Ban plastic grocery bags in Kelowna

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Each year 2.86 billion plastic shopping bags are used by Canadians - averaging 200 bags per person.


Despite being a recyclable product, plastic grocery bags are still ending up in our landfills, oceans, and our streets. This is partially due to laziness and lack of education, as well as options for disposal. It is a common misconception that any item with a recycle symbol can be put into our blue bins, but that is not the case. In Kelowna, plastic grocery bags are NOT accepted in curbside bins. They can only be recycled through local depots. If these plastic bags are put into the blue bins, they actually end up being sent to a landfill during the sorting process, simply because they were not sent to the proper location. Not to mention the people who just throw them into the trash without a second thought.


Only 32% of plastic bags in BC are recycled; the rest end up elsewhere, where they can take up to 1000 years to decompose. These single-use items are being consumed by marine and land animals alike, which commonly leads to death. This is just one problem that plastic bags cause but we can help to eliminate these issues by banning plastic grocery bags and replacing them with options such as paper and reusable bags. The “plastic bag tax” of $0.05 is simply not enough to prevent the use of plastic bags.


At the 2018 Time Is Now! For Sustainable Development event, Regional District of Central Okanagan board chair, Gail Given, claimed that there are “downsides to the plastic bag ban” simply due to the use of garbage bags. While there are not many replacements for garbage bags, there ARE for grocery bags. We are focusing on one specific issue here with an easy replacement. As a citizen of Kelowna and an advocate for a greener world, I will no longer be a bystander. We need to call on our mayor and city council to quit making excuses! We must demand change! If you feel the same, please sign this petition and share it with your friends and family.

 



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