Letter: don’t just ban plastic bags; replace them

Editor:

Start lobbing the spitballs; I disagree with any proposed ban on single-use plastic bags. You can take those “permanent” tote bags out of the equation, too: studies show that unless those purchased bags are washed out, they can be unsanitary.

Having said that, I’ve seen photos of the floating plastic “islands” in the oceans of the world. Located halfway between Hawaii and California, the largest island is more than 600,000 square miles.

Estimated to contain 1.8 trillion pieces of trash, it’s also estimated to weigh at least 79,000 tons.

I’ve read about the recycling problems with point-of-sale plastic bags. When paper bags were the target 40 years ago, the rallying cry was, “How many trees?” Both camps are right, and both camps are wrong. This is by no means a simple issue.

Offering point-of-purchase, single-use plastic bags for a fee is hypocritical, doing little for the environment.

The use of plastic wraps and plastic waste bags is widespread. Offering fee-based bags is well-intentioned but irksome and silly.

Plastic can be recycled into different materials, but the collection system needs to be easy and convenient – ideally at point-of-sale or through the standard recycling pick-up, rather than at a distant location.

It’s thought that only one per cent of plastic bags are recycled. Pro-plastic consumers argue they reuse point-of-sale plastic bags as garbage bags. But then what? The bags end up in landfills, often taking literally hundreds of years to decompose.

The solution? I believe retailers worldwide have an obligation to offer bioplastic bags made of cornstarch and other plant-based materials. As these bags decompose, they vent CO2, with a net environmental effect near zero.

Nicole Parton

Qualicum Beach, B.C.

Just Posted

Quesnel Kangaroos return to West Fraser Centre

CIHL team split a pair of games; thrashing the Ice Demons and falling to the River Kings

Tolko workers on strike in Williams Lake

Negotiations set to continue in Kelowna

Letter: Poor Walter Cronkite must be rolling in his grave

Royal wedding coverage trumped catastrophic weather news

City of Quesnel advance voter turnout low

Two more chances to cast ballots for councillor, school trustee and Public Works referendum

Incumbent councillor Scott Elliott hopes to be voted in for third term

Elliott wants another judge brought to Quesnel, as well as more housing

Rick Mercer says pot is ‘excruciatingly boring’

Comedian hopes Canadians will move onto something else once marijuana is legalized

U.S. pot firms urge Trump to dominate North American marijuana industry

Cannabis producers claim the U.S. is “rapidly losing” its competitive advantage to Canada

Battle resumes over speculation tax on B.C. vacant homes

Opposition calls it ‘fake’ tax that is reducing housing supply

Around the BCHL: Merritt, Chilliwack and Coquitlam early-season surprises

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s going on in the league and throughout the junior A world.

Federal government tables bill to transform prisoner segregation

Administrative and disciplinary segregation will be eliminated by Ottawa

CFL expecting little to no impact from legalization of marijuana in Canada

The league tests only for performance-enhancing substances and not recreational drugs like cannabis

BCTF wins grievance over teacher shortage in public schools

Arbitrator found Chilliwack school district did not hire enough on-call teachers or librarians

Toronto Police ID B.C. man as naked shark tank jumper

David Weaver, of Nelson, is wanted on mischief and assault charges

Most Read