The Qathet Regional District (qRD) supports the proposed regulations to prevent single-use and plastic waste while encouraging the transition to more reusable options.
At the May 26 regional council meeting, trustees approved a feedback letter to the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy regarding the CleanBC document on plastic waste prevention intentions and single use published by the province.
City manager CaroleAnn Leishman said she wanted to thank regional district staff for bringing the matter before council members.
“It’s a very important letter and it’s a great job,” Leishman said. “I’ve read all of this and it’s something that stuck with me for about 12 to 15 years. I appreciate the advocacy and the work that goes into it.
Electoral Area E Director Andrew Fall said the letter was important and the changes were good, but he wondered if there was anything else the regional district could do.
Abby McLennan, a member of the Let’s Talk Trash team, said now that with the federal government’s action plan and the provincial government’s action plan, staff members are waiting to hear what the final regulations will be once the comments received.
“The advocacy work is pretty well done,” McLennan added. “In all the documentation, there is a phase two and a phase three, so if there are things that are missing or gaps, there will be an opportunity to have further action.
In a letter to the province, Electoral Area A Director and Regional Council President Patrick Brabazon said Regional District staff would like to see the proposed provincial regulations strengthened and provide feedback for current and future consideration regarding the checkout bags and food service packaging.
Regarding checkout bags, Brabazon said consideration should be given to restricting the material of reusable bags to be constructed from natural fibers. Proposed guidelines currently require that a reusable bag can withstand a minimum of 100 washes, and there is a downstream litter effect associated with synthetic fiber in that with each wash microplastic fibers are released, a- he added.
Brabazon also proposed to consider a percentage above 40% recycled content for paper bags. Bags provided for bakery or bulk items must be paper with a minimum of 60% recycled content, he said.
With respect to foodservice packaging, the province should consider different support mechanisms for cup-sharing and take-out container programs to further facilitate the establishment of these reuse programs, Brabazon said in the letter. . He added that polylactic acid-lined coffee cups should be on the list of banned compostable plastic foodservice packaging.
“We commend the efforts being made at the provincial level to help turn off the tap on the overwhelming stream of single-use waste and plastic that has seeped into the local economy, market and environment,” Brabazon said.