Edmonton's very own single-use plastic ban could mirror federal one

WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday a ban on single-use plastics to come into effect as early as 2021 in Canada with a list put together grounded in scientific evidence, closely mirroring actions by the European Union, adding that the responsibility will fall on the plastic industry for the appropriate recycling.

There seems to be strong support in Edmonton for the single-use plastic ban announced by Ottawa for 2021.

Parallel what was announced federally, city council’s utilities committee is getting an update on its call for a ban on single-use plastic two weeks from now.

READ MORE: Trudeau eyeing a Canadian ban on single-use plastics by 2021

Councillor Ben Henderson, who chairs the utilities committee, is anticipating similar polling results to what has gone on this past year on the topic.

“We were getting hugely positive response. We had 75 per cent I think, in the last survey, that wanted us to do something on single-use plastics. I think there’s a fair amount of public support for it.”

“I’m hoping that we’d be moving forward on it. If the federal government is prepared to do it, then it may be moot.”

A report is expected to be published June 20, waste management branch manager Mike Labrecque said in an email.

“As part of our 25-year waste strategy work, we’ve been asked by city council to look into this topic (the reduction or elimination of single-use plastics). We will be presenting this to utility committee on June 28.”

Watch below (June 8): The tourist destinations of Tofino and Ucluelet are outlawing single-use plastics, making them the first B.C. communities to get rid of plastic straws and the latest to ban plastic shopping bags. Kristen Robinson reports.


READ MORE:
Should Edmonton ban plastic bags? Grocery store reignites debate

The big money question related to single-use plastics that Mayor Don Iveson said is being raised by cities across Alberta relates to the hidden cost consumers pay at the cash register for the plastic that’s used in packaging on products.  Will the provincial government collect from companies?

“British Columbia, for example, they have very strong extended producer responsibility, which has changed the way things are packaged there. It’s reduced waste and reduced burden on municipalities and rate payers. I think that’s something municipalities in Alberta have been pushing for.”

“Alberta is a laggard in this regard, nationally and internationally, and so we think there’s room for improvement.”

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He said the question of single-use plastic is quickly growing.

“Every elementary school class that comes through here, I ask them what they’re debating in their mock council and very often they’re debating bans on single-use plastics,” Iveson said.

“So what we’re hearing from kids, and many voices in our community, is that it’s time for action on a disposable culture.

“I don’t think this question is going to go away.”

Henderson is hoping the federal government takes the lead.


READ MORE:
Edmonton beats Calgary in plastic-reducing Last Straw Challenge

Two weeks ago, when municipal politicians held their annual convention in Quebec City, he chaired an FCM-sponsored debate on extended producer responsibility.

“We can’t do it ourselves as a city. We can put some of bans in place but in terms of some of the responsibility for dealing with the plastics once we get them back, it has to be done at the provincial or at the federal level,” Henderson said. “We’ve been pushing for it at the federal level.”

Watch below (Oct. 19, 2018): Wetaskiwin has joined Fort McMurray, Montreal and Victoria in banning single-use plastic bags. Kent Morrison reports.

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