Calgary Plastic Bag Ban
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With Calgary’s landfills filling at a rapid rate and new restrictions on in Chinese import of mixed recycled plastics, it is more urgent than ever we look at ways to curb waste in our city. Starting with reducing single use plastic bags is a simple, logical and effective step in curbing pollution and inspiring more waste conscious Calgarians.
Understanding the value of our non-renewable resources and their environmental footprint, we are collectively using millions of barrels of oil to produce plastic bags that are used for minutes and then tossed away. According to Green Calgary in 2018, 1 trillion low-density polyethylene (LPDE) bags will be used around the world, with 5% to 6% of those bags being recycled. The majority end up in the landfill, on streets, in rivers and streams where they are washed out to sea. That’s an estimated 945 billion bags in the landfill this year, or roughly 12 billion pounds of plastic that will not breakdown or biodegrade in the anaerobic environment of modern landfills. While Calgary's recycling system accepts plastic bags, improper blue bin recycling practises mean many bags intended for reuse wind up in the landfill, and what is sorted has a difficult time finding a materials buyer in our current economy.
While the convenience and habit of plastic bag use is enjoyed by the consumer, the bags themselves are commissioned by companies who are exempt from the environmental and social cost. This leaves all of us on the hook paying for a product we didn’t buy or ask for, while the companies pass the burden to their customers without penalty.
We can break ourselves of the plastic bag habit. Governments and retailers have begun taking steps to phase out plastic bags. Fort McMurray has had a plastic bag ban since 2010, San Francisco in 2007, and many other countries have either banned or taxed the use of plastic bags. With Victoria’s recent plastic bag ban, and Montreal’s June 2018 ban, Calgary can ban the bag too.
Today: Ban the Bag YYC is counting on you
Ban the Bag YYC needs your help with “Ask Calgary City Council to Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags”. Join Ban the Bag YYC and 198 supporters today.