Plastic Bags no longer Recyclable
As of March 1, 2020 Fundy Regional Service Commission will no longer accept plastic bags in the recycling.
Your excess plastic bags will have to go to garbage. This includes grocery and retail bags, bread and frozen food bags, dry cleaner bags, and ‘shrink wrap’ or plastic film.
We are encouraging everyone to reduce their consumption of plastic bags.
Plastic waste and ocean litter have emerged as a global environmental priority. Canadians use 9 billion plastic bags every year. Every Canadian uses 300 – 700 plastic bags a year. Governments across Canada are taking action on plastic bags, at the request and demand of citizens.
In the Fundy Region, plastic bags in the recycling system are not moving on the recycling market. Currently, there is more than two years’ worth of bags, almost three transport truck loads, being stored waiting for an end market.
In the Atlantic Provinces, all other provincial governments have made a move towards a ban:
- PEI implemented the Plastic Bag Reduction Act in July 2019
- Nova Scotia – Legislation will come into effect September 2020
- Newfoundland – announced it will ban bags in 2020
In New Brunswick, Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe have passed the Plastic Bag Reduction Bylaw. It will come into effect July 1st 2020. Sobeys will phase out plastic bags by end of January, 2020.
Plastic Bag Reduction Bylaw for the Fundy Region
The Fundy Regional Service Commission passed a motion, recommending that the municipalities in the Fundy Region adopt the plastic bag reduction bylaw similar to the legislation in PEI and the bylaw in Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe by January 1, 2021.
Removing plastic bags from the recycling list will not necessarily result in plastic bag reduction, and simply moves them from recycling to landfill. By adopting the bylaw, we can reduce the overall consumption of plastic bags, and reduce their impact on the environment.
It was also noted that a harmonized approach to the bylaw is necessary to help level the playing field for retailers, and ensure that similar rules are in place in the province and in the Atlantic region.
Plastic Bag Reduction Act PEI
Businesses are prohibited from handing out plastic bags at the checkout. They can offer a paper bag at a minimum price of $.15 or a reusable bag for a minimum price of $1.00.
The following exemptions are in place, and plastic bags are allowed for the following:
- bulk fruit, vegetables, small hardware items,
- contain or wrap frozen foods, live fish
- wrap flowers or potted plants,
- contain prescription drugs
- protect linens or bedding
- protect newspapers or other printed material to be left at a person's home or business
- protect clothes from dry cleaning
- protect tires that cannot easily fit in a reusable bag
- collect and dispose of animal waste