We should move to less plastic, not more

Apparently, Thrifty Foods wants customer opinion about possibly returning to the use of plastic bags in its Cowichan Valley stores.

Apparently, Thrifty Foods wants customer opinion about possibly returning to the use of plastic bags in its Cowichan Valley stores.

We’re certainly against it.

Thrifty Foods deserves a lot of credit for taking a leadership role and eliminating plastic bags at the till.

This was an environmentally responsible move that showed they were serious about doing their part to preserve and protect the world we all live in.

Plastic bags are not, in most cases, necessary.

There are a plethora of choices when it comes to reusable cloth bags, all of which work often better than plastic.

Who hasn’t had the experience of having the handles gradually tear off a cheap plastic bag as you carry your heavy purchase, or had a sharp edge of the additional packaging that pretty much everything comes swathed in puncture the plastic bag, shredding it into worthlessness?

Cloth is far more durable, even as it’s a huge boon to the environment.

And for business purposes, there’s still plenty of opportunity to brand your cloth bags, as all the grocery stores do, just as one would plastic.

There’s really no excuse.

It’s true, some of those plastic bags get recycled a couple of times, either as garbage can liners or to carry something again, and a few people do faithfully separate them out from the rest of the trash and take them in for a final recycling finish.

But we know that by far the majority of them still wind up in landfills or blowing along highways or in our oceans.

Only about five per cent of plastic bags worldwide are recycled. That’s a pitifully low number, when we consider that we collectively use over a trillion of them every year.

Still not convinced to switch to cloth?

The plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down, doing untold damage before that happens.

For example, in marine environments they have proven particularly deadly to birds, whales, seals, sea turtles and more as they eat, or become tangled in the bags, dying as a result.

All because we find it too difficult to remember to get the cloth bag out of the trunk of the car when we head into the grocery store, or when we go to the pharmacy, or when we buy clothes.

The complaints about lack of water resistance of cloth or paper bags doesn’t, well, hold water compared to the consequences of the use of plastic.

Such as small inconvenience sounds more like an excuse than a convincing argument.

There are other solutions, such as investing in one or two more weatherized cloth bags. We must hold firm and not go backwards.

Just Posted

DAVID VAN DEVENTER
Cowichan Citizen and Lake Cowichan Gazette announce new publisher

David van Deventer has been with Black Press Media since 2014

Island Health is bringing a vaccination clinic to Lake Cowichan starting June 23. (Submitted)
COVID vaccine clinic coming to Lake Cowichan as area numbers lag

Clinic will operate at arena starting June 23

The Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society, which has been operating a treatment centre on land leased from the Nanoose First Nation for 35 years (pictured), has begun a fundraising campaign to open a new centre near Duncan. (Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society photo)
New Indigenous treatment centre to be built near Duncan

Centre will help survivors of residential schools

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, four deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

Marine biologist Rick Harbo pulls a lid from the Ladysmith harbour, which he uses to monitor the presence of native and non-native species in the Ladysmith harbour. (Cole Schisler photo)
Unidentified sponge may be the latest marine species invading Island harbour

Marine biologist finding dozens of alien species in warm-water Ladysmith Harbour, none threatening

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

Most Read