Remember when fast food containers were made of styrofoam? Well those days are long gone and public awareness continues to grow with respect to the huge amount of single-use waste collecting in our landfills and recycling depots.
In recent times special attention is focussing on the impact of plastic items that are finding their way into our aquatic environments and causing tremendous problems for marine animals and the overall health of our oceans.
I wrote a post back in January called “Reduce, reuse, recycle. In that order.” It was about our rate of consumption and our ravenous appetite devouring the earth’s limited resources at a rapid pace. This week, the provincial government announced they are planning to expand our recycling efforts and they want the public’s input on what should and should not be included.
This is a priority that I and my BC Green Caucus colleagues share with our BC NDP colleagues and we are happy they have started this process. 23 British Columbia communities have begun to take action on single-use plastic items and in 2018 the City of Victoria put a ban on plastic shopping bags. Despite a legal challenge to the Victoria bylaw, the province wants to work with the local and federal leaders on this issue. We are committed to finding solutions!
Seeking public input
The four areas they are seeking your response are:
- Bans on single-use plastics,
- Expanding extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs to increase recycling options,
- Increasing deposit rates to ensure more bottle and beverage containers are returned, and
- Increasing the amount of recycled plastic content is in new products.
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Strategy has provided a detailed policy brief that I encourage you to read. They are seeking your advice and feedback on these important issues. They suggest increasing deposit rates on all containers from $0.05 to $0.10 and one aspect I would like your feedback on is if the deposit rate should go even higher so we can recover closer to 100% of those containers.
Please have your voice heard and take part in the consultation.
- Complete the public survey at: https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/plastics
- Send a formal submission to: Plastics@gov.bc.ca Read the guidelines for formal submissions at: https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/plastics
- Email your comments to: Plastics@gov.bc.ca
- Mail your comments to:
Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy – Recycling Regulation Amendments
PO Box 9341 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9M1