Two Comox Valley nurses are hoping the area will follow the lead of other Island municipalities and ban single-use plastic bags.
Betty Tate and Helen Boyd asked Comox council Wednesday at its committee of the whole meeting to consider the ban and in its place use reusable bags at a variety of retailers and businesses.
“Plastics make up a significant portion of marine debris, and is a big threat to the marine environment,” explained Tate, who added there currently is no way to compost biodegradable plastic.
Boyd noted Cumberland council directed staff in November to write up a bylaw to regulate single-use plastics in the village.
“Comox Valley coastlines are the future. A ban is necessary in order to meaningfully reduce waste,” she added, and explained the ban would apply to the entire Comox Valley so that business owners would have “a level playing field.”
She said Comox Valley Nurses for Health and the Environment would be willing to help educate the public and along with businesses and their staff, particularly at point-of-sale.
Comox Coun. Pat McKenna said he is glad to see there is a training element involved in the plan.
“When I was managing Home Depot, we implemented a bag ban, and the push back from the public was huge. As soon as I left, they put plastic bags back in.”
He added one advantage for retailers to ban plastic bags is that it saves significant money; he estimated he saved between $6,000 to $8,000 at the store.
Tate and Boyd explained they will be presenting their bag ban proposal at both Courtenay and Cumberland councils in the coming weeks.