Whitby, Ontario – Durham Region’s corporate headquarters building in Whitby is buried behind a pile of single-use plastics today, as part of a display in recognition of Waste Reduction Week (October 21 to 27).

More than eight million plastic bottles are collected each year in the Region’s Blue Box program. This equals 22,000 single-use plastic bottles per day. The plastic that displayed outside the headquarters building represents just one third of the single-use plastic collected for recycling in Durham Region’s Blue Box program every day. 

“In Durham Region, we like to remind residents of the five Rs: rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle and recover. During Waste Reduction Week and all year round, the most impactful R is reduce,” says Mirka Januszkiewicz, Director of Waste Management for Durham Region. “Even when a product can be recycled, it can still have a negative impact on our environment. We encourage residents to think of ways they can reduce their use of single-use plastics every day.”

The Region of Durham has recently taken steps to reduce single-use plastics in its facilities. The Region recently introduced reusable eco containers for take-out meals in the cafeteria at Regional Headquarters, and plastic straws have been replaced with compostable straws. Earlier this year, Durham Region stopped the sale of bottled water at Regional Headquarters. Staff and visitors are encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottles that can be filled at one of two filling stations.

“Today is also Imagine A Day Without Water, so this visual display of a mountain of single-use bottles has added impact. Since installing water bottle refill stations in the Durham Regional Headquarters building, more than 155,000 single-use water bottles have been saved,” says John Presta, Director of Environmental Services. “Imagine the impact residents can make by choosing Durham Region tap water, instead of bottled water, every time.”

To learn more about Waste Reduction Week in Canada, visit wrwcanada.com; for more details about Imagine A Day Without Water, visit durham.ca/WaterChallenge. For more information about waste reduction in Durham Region, visit durham.ca/waste.

Read the full news release at durham.ca