CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – The federal government promised today that it is taking steps towards keeping plastic out of oceans and landfills.

The City of Campbell River is also exploring the idea.

The city’s Supervisor of Long-Range Planning Chris Osborne spoke about where the city is in terms of a potential ban of single-use plastic bags and straws.

“Council asked staff to look at what other municipalities are doing, and monitor the success or otherwise of their programs, and report back to them,” Osborne said.

“So we are doing that research and looking to bring a report back to council at a meeting in the fairly near future. And at that point council will consider potential options for bylaws or whatever.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the federal government will:

  • “ban harmful single-use plastics as early as 2021 (such as plastic bags, straws, cutlery, plates, and stir sticks) where supported by scientific evidence and warranted, and take other steps to reduce pollution from plastic products and packaging; and
  • “work with provinces and territories to introduce standards and targets for companies that manufacture plastic products or sell items with plastic packaging so they become responsible for their plastic waste.”

According to National Geographic, 40 percent of plastic produced is packaging, used just once, and then discarded.

The Comox Valley Nurses for Health and the Environment are also pushing for a Comox-wide ban, and say single-use bags present an ecological danger because they degrade into microplastics and further leach into soils, groundwater, and the ocean.

Osborne said it would be premature to speculate on what council will decide.

“At this stage we’re just gathering information and finding out the different range of activities that municipalities are doing and then council will review and direct staff accordingly, once they have a look at that.”