British Columbia

B.C. government seeks feedback on reducing plastic waste

British Columbians can share their opinions about the provincial government's proposals to reduce plastic waste in an online survey.

Residents have until Sept. 30, 2019, to participate in the online survey

The B.C. government said it’s proposing action in four areas including bans on single-use packaging, dramatically reducing single-use plastics in landfills and waterways, expanding plastic bottle and beverage container returns and reducing plastic waste overall.

UPDATE — Sept. 16, 2019: The B.C. government has extended the deadline to participate to Sept. 30.

The B.C. government has proposed new actions to reduce plastic waste polluting the province's environment and is inviting British Columbians to comment in an online survey.

The government has proposed four actions: 

  • Bans on single-use packaging.
  • Dramatically reducing single-use plastics in landfills and waterways.
  • Expanding plastic bottle and beverage container returns.
  • Reducing plastic waste overall. 

"The message from British Columbians is loud and clear — we need to take action to reduce plastic waste," Minister of Environment and Climate Change George Heyman said in the statement. 

Support from municipalities 

A joint statement from the Mayors of Victoria, Tofino, Squamish and Rossland said the leaders support the survey.

"We are keen to work with the provincial government to establish a clear role for local governments, our residents and businesses to move towards a sustainable, zero-waste economy and environment,"  the statement read.

Just a few weeks ago, the City of Victoria lost a court battle over its ban of single-use plastic bags. The Court of Appeal ruled that because the city's primary aim was environmental, it needed approval from the Minister of Environment which it never received. 

Exploring other actions 

The government said it's also reviewing new ways to make plastic recycling easier, including a proposed system of electronic refunds for empty bottle returns. It said this would eliminate the need to sort bottles and provide the option to have refunds processed electronically or donated to community organizations. 

The province said it's also working with counterparts Canada-wide to develop a national standard specifying the minimum amount of recycled plastic to be included in new packaging and products. 

Residents have until Sept. 18, 2019, to participate in the survey.