"We are pleased to let you know the 2021 Provincial Day of Action on Litter is taking place on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. In light of the Stay-at-Home order and the province’s ongoing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, this year the Day of Action on Litter will focus on raising awareness of the impacts of waste in the environment, and what actions every Ontarian can do to prevent, reduce and divert waste, right at home. The ministry will not be promoting cleanups for May 11, 2021 out of an abundance of caution.
We invite you to join our digital efforts by sharing content on social media to profile what your organization and members of your community are doing to prevent, reduce or divert waste in your communities, and what local residents can do to get involved. We also invite you to update calendars to note the virtual Day of Action on Tuesday May 11, 2021. We will follow-up in the near future with a Partner Guide that will include sample social media content, shareable graphics and ideas to inspire individual actions on litter and waste. Our www.ontario.ca/actONlitter page will also be updated in the near future to reflect the 2021 Day of Action. So please stay tuned! The ministry’s digital campaign leading up to the Day of Action will launch soon - please keep an eye out for sharable social posts on the ministry’s social media accounts and follow the #actONlitter hashtag! If you have any questions, please reach out to actONlitter@ontario.ca.
The Provincial Day of Action on Litter Team, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
I'm pleased to say that I have quarterly meetings with the Ministry now to check-in on how the litter file is progressing. Improving the litter web page and mentioning it more pronouncedly were among my suggestions. This Ministry welcomes feedback, so I emailed my thoughts about the cleanup cancellation to my contacts there. Here are some excerpts:
"I take heart that one of these years we'll have ourselves a real Day of Action. In the meantime we can all give thought on how to advance litter prevention throughout the year in a more robust way aside from cleanups.
"For example, it would really great if Minister Yurek could have a word with his counterpart at the Ministry of Transportation to put more frequent litter messages and PSAs in front of the public, on the LED highway signage, for example. Imagine the impact those would have on the giant new advertising boards installed on Highway 401. With cleanups cancelled and a pandemic-related increase in roadside litter clearly evident, promoting a Keep Ontario Clean with a properly tailored litter prevention message throughout the year would be helpful, not to mention smart.
"While I do appreciate the potential liability issues that people in government positions must consider, I continue to pick up litter. I see no reason to change my established practice.
"I continue to advocate that people both not throw down and do pick up. As a researcher I have seen zero documentation to indicate that there is any risk to litter picking, a solo, outdoor activity. However, I did take note when that myth first began to surface in 2020, much to my chagrin. Any suggestion that the coronavirus is transmitted through inanimate objects has been roundly debunked now by the Center for Disease Control. Take care, all."