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Council to examine ban on single-use plastics

A week after it was revealed a Calgary company has acquired 300 acres in the city for a potential $5.6 billion petrochemical plant that would produce the raw material to create plastic bags and drink bottles, city council has directed staff to look at the viability of imposing a ban on single-use plastics.

“I think it’s important that we acknowledge what single-use plastic bags are doing to our litter issues, to our landfill, and to our waterways,” said Coun. Murry Krause.

He pointed out the federal government has indicated it will consider a ban on single-use plastics and the provincial government is now accepting public input on the issue of single-use plastics.

“I think it is important to let the federal and provincial governments know this is important to local governments,” said Krause.

A ban was put in place in Victoria but was eventually struck down because that city had not adequately consulted with the Ministry of Environment before instituting the ban.

Council has directed city administration examine the viability of imposing such a ban here in Prince George.

According to Ottawa, about one-third of the plastics used in Canada are for single-use or short-lived products and packaging – in Canada, up to 15 billion plastic bags are used every year.

West Coast Olefins is proposing a ‘world-scale’ ethylene plant and polyethylene facility in the city. The majority of the polyethylene product would be shipped to growing Asian markets. Polyethylene is a common plastic used to make plastic bags, plastic films, and drink bottles.

Once fully operational, the facility will create up to 1,000 permanent highly skilled jobs, while several thousand workers will be required to support the construction effort over a three-year period.

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