Keep the Bruce Clean & Green News: Too Much Plastic

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Submitted by KTBC&G

We are sure you have all seen or heard the ongoing coverage in the papers and on the news about the recycling issues that surround us. We appear to have a serious problem with our garbage! It is so significant that alarm bells are being sounded daily and still nothing changes. We still discard, recycle and compost our waste as we have always done for the past few decades thinking that we are doing a good thing and helping to save the environment. It is very disturbing to read and hear that less than 10% of what we put in our blue boxes actually gets recycled and that the rest ends up discarded in the very place we are trying to divert it from. Our mantra of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” needs one more “R”: REFUSE.
The largest amount of recycled material in our bins is plastic. The plastic that comes from food containers and packaged goods, up until now, was broken down and used in other products or reused in making containers/packaging again. We are hearing that most of that reprocessing was done offshore, however that isn’t an option open to Canada any longer as most countries are refusing import of recycled plastics.
So where does the overabundance of recycle plastic go in our country? It is being buried in landfill, illegally dumped into the oceans and waterways, or worse, incinerated, creating toxic air pollution. If governments are not able to stop this how are we going to effect a change?
The only solution is to stop the overuse of plastics through “refusing” to allow them into our homes and businesses in the first place. If you stop buying a product that is over packaged or improperly packaged in plastic then it would stand to reason that the producer of that product would need to “rethink” the strategy for selling it in the first place.
It is a small step that an individual can take but it might make a big impact on garbage production. You are not likely to see a change in the short term; however as the idea catches on and more people buy into the idea perhaps there it will be enough to pressure the producers to make a change in how their products are packaged. We don’t need everything to be in plastic!
So, as you are in the store, stop and think, ask yourself if there is an alternative, or better yet, do you really need it? Is there a better option for the environment?
Think first and then REFUSE…..
-products that are over packaged
-plastic bags, use paper or bring your own
-flyers, brochures or newspaper, try the internet
-disposable drinking/eating containers, take your own
-individually packaged/blister packed goods, buy in bulk
-vegetables and fruits that are wrapped in plastic, it’s not needed
Keep the Bruce Clean & Green ask you all to remember “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & REFUSE!”
Thanks to all who continue to help keep our precious Bruce Peninsula a place for everyone to enjoy and don’t forget about putting out your tomato cage litter baskets starting Chi-Cheemaun Festival Weekend.