act, passed second reading today with support from all three parties. He introduced Bill 173 in order to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by requiring all single-serve coffee pods sold in Ontario to be certified compostable.

“It is my goal to promote the growth of a circular economy in Ontario while simultaneously supporting innovation and local businesses,” said Miller. “Single-serve coffee pods may be small individually, but the larger issues they represent—Ontario’s waste problem, the importance of municipal compost facilities, and the new and promising frontier of compostable packaging are very large indeed.”

Doug Burns and Patricia Snell of Muskoka Roastery Coffee Co. in Huntsville introduced Miller to the certified compostable alternative for single-serve coffee pods. The world’s first 100% certified compostable coffee pod was developed through collaboration between Club Coffee in Toronto and the University of Guelph’s Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre.

Certified compostable pods are also sold by Café Liégeois Canada in Montreal and Rogers Family Coffee in California, and more designs are in development, including the G-Pod in Vancouver.

Miller recognized the essential role played by municipalities in waste reduction. “We need to find more and better ways to recover the resources found in our food and organic waste, and there is a need for the government to support municipalities throughout this period of expansion and innovation.”

A major reason why municipalities are hesitant to accept certified compostable coffee pods are concerns that non-compostable pods will also end up in the compost, driving up costs. Bill 173 would effectively eliminate the problem of contamination by ensuring that all pods are certified compostable.

Unlike recyclable pods, which need to be taken apart and washed by the consumer, compostable pods are processed whole and are therefore much more convenient.

Miller has a proud track record of introducing legislation to promote product stewardship and diverting waste from landfill, including a bill requiring batteries to be recyclable. The government must call Bill 173 for third reading before it can become law. “Passing Bill 173 would be an excellent first step, but there is more that needs to be done to transition to a circular economy,” said Miller.