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HomeNewsPlastic bag use in Smithers, what is the solution?

Plastic bag use in Smithers, what is the solution?

Photo Courtesy: Taylor Chartrand

Smithers Secondary Action Group has been tackling the use of plastic bags in our community and the environmental impact we could have by reducing said products.

Their latest proposition to Smithers Town Council is signage educating the public on the use of reusable bags.

“It’s a difficult issue to deal with.” says Councillor Gladys Atrill, “Of course we want to assist the youth in our community, however, I feel signage isn’t the right step. I really admire the efforts put forth by the action group but Council simply does not have the funds to provide for the signage ”

The issue from Councils side of things is that they want to minimize public backlash as they feel their involvement could be perceived wrong.

“The energy needs to come from the community first. If regulations are something the public deems necessary, we may step in, but right now it doesn’t seem to fit. Businesses need to do what is best for their customers, so the best approach may be to speak with local shops and get them on board.”

Mayor Taylor Bachrach says he and his council will continue to work with the Smithers Secondary Action Group to mitigate the problem.

“It’s a community and society issue we need to get a handle on. We’re struggling to see how the Town will play a factor in this but that shouldn’t slow down the action group. We applaud their efforts and will continue to work with them going forward. It’s a tricky one, but we will try our best to make a positive impact.”

Background information:

The first plastic bag was introduced 53 years ago and takes nearly 1000 years to decompose.

Smithers Secondary Action Group surveyed nearly 430 residents and found these results.

  • 61% of residents say they already use reusable bags
  • 84% say if a bag fee was implemented from $0.25-$0.55 per bag, they would use reusable bags
  • 94% say they are concerned about the environmental impact plastic bags will have

 

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