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Tofino becomes first municipality in B.C. to ban single-use plastic utensils

Click to play video: 'Tofino becomes first B.C. Municipality to ban single-use plastic cutlery' Tofino becomes first B.C. Municipality to ban single-use plastic cutlery
Tofino is the first municipality in B.C. to ban single-use plastic cutlery. The district is expanding a bylaw that already prohibits plastic bags and straws. But as Kylie Stanton reports, one environmental group aspires to have more items added to the list. – Mar 17, 2022

Tofino has become the first municipality in B.C. to ban single-use plastic utensils, including spoons, forks, knives, chopsticks and stir sticks.

The District of Tofino made the announcement on March 11 after collaborating with the organization Surfrider Pacific Rim in the fall of 2019.

On Feb. 22, the District of Tofino adopted the Single-Use Item Regulation Amendment Bylaw, which added plastic utensils to the already banned single-use item list, the district confirmed.

This list also includes polystyrene takeaway containers, plastic straws and checkout bags.

Businesses now have a transition period of six months before any enforcement on the new bylaw begins, the district added.

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Surfrider Pacific Rim said it wanted to focus on plastic cutlery as it cannot be processed at most recycling facilities and therefore ends up in landfills.

Bioplastic cannot be composted on the west coast and studies have shown it does not readily break down in the marine environment and therefore poses similar environmental threats as conventional fossil-based plastics.

“We’re at a crucial point in history. The planet is beyond its ability to absorb the negative externalities of a linear economic system, and our communities are ready and willing to take more drastic action to curb the plastics crisis,” Amorita Adair, chair of Surfrider Pacific Rim.

Tofino Mayor Dan Law said this is a great step forward in the fight against plastic pollution.

“This is one win in a larger battle, and I look forward to further initiatives to keep our local and regional communities at the forefront in the fight against plastic waste,” he said.

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In 2019, Tofino and Ucluelet became the first in B.C. to ban plastic bags and straws.

The District of Ucluelet is expected to follow the same bylaw amendment in the coming weeks.

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Tofino and Ucluelet introduce single-use plastics ban on World Oceans Day – Jun 8, 2019

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