The provincial government is asking the public for feedback on changes to plastic consumption.
The B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Solutions has launched an online survey asking residents about their stance on banning, reducing and recycling more plastics.
“The message from British Columbians is loud and clear – we need to take action to reduce plastic waste, especially single-use items like water bottles and plastic bags that often find their way into our waters, streets and environment,” said Environment Minister George Heyman in a statement.
The province is proposing action on four areas connected to plastic pollution: banning single-use packaging, reducing single-use plastics in landfills and waterways, expanding refund systems for plastic bottles and beverage containers and reducing plastic waste overall.
“We have a responsibility to British Columbians to curb the significant impacts of plastic pollution on our environment and marine life,” said BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver in a statement. “I look forward to hearing from British Columbians on their priorities for action on plastics.”
The engagement process comes shortly after the B.C. Court of Appeals overruled a plastic bag ban bylaw put in place by the City of Victoria. The court ruled that the City failed to request permission from the province to bring such a bylaw into effect in the first place, deeming the bylaw invalid.
While the province has yet to publicly weigh in on the bylaw, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps is happy to see provincial support on plastic pollution reduction overall. She, along with Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne, Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott and Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore, issued a shared statement regarding the province’s engagement process.
“As mayors of communities that are taking a leadership role to reduce single-use plastics, we are delighted to see the Province launch a consultation period to hear from British Columbians on this important issue. We’re encouraged that the Province will also take a leadership role to reduce needless waste across the Province,” the statement reads.
“We are keen to work with the provincial government to establish a clear role for local governments, our residents and businesses to move towards a sustainable, zero-waste economy and environment. “
The online survey can be accessed at cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/plastics and will be up until Sept. 18.
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