FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, January 17, 2019
K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) – Close to 2,500 people have signed a petition asking for provincial action on single-use plastic. The petition, started by the Ecology Action Centre (EAC), calls on the province to support a ban on single-use plastic bags and to endorse Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for thin film plastics.
“The municipalities have signaled that they are eager to do their part to protect Nova Scotia from plastic waste,” says Mark Butler, Policy Director at EAC, “It’s time for the provincial government to show the same leadership.”
On Tuesday, HRM Councillors voted 13-4 to collaborate with the ten largest municipalities in Nova Scotia and to draft a bylaw to eliminate the distribution of single-use plastic bags.
“A provincial ban would ensure all parts of the province have the same rules. A number of business associations such as the Retail Council of Canada have stated that they too would prefer a province-wide approach as this makes it easier for companies with stores in more than one municipality.
According to a 2017 waste audit by Divert NS, plastic accounts for 21 per cent of our waste in Nova Scotia, with thin film plastic bags accounting for four per cent of our plastic waste. But Butler points out that there are many other film plastics used by consumers and the commercial and industrial sectors for which we do not have viable alternatives, and for which current recycling markets are very weak.
“By also implementing EPR, the province can require industry to take responsibility for the products they create,” Butler says.
EPR makes manufacturers responsible for the lifetime of the products they produce.
“EPR requires companies to take care of their share of the plastic waste problem, taking some of the pressure off of the consumer by making it easier to avoid plastics such as the baskets, bags, and wrapping in which many goods are sold,” Butler says.
Other Canadian cities such as Montreal and Victoria have implemented plastic bag bans. So have entire countries, such as France and Ireland, with recent initiatives in Chile and a growing number of countries moving to restrict single-use plastics all together.
Tomorrow at 11 a.m, Butler will deliver the plastics petition to Nova Scotia Environment The petition can be found online here.
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The Ecology Action Centre is a member-based environmental charity in Nova Scotia taking leadership on critical issues from biodiversity to climate change to environmental justice.
For further information, please contact:
Policy Director, Ecology Action Centre