Plastic bags could be a thing of the past
Eradicating those unsightly plastic bags that hang in trees and clog landfills may not be in the bag just yet but the idea is reaching a fever pitch in Canada and around the world.
On Tuesday, Whole Foods Market, the world’s largest natural food retailer, announced it would stop giving out disposable plastic bags at the checkout counters. stores aim to be free of bags by Earth Day on April 22 of this year. And earlier this month China launched a countrywide ban barring shop owners to hand out single use bags. “We just don’t need them.”
Saxby, an Australian native, was one of the first people in North America to champ fake rolex ion a ban in her adopted home of Rossland.
About 10 years ago, the budding environmentalist worked in a retail store in Australia, where incidentally the federal environment minister is currently seeking to ban all ultra thin plastic bags by the end of the year.
She said she would question why she had to give customers a bag even for the tiniest item. It was then on a trip to Coles Bay in Tasmania that she became really passionate about doing something about the problem.
“It was really cool what was happening there because it’s such a tourist attraction and all of these thousands of tourists who came to see the national park were also witnessing a town without plastic bags and really seeing it work, she said by phone from her family home in Brisbane.
The village of Coles Bay, which attracts about 25,000 tour fake rolex ists a year, became the first community in Australia to ban the bags in 2003. The move was copied by dozens more communities in Australia and across the globe.
So Saxby brought the idea home. She took the idea to city council last year in Rossland.
“I said Rossland, let’s do this and the whole town got excited,” she said. “There was an overwhelming fervour.”
The town vied to be the first town in North America to go bag free, but that honour landed in the lap of the small community of Leaf Rapids, Man., on April 2, 2007. With just over 500 residents, city officials handed out more than 5,000 free cloth bags. Leaf Rapids is about 980 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. city to adopt a ban in March after efforts to impose a tax failed, while New Jersey is seeking to be the first state to phase out bags after government implemented a bill in November.
Large global cities are also jumping on board.
“It’s happening everywhere now,” says Saxby, “Vancouver, Toronto, Whistler all these places are looking at options and are committed to reducing or eliminating them. Reusable bags are everywhere.”
The idea is gaining worldwide momentum. There are now restrictions or bans in Ireland, Taiwan, Kenya, Uganda, Zanzibar and South Africa, among others.
The chief administrator in Leaf Rapids, Martin Van Osch, says the whole community is willing to use the cloth bags to do their shopping. Local businesses could be fined $1,000 for ignoring the ban, but no fines have been levied.
“It’s a good thing because people are learning that plastic bags are not free. There’s a price,” says Saxby.
It’s estimated that plastic bags take about 1,000 years to break down in the environment.
The tricky part of the equation for many Canadians is the perennial question: plastic or paper? But environmentalists say using paper isn’t the answer either. Opponents say they use too many trees, create more greenhouse gas emissions in manufacturing and take up more space in landfills.
Environmentalists argue that consumers must look at other options.
“We wouldn’t oppose a ban, but we currently propose a tax,” said the leader of Canada’s national Green Party Elizabeth May, fake rolex noting a federal ban is hig fake rolex hly unlikely in Canada.
“We need to convince consumers that, on so many levels, these are not essential products,” she says. “It’s a created false need.”