Opinion

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fordinplastic 

- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

Newspapers always catch my eye, and this Toronto Star was still in the plastic bag in which it was delivered. It was there, along with batteries, broken glass, siding and containers, after the authorities had removed a syringe and replaced a missing piece of fence separating the Bayview School yard from the ravine behind it.

I couldn't see the date through the fence, but I googled the headline – “Ford faces fight to kill...”
It's not about Premier Doug Ford. It is about Rob Ford, mayor of Toronto, and the paper is dated December 31....2010.

bayviewfenceThat newspaper has been preserved in that bag...in that spot....for 8 years and 4 months. And now that it is securely behind a fence, we can count on it being there for more years to come.

I am very much in favour of preserving our printed heritage in libraries and archives. Not in one of the hundreds of thousands of plastic bags that are used every single day – once – specifically to allow those papers to be delivered by drivers who never have to get out of their vehicles.

While film plastic recycling projects in Brockton and Meaford diverted tons of the material from landfill, the Owen Sound Operations Committee have chosen to wait for the province to make producers responsible for packaging materials, ostensibly in 2023.

Not that recycling is the best choice. Recycling is always the last choice. People are reusing the newspaper bags for doggie do, but wrapping a degradable substance in a non-degradable one seems counter-productive.

All the petroleum plastic that was ever manufactured is still with us, and is ending up in waterways and marine life at an increasing rate. Only 11 percent of the plastic we use is recycled, and always at a great cost in energy and water.

Reducing our demand is by far the best choice. Speak to the businesses that send unwanted plastic into your home and ask them to stop – or send it back to them.

Follow Owen Sound Waste Watchers for more possibilities.

 

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