Holy­rood coun­cil­lor says it’s time to act on ban­ning plas­tic bags

Sug­gests mu­nic­i­pal­ity con­sult busi­nesses, res­i­dents

The Compass - - SaltWire Wheels - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON [email protected]­n­com­pass.ca

A Holy­rood coun­cil­lor would like to see her town take steps to­wards a po­ten­tial ban of sin­gle-use plas­tic bags.

Coun. Kim Ghaney brought up the is­sue dur­ing the Tues­day, Nov. 13, coun­cil meet­ing. Not­ing it’s an is­sue coun­cil has dis­cussed in the past and brought to the pro­vin­cial govern­ment’s at­ten­tion through a writ­ten let­ter, Ghaney in­di­cated she would ap­pre­ci­ate hear­ing some­thing more con­crete from the prov­ince on the mat­ter.

Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties New­found­land and Labrador (MNL) mem­bers have al­ready voted in sup­port of a provin­cially-man­dated ban on the use of such bags.

“We do know that the leader of the op­po­si­tion has in­di­cated sup­port for a ban of sin­gleuse plas­tic bags,” Ghaney said Tues­day. “Other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the prov­ince have al­ready im­ple­mented or are con­sid­er­ing a ban, and even busi­nesses have de­cided to do it on their own and taken the ini­tia­tive to stop us­ing sin­gle-use bags, such as the (provin­cially-owned) New­found­land Liquor Cor­po­ra­tion.”

Ghaney said she would like coun­cil to meet with busi­ness own­ers in the com­ing weeks to dis­cuss the is­sue.

“I be­lieve we need to make this a pri­or­ity in the com­ing weeks to ar­range some dis­cus­sion to get the ball rolling, and we clearly, in my opin­ion, can­not wait on the ac­tions of the prov­ince, be­cause to date, there There’s been a lot of talk across New­found­land and Labrador about a pos­si­ble ban of sin­gle-use plas­tic bags.

haven’t been any. And I do think it’s an im­por­tant thing, cer­tainly for our en­vi­ron­ment, that we take some ac­tion on that.”

The Com­pass con­tacted the Depart­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and En­vi­ron­ment seek­ing an up­date on the prov­ince’s plans for sin­gle-use plas­tic bags. In a writ­ten state­ment, the depart­ment said it was aware of pub­lic con­cern and work­ing to de­velop a plan “to sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce plas­tic waste in our en­vi­ron­ment.”

In late Septem­ber, depart­ment of­fi­cials met with MNL, the Multi-Ma­te­ri­als Stew­ard­ship Board, land­fill op­er­a­tors and in­dus­try stake­hold­ers to dis­cuss plas­tic waste and sin­gle-use plas­tic bags. As a group, they went over sev­eral op­tions for man­ag­ing the use of plas­tic bags, in­clud­ing vol­un­tary re­duc­tion strate­gies and reg­u­la­tory poli­cies.

“As a re­sult of meet­ing, in­dus­try has in­di­cated a will­ing­ness to work with the prov­ince on a plan to sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce plas­tic bags,” the depart­ment said in the state­ment.

“The Prov­ince, as a mem-

ber of the Cana­dian Coun­cil of Min­is­ters of the En­vi­ron­ment, is work­ing on th­ese is­sues in a man­ner sim­i­lar to other gov­ern­ments across Canada and is work­ing with in­dus­try to en­sure an en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble and cost-ef­fec­tive ap­proach to the post-con­sumer man­age­ment of pack­ag­ing.”

The depart­ment in­di­cated it’s also work­ing on a pro­gram for the man­age­ment of printed pa­per and pack­ag­ing.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON — THE COM­PASS

Holy­rood Coun. Kim Ghaney

SALTWIRE NET­WORK FILE PHOTO

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