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Holyrood councillor says it’s time to act on banning plastic bags

There’s been a lot of talk across Newfoundland and Labrador about a possible ban of single-use plastic bags.
There’s been a lot of talk across Newfoundland and Labrador about a possible ban of single-use plastic bags. - SaltWire Network

Suggests municipality consult businesses, residents

A Holyrood councillor would like to see her town take steps towards a potential ban of single-use plastic bags.

Coun. Kim Ghaney brought up the issue during the Tuesday, Nov. 13, council meeting. Noting it’s an issue council has discussed in the past and brought to the provincial government’s attention through a written letter, Ghaney indicated she would appreciate hearing something more concrete from the province on the matter.

Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL) members have already voted in support of a provincially-mandated ban on the use of such bags.

“We do know that the leader of the opposition has indicated support for a ban of single-use plastic bags,” Ghaney said Tuesday. “Other municipalities in the province have already implemented or are considering a ban, and even businesses have decided to do it on their own and taken the initiative to stop using single-use bags, such as the (provincially-owned) Newfoundland Liquor Corporation.”

Holyrood Coun. Kim Ghaney
Holyrood Coun. Kim Ghaney

Ghaney said she would like council to meet with business owners in the coming weeks to discuss the issue.

“I believe we need to make this a priority in the coming weeks to arrange some discussion to get the ball rolling, and we clearly, in my opinion, cannot wait on the actions of the province, because to date, there haven’t been any. And I do think it’s an important thing, certainly for our environment, that we take some action on that.”

The Compass contacted the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment seeking an update on the province’s plans for single-use plastic bags. In a written statement, the department said it was aware of public concern and working to develop a plan “to significantly reduce plastic waste in our environment.”

In late September, department officials met with MNL, the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board, landfill operators and industry stakeholders to discuss plastic waste and single-use plastic bags. As a group, they went over several options for managing the use of plastic bags, including voluntary reduction strategies and regulatory policies.

“As a result of meeting, industry has indicated a willingness to work with the province on a plan to significantly reduce plastic bags,” the department said in the statement.

“The Province, as a member of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, is working on these issues in a manner similar to other governments across Canada and is working with industry to ensure an environmentally responsible and cost-effective approach to the post-consumer management of packaging.”

The department indicated it’s also working on a program for the management of printed paper and packaging.

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