Committee wants to see Central Manitoulin businesses curtail use of plastic grocery bags

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MINDEMOYA – When the issue of compacting garbage, getting rid of plastic garbage bags and not having them go into the local landfill was raised at a meeting of Central Manitoulin, council looked at requesting local businesses to volunteer to not make plastic garbage available in the future. 

“One of the things I’m wondering about is plastic bags; they are no longer been taken in blue bins and now they are allowed in our regular garbage,” said Councillor Steve Shaffer. “I’m just wondering if we should consider segregating these (plastic garbage bags) as well as other materials to keep them out of our landfill; it just adds to the garbage we have to take care of.”

“As Steve says, it would be a huge job with getting plastic out of the garbage,” said Councillor Dale Scott. “There is a really big chunk of these plastic bags in our garbage and the question is always, what do we do with it?”

Councillor Shaffer said the province is going to be phasing out plastic bags being allowed in stores. 

“Can we ask our grocery stores and other businesses that we want to be a plastic garbage bag-free municipality?” asked Councillor Rose Diebolt.

“I agree there shouldn’t be any plastic bags (going in the landfill). Sobeys says they won’t be using grocery bags, and in a lot of countries they are banned for use. The sooner we can get people to stop using these plastic bags the better.”

“Can we pass a motion to write a letter to our local businesses, indicating we have a problem with our dumps and that everyone needs help be responsible and not put the plastic garbage bags in our garbage?” asked Councillor Diebolt. She put forward a recommendation for the committee.

“I would like to say that the businesses would have, say, a year to have this ban in place,” said Councillor Derek Stephens. 

“Our municipality could be the first on the Island to be plastic free,” stated Councillor Diebolt.

The committee passed a motion recommending to council that a letter be sent to local businesses to request thy volunteer to stop the use of plastic bags in their businesses.