The government is inviting British Columbians to give their feedback on proposed new actions to reduce plastic waste pollution in the province. 

“The message from British Columbians is loud and clear – we need to take action to reduce plastic waste, especially single-use items like water bottles and plastic bags that often find their way into our waters, streets and environment,” said Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman.

The government is proposing action on four areas to reduce plastic pollution and less use of plastic overall:

  • Ban single-use packaging, which includes determining which types of plastic packaging to phase out completely as well as necessary exemptions, such as for health-use, safety and accessibility.
  • Reduce single-use plastics in landfills and waterways by requiring producers to take responsibility for more plastic products, ensuring more single-use items like sandwich bags, straws and cutlery are recycled.
  • Ensure plastic bottle and beverage container returns by expanding the deposit-refund system to cover all beverage containers, including milk and milk substitutes. 
  • Reducing plastic waste overall by supporting effective ways to prevent plastic waste in the first place and making sure recycled plastic is reused effectively. 

The province is also reviewing new ways to make plastic recycling easier, including a proposed system of electronic refunds for empty bottle returns. 

This will eliminate the need to sort bottles and provide the option to have refunds processed electronically or donated to community organizations.

BC is also working with other counterparts Canada-wide to develop national standards that specify the minimum amount of recycled plastic in new packaging and products. 

Residents are being encouraged to share their opinions through an online survey. The province’s consultation paper is also available to read online

You can comment until submit your feedback and comments until September 18th.