Nfld. & Labrador

Thousands of responses to plastic bag ban survey

The Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment says a decision on whether to ban single-use plastic bags should be coming "in the near future."

Environment department says decision coming in 'near future'

Premier Dwight Ball has said he personally supports a ban on single-use plastic bags. (Shutterstock / Rich Carey)

The latest round of consultations on whether or not to ban single-use plastic bags in Newfoundland and Labrador is over, and in an email to CBC News, the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment said a decision is "anticipated to be forthcoming in the near future."

More than 2,800 online responses came in through the province's engageNL website — the highest number of responses ever received, according to the department.

There were also more than 120 written submissions.

The idea of a provincewide ban on the bags was first floated in 2015, and since then the government has been mulling over whether, or how best, to implement it.

In February, Environment Minister Graham Letto said a decision on the ban was expected soon, shortly before announcing this latest round of consultations.

Letto defended the timeline, saying the province wants to engage stakeholders before moving ahead with legislation. 

Meanwhile, a number of communities — including all of Nunatsiavut in northern Labrador — have already taken it on themselves to enact local bans.

Premier Dwight Ball has said he personally supports a ban, and says Newfoundland and Labrador could be the first province to do it.

Prince Edward Island voted in a ban last year, but it doesn't take effect until July 1. 

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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