PEI

P.E.I. to stick with blue bags after ban

Blue recycling bags will remain as one of the few single-use plastic bags allowable after a ban comes into effect on P.E.I. on July 1.

Switch to blue bins would be expensive

The blue bags allow for the separation of paper from plastic and other recyclables. (CBC)

Blue recycling bags will remain as one of the few single-use plastic bags allowable after a ban comes into effect on P.E.I. on July 1.

The ban's main target is grocery store bags, but covers other shopping bags as well. There are exceptions, such as bags for bulk foods, meat, and tires.

Island Waste Management CEO Gerry Moore listed a number of reasons for sticking with the bags.

Having a separate bag for paper means there is less contamination, he said, which makes it more marketable for recycling.

There are also significant savings on collection, which means Islanders pay lower rates.

"It provides for efficient and low-cost collection because we don't need cart tipper trucks that are quite a bit more expensive," said Moore.

"The rates that Islanders pay are based on what it costs us to provide the service, so if we went to a cart system we'd have, number one, the added cost of 70,000-plus blue bins,"

In addition, people would have to find space for a third bin, which Moore said is an issue for some residences, particularly multi-unit apartment buildings.

The blue bags are also recyclable, he said, with regular markets. Grocery store bag recycling is less certain.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Laura Chapin

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