Ban the bag

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - Editorial -

The five com­mu­ni­ties of Nu­natsi­avut and Cartwright have banned plas­tic bags from their town, and Mary’s Har­bour is now do­ing the same. Per­haps they rec­og­nized that do­ing so would not only curb un­sightly lit­ter and dump fly-aways, but also re­duce the amount of plas­tic en­ter­ing the wa­ter sys­tems, where it ends up in our coun­try foods and in our tap wa­ter. How much plas­tic do we have in our bod­ies here in Labrador, where seafood is part of our tra­di­tional diet?

I, for one, would like to see a ban on sin­gle-use plas­tic shop­ping bags. The Town of Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay should stand up with our coastal com­mu­ni­ties and be a leader in en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship and get rid of them.

But why leave it all to the town? Lo­cal busi­nesses should stop giv­ing them out vol­un­tar­ily in­stead of wait­ing for a ban. It’s not a rad­i­cal con­cept— Costco doesn’t give out sin­gleuse plas­tic bags, and they’ve got no short­age of cus­tomers. Su­per­mar­ket chains all over the world have stopped giv­ing them out on their own ac­cord.

Bet­ter yet, the peo­ple of Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay should sim­i­larly stand up against the use of sin­gle- use shop­ping bags. Make one sim­ple change and refuse them at the cash. For­get your reusables? Ask for a card­board box, or just carry your items out in your hands if it’s not much. Peo­ple man­aged just fine be­fore plas­tic shop­ping bags came around, and the cities, towns, and yes, en­tire coun­tries where they have banned the bag are do­ing just fine. In fact, they’re do­ing all the bet­ter for it.

I’ve started a Boomerang Bags group here in town. Boomerang Bags are hand­made cloth bags made from re­claimed ma­te­ri­als, and are given out for free at stores and mar­kets. If you’ve for­got­ten your bag, there’s one for you to use. You can keep it and use it again or bring it back an­other time, if you would just like to bor­row it. If any­one else would like to join us in re­duc­ing both plas­tic and tex­tile waste and have fun with new friends at the same time, look us up on Face­book: Boomerang Bags.

Aimee Chaulk Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay

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