“There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet.”
-Brooke Medicine Eagle-
I received a well written and informative response to the letter that I sent to the Minister of the Environment regarding the possibility of a ban of plastic grocery bags. The recommended links suggested in the letter contain information on the program that is currently in effect in British Columbia. I can see that this is a good voluntary committment on the part of retail associations in the province which has a well-defined goal to reach a 50% reduction in plastic bag usage by 2013. While an outright ban is not in the wind I a pleased to know what efforts are underway for now. The letter is as follows:
March 5, 2012
Dear Ms. ____:
Thank you for your email of February 7, 2012, regarding plastic bag bans. It has been sent to me for response.
While an outright ban on plastic grocery bags is not currently being considered, there are initiatives underway in British Columbia (BC) that I hope will address your concerns.
In 2008, leading retail organisations in BC voluntarily committed to reducing the use of disposable plastic shopping bags by half by 2013. They also committed to developing reuse and recycling options in order to reduce the amount of plastic bags disposed in landfills. Here is a link to their first report on the success of this voluntary initiative: www.cfig.ca/docs/feature_BCPlasticBagAnnualReport2009_Final.pdf
Extended Producer Responsibility is one policy approach that aims to address waste. In BC, this policy is implemented through the Recycling Regulation (the Regulation), which requires producers of designated products to take responsibility for the entire life cycle management of their products, including collection and recycling.
In May, 2011, the Regulation was amended to include the Packaging and Printed Paper Category. This amendment calls for the collection of all packaging and printed paper, which includes plastic bags. This means that producers of packaging and printed paper will have to consult on and submit a product stewardship program to the Ministry by November 19, 2012, and implement this plan by May, 2014.
I would encourage you to bring forward any ideas on the program during the consultation phase. The Recycling Council of British Columbia, on behalf of the producers of regulated products, posts information on industry stakeholder consultations. For further information on these opportunities please visit http://rcbc.bc.ca/education/product-stewardship.
Thank you again for taking the time to write.
A/Senior Policy Advisor
Today’s “stone” is Day 66 progressive, forward thinking, responsible retail associations, kudos