Calgary continuing single-use plastics report despite federal ban

Officials with the City of Calgary say a scoping report on how to reduce or eliminate the use of single-use plastic items will continue despite the announcement from the Prime Minister on Monday for a nationwide ban.

However, the federal announcement was short on specifics about what items will be banned and a timeline on what that might happen.

“I was really encouraged to hear this announcement,” said Kate Trajan, leader of strategic planning and policy with the City of Calgary’s waste and recycling department.

“The issue of plastic waste is simply too large for individual cities to tackle on their own and it’s really critical that we have support from both the provincial and federal governments in taking part to find a solution.”

Trajan said the local scoping report will continue, as it will be focused on talks with Calgarians and businesses on which items are important to tackle in this city. The information will be used to advocate the federal government on where it should go with its program.

“Every city might have slightly different prioritization in terms of what challenges they’re seeing from these items and what approaches are going to be the best for them,” Trajan said.

“The work we’re doing is honing in on exactly the items that are most important for Calgarians and Calgary businesses, and which alternatives and approaches work best for us here.”

Recommendations on how the city should go about reducing plastic waste will come back to city council in the third quarter of 2020, or sooner if the federal government provides details on its plans.

Besides the ban, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced plans to make companies that make or sell plastic products to take responsibility for recycling their plastic waste.

Extended producer responsibility is something Ward 14 Councillor Peter Demong has been pushing the City of Calgary to pursue with the Government of Alberta.

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