I received a call yesterday inquiring if we recycle plastic straws. I am always happy to answer questions.
The answer is no.
Most single-use plastic items are not recyclable so create a lot of garbage. The exception is plastic cups that are either #1(PETE) or #5(PP) plastic.
Single-use plastics have been in the news lately. A few weeks ago I saw the headline ‘Costa Rica Becomes the first country to ban single-use plastics’. More recently the Canadian Minister of the Environment stated the federal government will be working towards removing all single-use plastics from their operations.
The picture of the sea turtle with a straw stuck in his nose had a significant impact.
It changes the conversation from plastic bags to all single-use items.
Many places have banned plastic bags, although a closer look at the details shows that it is really single-use plastic shopping bags that are banned.
Some municipalities allow heavier weight plastic shopping bags. Most allow the single-use bags that bread and other products are packaged in, bags for fresh produce or items purchased in bulk, dry cleaning /laundry bags and garbage and other bags for waste and recyclables.
All single-use plastic includes all plastic bags, straws, cutlery, Styrofoam plates/cups, and wrap, to name a few.
These things, plus larger things like fishing nets, are creating the islands of plastic in the oceans, damaging sea creatures and the food chain.
A good place to start is to carry a reusable fork and straw to use when needed.
Flin Flon considered a plastic bag ban a couple of years ago and decided against it. It may be time to reconsider. Is this an issue for the municipal election?