Municipalities should consider plastic bag bans pronto. (Citizen file)

Municipalities should consider plastic bag bans pronto. (Citizen file)

Editorial: On environment, doing something better than nothing

There is no one perfect, shining thing that is going to fix our myriad problems

We have to start somewhere.

This is a truth that we need a little more of when we look at the necessity of action on climate change, and tackling environmental pollution.

Because there is no one perfect, shining thing that is going to fix our myriad problems.

We cannot wait for perfection. Even doing something imperfectly is still doing something. And that beats doing nothing at all. Which is something we certainly cannot afford.

Pointing out the imperfections of the actions we can take and the inability of each individual project or law to accomplish all of our goals on their own in isolation is a tactic we see a lot by the deniers to try to make people think they can’t do anything anyway, so why try? It’s a recipe for defeat.

So a hodgepodge of imperfect initiatives, which when put together are greater than the sum of their parts, is nothing to sneeze at, and can, in fact, be an excellent way to help people to gain momentum, by accomplishing milestones on the way to the destination.

Which really all boils down to saying that our municipalities need to seriously look at banning single-use plastic bags and other items like stir sticks that the province gave them the go-ahead to ban all on their own in July.

So far in the Cowichan Valley the excuse that we heard from out municipalities is that they aren’t going to do anything until it’s a regional move. Only regional districts weren’t given the same power as municipalities so the Cowichan Valley Regional District can’t do anything right now. Which is not to be confused with the municipalities like North Cowichan and Duncan who are choosing not to do anything.

The Town of Lake Cowichan has at least had some preliminary discussion on the matter.

Would it be awesome if the regional district could take the lead? Yes. A province-wide ban would totally take it out of local hands and a piecemeal approach. Would that be better? You bet. Would it be fantastic if a promised federal ban supersedes everything? Of course. There are a lot of shopping areas outside of Duncan and North Cowichan. But that perfect approach isn’t available right now, so what can we do now that will have an meaningful impact? Have the areas that can ban single-use plastics.

In 2019 more than 65 kilograms of plastic waste went to the landfill per person in just one year. Waving a magic wand and making all that garbage disappear would be perfection. But doing something is better than doing nothing.