Monday, July 29, 2019

Provincial Government wants feedback from British Columbians on plastics options

The Provincial government is taking the message of reducing plastic waste pollution to the residents of the province, seeking our opinions on the issue and some of the initiatives that the government is considering for the future.

“The message from British Columbians is loud and clear – we need to take action to reduce plastic waste, especially single-use items like water bottles and plastic bags that often find their way into our waters, streets and environment. We have all seen the striking images of animals and fish being caught up in everyday plastic waste like grocery bags or beer can loops that ensnare these beautiful creatures and it cannot continue. I look forward to hearing from people about how we can all play a part in reducing plastic pollution and plastics use overall.” -- George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

Among some of the actions that the Province is considering are four key elements designed to reduce the impact of plastic on the environment, they include:

Bans on single-use packaging: determining which types of plastic packaging to phase out altogether, as well as any necessary exemptions, such as those for health, safety and accessibility, to keep products available for the people who need them 

Dramatically reduce single-use plastics in landfills and waterways: requiring producers to take responsibility for more plastic products, ensuring more single-use items like sandwich bags, straws and cutlery get recycled 

Plastic bottle and beverage container returns: expanding the deposit-refund system to cover all beverage containers – including milk and milk-substitutes – with a 10-cent refundable deposit, keeping millions more containers out of landfills and waterways 

Reducing plastic waste overall: supporting effective ways to prevent plastic waste in the first place and making sure recycled plastic is reused effectively.

The new initiative is part of the CleanBC Plastics Action Plan which you can review here.

More on Friday's introduction of the new engagement program can be found here.

Towards collecting the opinions of British Columbians, the province has launched a survey for residents to take that explores such themes as the potential for bans on single use packaging, reducing the use of plastics overall, recycling of plastics and making sure we return plastic bottles.

You can explore the survey here.

It takes about ten minutes to complete, the deadline for submissions to the feedback program is September 18th at 3 PM

For more items of note on the Legislature see our archive page here, a wider overview of the provincial scene can be found from our D'Arcy McGee portal.

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