Every minute, approximately 10 million carrier bags are used across the world. In a single year, a typical Canadian can handle between 300 and 700 plastic bags, which mean that Canadians use over 9 billion plastic bags each year.
With the implementation of a by-law to eliminate the distribution of single-use plastic bags, it is expected that plastic use will be reduced in the City of Saint John. The introduction of the by-law is aimed to help with the plastic predicament.
The Saint John Common Council recently voted on the By-law’s first and second readings respecting the Removal of Single Use Plastic Bags within the city. This follows what other municipalities in New Brunswick and the Maritimes have already done to eradicate plastic waste.
If passed, the by-law will be taken back to the Council for a third reading, awaiting it to take effect on July 1, 2021. Once implemented, businesses will not use single-use plastic bags during checkout.
Currently, some local businesses are encouraging consumers to carry their own bags as a measure to support the new legislation. Some businesses are also providing alternative, environmentally friendly choices to their customers, such as containers, recyclable paper bags, and boxes.
However, there are things that are excluded from the ban of plastic bag use. These plastic bags include bags that package loose bulk products such as vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts, grains, or candy. Bags that package small manufacturing items including bolt and nails and bolts; and cover tires are also exempted from the band.
By the end of 2021, the federal government seeks to enact a blanket prohibition on single-use plastics.