Banning plastic bags sparked heated debate
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The three political parties of the Yukon legislature had a heated debate on Wednesday about the government’s latest ban for single-use plastics.
The three parties of the Yukon legislature had a heated debate last Wednesday over the state’s latest ban of single-use plastics.
The issue was brought up in a ministerial announcement from the minister of Roads and Public Works, Nils Clarke.
“Waste is a problem here on our territory as well as around the world. Recycling waste is costly takes a lot of effort and, if not handled correctly, can have an adverse impact on the surroundings, “said Clarke.
“We are aware that shopping bags that are single-use are only one part of the waste issue we have to deal with, however, the reduction in their usage and disposal is a crucial step to reduce the problem of waste. within our own territory, “added Clarke.
“As from January 1st, 2022, single use bag shopping will become prohibited within the Yukon. Reusable bags, in addition to other products that are reusable, are present in many houses. We just need to make use of them more often.
“It’s about establishing new routines. This is why we’re offering Yukoners 3 months in which to develop the habit of taking their own bags each and every day.
“We will also allow retailers time to adjust to the new rules and not run out of their supply with single-use bags. We have a variety of posters, signs, and stickers that retailers can request at the Environment Department staff to help consumers remember to BYOB – bring bags of your own, “the minister said.
Clarke continued her comment by saying that “the obvious fact is that trash made of plastic is always a major problem, no matter what the bag that are strewn on the ground around these facilities for managing waste, or the microplastics found in our waterways. .
“Paper bags aren’t great also. They don’t cause the same burden for waste systems as a biodegradable alternative Paper bags require a lot of energy to make.
“Their production leads to emissions of chemical byproducts, pollution and emissions. Their transportation towards the Yukon from producers in the south only increases their emissions overall.
“The restriction on shopping bags will take the market one year later, starting on January 1, 2023.
“Either way it’s the identical: we can all be better. We all have the option of cutting down on the use of products that are only used once and quickly go to the garbage.
“The one-use plastic bag ban only one step we’re moving towards a wider restriction on plastic bags that are single-use within the Yukon.
The agreement also matches federal government’s plans to reach zero waste of plastic in 2030. It also is in line with what the federal government has received about Yukoners, Clarke said.
“Since the beginning of 2019, we’ve been discussing the problem together with Yukoners, First Nations, organisations and businesses. Our first commitment was to charge the cost of single-use bags.
“What we have heard is that the majority of people would prefer an unintended ban over a surcharge in the past, and the government of our country made a promise to prohibit plastic bags that are only used once.”
Wade Istchenko of the Yukon Party saidthat “On this topic today, we have another instance that shows how the Government of Yukon dropping consultation. Similar to the issue with (waste) transfer stations There was no sign of consultation regarding the bag ban for single-use.
“In this particular instance rather than locals being outraged at the government’s inability to provide actions, it’s entrepreneurs who hold the bag and thinking about what’s going on,” Istchenko said.
“The decree that banned single-use bags was confusing for anyone who read it. In the OIC was signed by the 29th of September, amending the Environmental Law gave two potential dates when the ban could take effective. One date was October 1, 2021. the second one in the Order in Council, had the new regulations taking effect the day that it was filed. Order in Council is filed with the Registry of Regulations.
“A announcement made in the afternoon of Friday, mid-day, on the possible date of these new regulations stated that the date for introduction of the ban on plastic bags was January 1, 2022,” the MP added. by Kluane.
“Paper bags” would be banned one year later. This is yet another instance of the government not being able to inform citizens until it has formulated the policy. “
It seems that the Yukon Party did a quick look at a handful of the stores using bags that are single-use, Istchenko said.
“They did not know what time and date the ban went into effect. They were not aware of what their obligations were or what they were required to do.
Istchenko also inquired about how businesses are expected to deal with surplus stock after the new year.
“So after January 1 when a company is equipped with personalized disposable plastic bags that are single use, how do they do with these bags? “ He inquired.
“They aren’t able to return the bags to the manufacturer and are in violation of the law when they use them. Therefore, businesses will have to dispose of single-use bags, without having one use.”
Emily Tredger of the NDP was also vocal on the issue.
“We have known for a while that reducing the use of plastics is a top priority in the lives of Yukoners,” she said.
“Over the last few decades, it has been reported repeatedly and repeatedly that Yukoners are the leaders and are waiting for the federal governments to follow suit.
“Mayo, Dawson and Carmacks had already banned single-use plastics, however, in the event that they Yukon NDP brought forward a motion to ban single-use plastics and the Yukon government refused to allow it, they told us that the ban was not feasible,” Tredger recalls.
“Later we learned that it could be done however it would require some time. In November of 2019 my co-worker Takhini Kopper King MP (Kate White) put forward a motion of her own to urge the government to stick to its original plan of a ban in the spring of 2020. They claimed that they believed they could. achieve it by the fall of 2020. Both deadlines have been met, “said Tredger.
“When we were in negotiations (the March Minority Government Support Agreement) with the Liberals and the Liberals, we included this as one of our priorities , along with dental health and high-risk climate targets, and an increase in the minimum wage. .
“We have a deal to prohibit single-use plastic bags within the Yukon. When the political will there, you’ll be amazed at what can happen “said an MPP from Whitehorse Center.
“Now our plastic bag supply will not go away over night, which is why we must ensure that the plastics we use are recyclable. This means that everyone can recycle not only Yukoners that reside in Whitehorse.
“Unfortunately this isn’t the direction that the Liberal government seems to be taking,” Tredger added.
“Meanwhile in the communities throughout the Yukon transfer stations are not operating which means that Yukoners living in those areas don’t have a safe space to dump their trash and recycle it.
She inquired about what quality of life is available to the citizens “when they don’t have a place to dispose of their trash?
“How do we prove that we’re taking steps to safeguard our environment when we’re not even helping our citizens by providing basic waste management?
“So I’m happy that to see that the Yukon NDP got the single-use plastic bag ban. However, I’m hopeful that each step in the direction of real climate change and environmental protection won’t be as. fighting, “Tredger added.
Yukoners have stated that they would like action to help urban and rural Yukoners in the management of waste and environmental protection as well as the protection of climate, added.
“Yukoners are crystal clear We have proven that when there’s political will, it is possible for it to be achieved. It’s the time that our administration be listened to.
Clarke replied by saying “Alleging that we had introduced the ban without informing the companies was not accountable and it is far than the reality. This is not the type of leadership that Yukoners would like from us.
“We have been in constant contact with Yukoners as well as businesses regarding this problem,” added Clarke.
In the year 2019, he mentioned that the government was considering introduction of a tax on shopping bags that are single-use and solicited comments.
“What has been reported by the industry as well as retailers as well as Yukoners is that they’d prefer a bag ban that is simple,” Clarke said.
“In reaction to this, in 2013, our government took a vow to prohibit single-use bags. We re-engaged with Yukoners and others earlier in the year.
“We clarified that this bag restriction is in place and we’re really in need of information on the process of deploying. We asked how to accomplish this – timeline and exemptions, as it’s no longer about ‘ifs’ but “how” and “how soon’.
“We wanted to ensure we were aware of how we could to do this in a manner that was beneficial to our industrial partners. Each of us has a role to play in the management of waste within our own territory, and we have to work together.