Canadian Manufacturing

Newfoundland and Labrador to become second province to ban plastic bags

Public consultations found 87% were in favour of a ban. PEI passed a similar ban last year


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PHOTO: Many municipalities plan bans on single-use plastic packaging/Steven Depolo via Flickr

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Newfoundland and Labrador has announced it will become the second province to ban plastic bags.

The provincial government introduced legislation on Tuesday allowing it to ban their use at stores and other retail outlets.

It says the ban won’t take effect for between six and 12 months, to give consumers time to get in the habit of bringing reusable bags.

Prince Edward Island passed a similar ban last June, to take effect this coming July 1.

Many municipalities plan similar bans, amid a national conversation about single-use plastics and their environmental impact.

Newfoundland and Labrador says public consultations found 87 per cent were in favour of a ban.

“The consultations we conducted in March indicate the strength of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians convictions: they do not want plastic bags to be distributed at retail locations,” Environment Minister Graham Letto said in a statement.

“To protect the environment and improve the waste management system, we have introduced amendments to the legislation that will allow us to draft regulations to ban the retail plastic bag.”

The province says its regulations will address issues including adjustment time for businesses; alternatives to plastic bags and whether those require a fee “to limit their overconsumption”; and any possible exceptions.

According to Greenpeace Canada, Canadians generate about 3.25 million tonnes of plastic garbage each year, which the environmental group says could fill 140,000 garbage trucks.

As well, the federal government says more than 150 million tonnes of plastic waste is clogging the oceans worldwide.

Ikea and A&W are the latest big chains to join the war against single-use plastics, with each promising to limit waste production amid a growing public outcry over pollution.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2019

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