LETTER – Don’t forget another important environmental ‘R:’ Refuse

Dear editor,

Your editorial “Cleaning up our act” struck a chord with me. It is vital to remember a fourth “Environmental R” – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Refuse.

There is more to single-use plastics than plastic bags, straws and bottles. Think about cups, cutlery, dishes and grocery packaging. Technically recyclable, “PEET” plastics (class 1) make up 96 per cent of all plastic containers in the U.S., yet only 25 per cent are recycled. Recycling rates are typically a little higher in Canada, but still too much plastic ends up in landfills – either here or in some faraway Third World nation. Much of this plastic garbage could be eliminated by changing packaging methods.

Fruit, veggies and even bread products used to be sold in cardboard boxes or paper bags, rather than in plastic “clamshells”. One major grocery chain now offers reusable fabric bags for purchase, offering more items in bulk, to encourage using fabric bags instead of plastic packaging. Consumers should advocate grocery stores to reduce plastic packaging of all sorts.

Over-packaging, in general, is a major issue in our battle for environmental stewardship. It is past time for consumers to recall that fourth environmental “R” – refuse! Refuse to accept over-packaging, refuse to accept unnecessary plastic in any form, and refuse to become a part of over-consumption. If we raise our voices to government, marketers and producers, and if government does the same, we could certainly do a great deal towards the elimination of plastic garbage.

The scientific community is making advances towards a natural method of biodegrading plastic (i.e. Record article Valley resident invents eco-friendly glow stick) but wide-scale use of such microbes is still years away. Don’t leave it all in the hands of experts! We consumers should do what we can to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Pat Grappolini,


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Courtenay development proposes expanded pub, condos

Courtenay council gave second reading Monday to a development application for a… Continue reading

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

North Island College president to retire next year

North Island College’s president and CEO has officially announced his plans to… Continue reading

Comox Valley teen catches eye of Vancouver Whitecaps

The Vancouver Whitecaps have their eye on a blossoming young talent in… Continue reading

NIC launches virtual orientation sessions

New students encouraged to take part in virtual sessions, webinars, video tours starting this summer

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

B.C. tent camps persist as hotels, housing bought for homeless

Current estimate 40 camps, homeless counts stalled by COVID-19

Most Read