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plasticwaste

To the Editor

Returning from an extended trip, my wife and I have been catching up with local news. A headline in the Sun Times left us dismayed. It referred to the decision of the city’s Operations Committee, to dodge the bullet, and sit on their hands, regarding the issue of single use plastics. The committee decided not to ban single-use plastics, but rather

leave, what would undoubtedly be a controversial decision, to the federal government. That decision is both irresponsible and unconscionable.

The evidence of the impacts of the worldwide use of single use plastic is catastrophic and well known. We, in Owen Sound, are part of the problem, as witnessed in our daily habits and patterns of consumption. The legacy we leave is one to be measured in aeons. It cannot be ignored by the simple action of closing a garbage can lid, or deposit an item in a recycling bin. Changing such behaviours would benefit the quality and health of our personal lives, that of the community and, ultimately, the environment.

Change does not come easily. It is often made more palatable by addressing it in small increments (e.g. banning plastic straws / single use plastic water bottles), rather than trying to accommodate a single, large, comprehensive sweep of legislation. The latter is often seen as overbearing and divisive and, in this case, is by no means assured. The current existence of a minority government at the federal level means that no program can be predicted with certainty. Here lies an opportunity for Owen Sound to take hold of this issue and definitively proceed with its own plans as soon as possible.

The citizens of this wonderful city elect councillors, to make decisions on our behalf. Here is a golden opportunity for vision - to lead, rather than follow, to act, rather than let a problem compound.

We urge the Councillors of Owen Sound to show leadership and ban, for a start, single use plastic water bottles.

Peter and Jan Middleton.


 

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