On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, the City of Surrey sent a media release stating that the City will be working to compose bylaws to ban single-use plastic shopping bags for enactment by January 2021.
“This is a vital step that all cities need to take in the fight against climate change,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “In early 2019, the Surrey Board of Trade called on the Provincial Government, and ultimately the Federal Government, to work in coordination towards a pathway that eliminates single-use plastics.”
“Much has been done in terms of public consultation in 2019 on eliminating single-use plastics by both the Federal and Provincial Governments. Now is the time for a coordinated, scheduled action plan across all governments, including regional governments with further consultation with businesses.”
Plastic packaging accounts for nearly half of all plastic waste globally, and much of it is thrown away within just a few minutes of its first use. Any plastic that has no number for recycling, which include items such as trash bags, Ziplock bags, cereal bags, bubble wrap, clear plastic wrap, some plastic store bags, single cheese wrappers, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles, most food packaging, toys, potato chip bags, candy wrappers, plastic rings that hold six-packs of beer or soda, are all examples of single-use plastics.
“There are innovative industry opportunities that are available now, or that can be developed, that will lead to new employment opportunities,” said Huberman.
“The world produces hundreds of millions of tons of plastic every year, most of which cannot be recycled. It’s obvious that we need to use less plastic, move towards environmentally sustainable products and services, and come up with technology that recycles plastic more efficiently.”
The Surrey Board of Trade is calling on the BC Government to:
1. Enact regulation under the BC Environmental Management Act to gradually phase out use of ‘single-use plastics’ in BC to align with the objectives of the Clean BC Plan which focuses on environmental and industrial sustainability;
2. Commission a one-year study through industry, businesses, and educational institutions to research alternatives to single-use plastic and commit to a timeframe for complete removal of such material from the waste stream in BC;
3. Work with the food and beverage industry to see the elimination of the production of dirty Styrofoam. This could be done through education and through incentives to industries to produce recyclable or biodegradable products (to be accepted by biofuel plants); and,
4. Implement an awareness campaign to help consumers understand that plastic overwrap and other flexible plastics can be taken to recycle depots.
Information on the Surrey Board of Trade’s Plastic Policy:
https://businessinsurrey.com/ wp-content/uploads/2019/05/ SBOT-Resolution-on-Plastics- FINAL-1.pdf
Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342, firstname.lastname@example.org