Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Authority pleased with possible single-use plastics ban
Published Tuesday, June 11, 2019 9:43AM EDT
The federal government’s announcement of a ban on single-use plastics is being well received by at least one board member of the Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Authority.
“The fact that we're seeing some progress on this finally is a very positive announcement,” says Kieran McKenzie, the Ward 9 councillor for the City of Windsor.
McKenzie says the planned shift away from single-use plastics is an important environmental move, but he also admits Monday’s announcement leaves several questions.
McKenzie says recycled plastics are a source of revenue for the solid waste authority and could be impacted by a ban.
The lack of detail concerning the implementation of the ban also means it's too early to know if the ban will help extend the life of the local landfill.
“I can say with certainty that the operations at the solid waste authority and the landfill itself will be impacted by whatever regulations come forward as a result of the initiative of the federal government on this file -- and it's been a long time coming,” says McKenzie.
Prime Minister Trudeau says the situation of plastic overflowing in landfills and polluting oceans and waterways has reached a breaking point, and action is needed.
Less than 10 per cent of plastic used in Canada gets recycled, and without any change in habits, Canadians will be throwing out $11-billion worth of plastic products by 2030.
The products could include such single-use items as drinking straws, water bottles, plastic bags, cutlery, stir sticks and fast food containers.
Steps are already being taken in Windsor-Essex to live plastic-free.
The Town of LaSalle eliminated plastic straws and stir sticks at the Vollmer Complex after council voted in favour of the ban in July 2018.
In Amherstburg, a pair of Grade 7 students convinced town council to ban plastic bags and straws at the Libro Centre.
Addiyson Walker and Darragh Aston of Anderdon Public School also convinced council to review all of the town's policies and look at a town-wide ban on single use plastics.
Walker and Aston are also behind action at the Greater Essex County District School Board.
Trustees voted in May to look at eliminating plastic straws and single-use plastics across the system. A report is expected in September.
The Windsor-Essex Catholic School Board is looking into water bottle filling stations in all schools. The machines are already in 40 per cent of the schools, thanks to many parent councils.