The federal government plans to plans to ban single use plastic bags and straws by 2021. (Troy Landreville, MyComoxValleyNow.com staff)
COMOX, B.C. – Town of Comox councillor Nicole Minions was heartened by the news that neighbouring Cumberland will be phasing out single use plastic items, starting this summer.
Minions is championing the cause in Comox.
“It’s definitely a movement, it feels like,” she said. “It’s great news.”
In January, Minions put forth a notice of motion, asking staff to create a report on the potential ban of single use (disposable) plastic bags, single use straws, and plastic produce bags in the town.
READ MORE: Comox council asks staff for plastic bag report
The report is currently in process, and Minions expects to see it sometime in May, but a date hasn’t been nailed down.
“It’s basically in the work plan and it’s been started, so we’re really appreciative and excited about that,” Minions said.
She noted that in the town’s strategic plan, there are other initiatives that are also being worked on by CAO Richard Kanigan and his management team.
“They have a work plan and are doing a great job supporting our new council’s objectives and vision,” she said.
Meanwhile, Minions is pleased to see that Cumberland recently passed first, second, and third reading of their new bylaw.
“I have heard Courtenay and CVRD have reports coming in April, as well,” Minions said. “It seems to be a Comox Valley-wide initiative. We need to start to start caring more about the environment and the positive impacts we can have on our health and future.”
Minions said if a ban is put into place in the town, a grace period like one used in other municipalities would be allowed.
“There’s nothing that (the ban) has to start hard on one day, but again that’s not something I can 100 percent say,” she said.
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.