Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Less plastic, please!

The province of Ontario recently announced that its LCBO stores are phasing out plastic bags. Their stock is expected to run out between now and the end of this summer and the liquor stores will be supplying paper or cardboard boxes on demand or encouraging customers to bring or buy reusable ones. It's kinda funny how just 10-15 or so years ago, I remember having to argue with cashiers about not having purchased items placed in plastic; these days, most places seem to (finally!) be encouraging their customers to move away from them.

I think it's great and hope that the Ontario's move sets a precedent for other province-run liquor stores around the country. In Ontario alone, this move will eliminate 80 million plastic bags a year, and their long-range plan is to cut the entire province's number of plastic bags used by half by 2012.

(I love how the president of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association was quoted as saying ''bans send out the wrong message''. I mean, what else could he possibly have said, this silly, silly man?)


Unknown said...

Except, of course, that paper bags are TWICE as bad for the environment as plastic ones. Paper bags are harder to create, use more resources to ship and use more carbon during their shorter lifetimes than plastic bags do. Just sayin'.

M said...

Which is why they're selling cheap reusable bags and encouraging customers to bring their own bags.

J said...

This is wonderful news M! It's sick how many plastic bags end up in the landfill, such a waste! I hope Missouri catches on soon (though I won't hold my breath). Everytime I go to the grocery store and say 'neither' when they ask me 'paper or plastic', I get the oddest looks. I've gotten used to it though - you have to when you live sans car and do stuff like carry your groceries home in bookbags.

Hopefully this trend catches on around the world, I think California actually banned plastic bags not too long ago. Perhaps I should write a letter to the mayor of Columbia. The governor here doesn't like his 'constituency' so that would probably prove fruitless.

Oh, and as Alfredo noted, phasing out any 'disposable' bags would be the best end result, but we have to be happy with these small steps in the right direction. The powers that be have no interest in changing the world overnight.

M said...

In most grocery stores here in New Brunswick, we're not even given the option of paper. It's just been plastic for years and years.

I see more and more people in the larger supermarkets carrying reusable bags. At least one of the major supermarket chains here had a bit of a marketing campaign a while back to encourage folks to snap them up. I have a bunch, although I generally cycle everywhere and carry a large backpack or use my bike's basket.

If you do a Google search, you'll find that the trend is really catching on internationally. Bangladesh has a plastic bag ban in place and Ireland is moving towards one. Plus, China recently announced new restrictions: