Have your Say! Reducing Plastics Public Engagement

 

Plastics are a growing global concern and British Columbians are vocal about the need for action. That’s why we’re engaging with people right now on the path forward to reduce plastic pollution in B.C.  We want less plastic pollution to end up in our waterways and environment, and to reduce our plastic use overall.  Some of the options we’re considering include expanding producer responsibility for plastic recycling, stepping up our bottle deposit system and phasing out several kinds of single-use packaging. B.C. is already a leader when it comes to extended producer responsibility with 22 industry-led recycling programs – more than any other jurisdiction in North America. By adding plastics we are continuing to show leadership on a national and international stage.  British Columbians are encouraged to read the Province’s Consultation Paper, submit their feedback and share their opinions in an online survey until September 18, 2019.

Government is proposing action in four connected areas to reduce plastic pollution and use less plastic overall:

  • Bans on single-use packaging: determining which types of plastic packaging to phase out altogether, as well as any necessary exemptions, such as those for health, safety and accessibility, to keep products available for the people who need them
  • Dramatically reduce single-use plastics in landfills and waterways: requiring producers to take responsibility for more plastic products, ensuring more single-use items like sandwich bags, straws and cutlery get recycled
  • Plastic bottle and beverage container returns: expanding the deposit-refund system to cover all beverage containers – including milk and milk-substitutes – with a 10-cent refundable deposit, keeping millions more containers out of landfills and waterways
  • Reducing plastic waste overall: supporting effective ways to prevent plastic waste in the first place and making sure recycled plastic is reused effectively

The changes proposed today support the Province’s CleanBC efforts to reduce pollution and divert waste from landfills. British Columbians are encouraged to comment on the recommendations until September 18, 2019.   Please take part in our survey and visit https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/plastics

Ocean plastic is also an important and emerging focus for environmental protection in the province. The issues of abandoned vesselsmarine debris and marine-sourced plastics are complex.  Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo, has been appointed as Minister Heyman’s special advisor specifically on marine debris protection.  This summer she is travelling the coast to meet with First Nations, Local government, industry leaders and community groups to hear about their experiences, learn about barriers to addressing the three issues and find solutions. For concerns specific to these issues, please direct correspondence to MarineSpecialAdvisor@gov.bc.ca

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