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Town of Yarmouth would support a province-wide plastic bags ban

The debate of banning plastic bags continues.
The debate of banning plastic bags continues. - Tina Comeau

YARMOUTH, N.S. – The Town of Yarmouth says it would support a ban on single-use plastic bags if one was implemented by the province.

The matter was discussed at council’s March 8 monthly meeting, in response to correspondence from Waste Check.

In that letter Waste Check general manager Gus Green wrote, “The current Nova Scotia Minister of Environment, the Honourable Iain Rankin, has expressed interest in banning these bags if the action was supported by Nova Scotia municipalities.”

A meeting of regional chairs of solid waste authorities in the province was held earlier this year. The chairs were instructed to go back to the municipal units in their region to seek support.

The letter from Green, dated Feb. 16, noted the Municipality of Digby has passed a motion to support a provincial ban and the issue was being discussed by other municipal units.

Plastic bags used by many grocery stores and retailers are referred to as single-use bags. Even though they are re-used for other purposes by people, millions of bags end up in the recycling or landfill stream in the province, and others litter outdoor spaces and oceans.

China, which had been a major market for these recycled bags, no longer accepts them.

Town councilor Clifford Hood, who is a representative on Waste Check, feels it is inevitable that a ban will eventually be passed.

“We want to be in on it early on,” he said about supporting a ban.

Mayor Pam Mood agrees.

“It’s the right thing to do,” she said.

During the discussion at the council meeting it was noted there is no date or timeframe identified for a ban. It was also stated that if one is to happen, there will be discussions and work carried out with the retail sector to identify alternatives to the plastic bags.

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