Municipalities in Greater Moncton are reviewing plastic bag usage — but they’re looking for your help.
The Cities of Moncton and Dieppe, along with the Town of Riverview, have partnered with Eco360, the local waste management facility, to launch a survey on the topic.
It features questions asking whether you would support a ban or how much you’d be willing to pay for the single-use bags, as well as what alternatives should be considered instead of plastic bags.
“There are all kinds of options out there,” says Meghan Cross, who is the communications coordinator for the Town of Riverview.
“We’re taking it to the community to hear what the public wants to see changed in this area with respect to single-use waste.”
While some people appreciate the convenience of plastic bags others are strongly opposed.
“They should be done away with universally right across the board,” says shopper Richard Hatt.
He says a fee would only be effective if it was about $.25.
Fees are already charged at some stores – an effective approach for some of those who shop and who work.
“Just reminding people that if they have to pay for it, then it’s a good thing to perhaps get away from,” says fellow shopper Heather Macintyre.
Meanwhile, Suzie Verreault, a Dollarama employee says charging 5 cents for a plastic bag has been a good way to get people considering other options.
“A lot of people will prefer not to use the plastic bags; they’ll buy our eco bags,” she said.
All plastic waste comes through Eco360 and is sorted by staff.
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“(Plastic bags) can be quite problematic, and they’re difficult to deal with,” Gena Alderson, Eco360’s Waste Diversion Coordinator.
“We do get them obviously through the blue bags, and they are light and sticky so they wrap around our material or get stuck with other material, and they’ll end up as contamination at the end of the line.”
The survey closes at the end of November.
The next meeting of the Greater Moncton municipalities is slated for the spring, meaning it will take some time before changes are made.
“There’s considerable effort that needs to go into the public education component, working with our stakeholders in the commercial side of things,” says Cross. “We’ll be looking at several, several months down the road.”