Coun. Dale Bass is looking for city council to take action quickly in the case of single-use plastics.
Following a presentation from Michele Hadley to council today (March 26) on the subject of plastics, Bass distributed a notice of motion.
It requests city administration to draft a bylaw "prohibiting business licence holders from providing single-use bags, straws and cutlery." The motion requests a bylaw draft be presented at the May 28 council meeting.
Hadley's presentation requested council ban single-use bags by early 2020. She requested the city work with the local business community to create the bylaw and ban, noting that she's already had conversations with the Retail Council of Canada and the provincial arm of that organization. Those organizations have worked with other cities on similar policies.
In the presentation, she also noted that in a 2007 City of Kamloops document, a goal was set for the per capita waste at the Mission Flats dump to be decreased from .6 tonnes per capita to .3 The current estimate, she told council, is that Kamloops is at .694 tonnes.
In her motion, Bass lists a few supporting facts for the ban, including the long period of time that it takes for plastic to break down (up to 1,000 years), that alternatives are available (reusable bags) and the fact similar bans are already in place in similar communities.
"We're killing the planet," Bass says. "I probably have 450 single-use plastic bags sitting in my house right now, because I don’t throw them out. We reuse them. ... The grocery store in my neighbourhood has a group of women who use them to make mats for homeless people, things like that."
She adds a ban "isn't new" and that "businesses around the country and around the world are embracing this."
"Lots of places are doing it already. (Thompson Rivers University) has recyclable pens, so I just thought let’s ask for a little bit more but leave it wide open for admin, come up with an idea, come up with a bylaw, come up with an engagement of process. I think Michele was pretty blunt in the fact that we need to engage business, and let’s do it. Let’s not just talk about it. Let’s just do it because otherwise, we’re lagging behind."
City council will be discussing and potentially voting on Bass' motion next week.