EDITORIAL: Plastics ban needs to start from the top

The more people talk about the plastics ban, the more it may catch on elsewhere…

Long before the federal Liberals announced a Canada-wide ban on single use plastics by 2021, Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns stood up in the House of Commons to talk about the dangers of plastic to the world’s oceans. He introduced a private members’ motion calling for a national strategy to reduce plastic pollution in aquatic environments.

Johns’s motion, which recommended regulatory action in order to reduce plastic debris discharge from storm water outfalls, was passed unanimously on Dec. 5, 2018.

It has been widely noted that most of the plastic in the ocean is coming from five Asian countries: Vietnam, Thailand, China, Indonesia and the Philippines. People have questioned whether banning single-use plastics in Canada is even necessary.

We live in a society that must take more responsibility for its own actions. We need to think about how we have become such a disposable society, whether we can live with that and, if not, what we can do to effect change.

A small portion of the present generation of young adults are beginning to reject the amount of non-recyclable material we have in our society. From turning back to glass bottles for milk distribution to bringing their own shopping bags and containers to ’whole’ food stores, they are trying to find if not a solution, at least a happy medium.

While our country may not be contributing to the Great Pacific garbage patch that keeps growing in the Pacific Ocean halfway between California and Hawaii, we can set an example for the rest of the world.

The more people talk about the plastics ban, the more it may catch on elsewhere. There is no reason Canada cannot be a world leader in that regard.

The best way for Canada to start a trend for change is from the top down. Our MP sees this, and even though his NDP party is not the sitting government, he stood up and spoke up.

People may not agree with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s politics, but he has taken the first step. It is up to the rest of us to take the next one.

— Alberni Valley News