Ban Plastic Grocery Bags in Hamilton Ontario.

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A report from the government of Canada published in 2008 found that Canadians take 55 million plastic bags home per week. This report was published eleven years ago so things are bound to have improved, right? Well, that isn’t the case. In the past eleven years, less than a dozen Canadian cities have established plastic grocery bag bans and few supermarkets here in Hamilton have created plastic shopping bag fees for those who would like or, need to use them. With that, less than 1% of all plastic bags are being recycled so, where do they all go?  While some are sent to landfill, the rest end up in our oceans and in the natural environment. It is estimated that around 18 billion pounds of plastic enter the world’s oceans each year, including plastic bags. Plastic shopping bags are especially dangerous for aquatic life since in water, plastic bags tend to resemble what many species eat. In fact, a third of all fish caught in the UK have been found to have consumed some form of plastic. The implications of using one-use plastic bags are bound to worsen as time goes on.  

The plastic shopping bag alternatives are literally endless. Paper bags, cloth and biodegradable bags, all serve as viable alternatives that could help save this planet, so why don’t we use them?

For those reasons, I am calling on the city of Hamilton to ban plastic grocery bags.

This petition urges The City of Hamilton to:

-          Ban businesses of all kinds from providing a plastic shopping bag for the customer to carry merchandise in.

-          Fine all businesses that provide plastic shopping bags to customers after the ban has been put in place.

The ban would exclude:

-          Plastic wrapping.

The ban would include:

-          Plastic grocery bags.

-          Plastic shopping bags.

As a Hamiltonian, I think that we can have an impact on the sheer amount of plastic being littered every day. Over time, our city alone will prevent thousands, if not millions of plastic shopping bags from ending up in natural environments and will, therefore, save the lives of thousands of animals. Hamilton also lies in the most populated area in all of Canada. By banning plastic bags, we may be able to help promote the banning of plastic shopping bags in cities in the GTA. With the combined force of having prevented millions of plastic bags from being used, the impact of the environment will be evident and incredibly beneficial for the forests, lakes and the animals that inhabit them. By signing this petition, you will be helping thousands of living creatures live safer and happier lives. In addition to that, you will help keep the natural environments that surround Hamilton clean and beautiful so that you and future generations of Hamiltonians can enjoy it.

 

Whether or not preventing the use of a single plastic bag will change the world, is debatable, however preventing the use of millions will most certainly make a difference. Just like this petition, one signature may not make a difference, but many will.

 

For more information, you can read these articles:

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/05/plastics-facts-infographics-ocean-pollution/ 

https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/population_and_sustainability/sustainability/plastic_bag_facts.html

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/marine-animals-are-dying-because-of-our-plastic-trash/