Unencapsulated Polystyrene Foam Bill 228 (Dock Foam)

Ontario Member of Parliament Norm Miller has tabled Private Member's Bill 228: Keeping Polystyrene Out of Ontario's Lakes and Rivers Act. "The Bill requires persons who sell, offer to sell or construct floating docks, floating platforms or buoys to ensure that any expanded or extruded polystyrene in the dock, platform or buoy is fully encapsulated."1. Thus prohibiting unencapsulated extruded or expanded poystyrene for docks, buoys, or platforms. (Status: Second reading has carried, the bill must pass a third reading to become law)
Polystyrene foam litter from docks

Unencapsulated polystyrene foam used to float docks, breaks up with weathering, scattering fragments big and small that end up as a lot of ugly litter in our water and shorelines. Also, polystryrene foam, as a plastic, never really goes away, but it can degrade into microplastics (less tham 5 mm in size) and pose a threat to aquatic wildlife who could ingest it. Polystyrene foam was the biggest source of litter found in 9 Georgian Bay cleanups in 2019, the most visible source being from docks. In Ontario alone, between 2016 and 2018 - 338,610 pieces of foam were collected by volunteers of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and International Coastal Cleanups. This Bill can eliminate one future source.


What can you do?

1. To support the Bill, you can follow these steps:
Write/email your local Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) wherever you are a constituent in Ontario (maybe in 2 places). Even if you wrote a letter for the first reading, sending another letter syaing you would like to see the Bill passed is important. Content should include:
  • I am a constituent (include address)
  • I support Bill 228: Keeping Polystyrene Out of Ontario’s Lakes and Rivers Act to address plastic pollution caused by docks and buoys floated with unencapsulated polystyrene foam
  • Personal explanation/story of how this affects you or why you are concerned (optional, but helpful). Examples: “My concern comes from personally seeing this foam litter in little bits all over my shoreline.” Or “I have seen the results of my community shorelines cleanups and I am appalled by how many foam pieces there were from unencapsulated docks.” “ Here is a picture of litter I found.”
  • If you have pictures of Polystyrene dock foam pollution, please include them.
  • Sign off with urging your MPP to support the Bill, unless your MPP is Mr. Miller
  • Copy Government House Leader Paul Calandra, the Deputy Government House Leader Andrea Khanjin, MPP Norm Miller and the Honourable Jeff Yurek (Minister of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks)
  • How do I find my MPP’s email address? Please use this finder if your MPP is not listed below. If you scroll down on the finder page, you will see that you can punch in your postal code and your MPP will appear.

    Here are a few important COPY emails and a few local Georgian Bay MPPs that might apply to where you live:
    1. COPY: Government House Leader Paul Calandra paul.calandra@pc.ola.org
    2. COPY: The Deputy Government House Leader Andrea Khanjin andrea.khanjin@pc.ola.org
    3. COPY: MPP Jeff Yurek (Minster of the Environment, Conservation and Parks): minister.mecp@ontario.ca
    4. COPY/ MPP Norm Miller (Parry Sound- Muskoka) – the initiator of Bill 228 norm.miller@pc.ola.org if he is not your MPP. If he is your MPP send him a letter supporting the Bill.

    MPP Jill Dunlop (Simcoe North) - jill.dunlopco@pc.ola.org
    MPP Bill Walker (Bruce Grey Owen Sound) - bill.walkerco@pc.ola.org
    MPP Jim Wilson (Simcoe-Grey) - jwilson@ola.org

More information, and alternatives to unencapsulated foam

If you wish to understand more about this pollution issue, and ALTERNATES to unencapsulated dock foam if this is floating your dock, please visit: https://bit.ly/DocksPSFoam

1To SEE the status of the Bill and its contents, please visit this page: Legislative Assembly of Ontario

To visit MPP Miller's landing page on the subject: https://normmillermpp.ca/dock-foam-bill/