Banning Single-Use Items in Prince George
Many organizations have a strong interest in this sort of topic, and any of them might provide reports or statistics. Try to think of the stakeholders in such a decision, then go directly to their sites rather than spending your time searching randomly.
- Which government agencies (at all levels - municipal, provincial, federal, and beyond) might care about such a ban? Which ones have already taken similar actions?
- Which advocacy organizations might care? Environmental activists? Retail industry associations?
- Are there any companies or public organizations that have implemented similar bans? Do they provide their justification and results at their sites?
I'll provide some examples of such organizations below, but note that these are just some random examples that I've come across in my initial, exploratory searching. Search widely!
I'll also discuss other resources -- news, e-books, and articles -- that may help you spot other examples of relevant organizations, and that might help you understand the issues and perspectives surrounding this complex topic.
NOTE: The regulatory and public opinion aspects of this topic have changed rapidly in the last few years. Be sure to seek out the newest information, but also don't discount older information that may still be relevant!
(Some of the links in this section go straight to government sites; others go to news articles about specific government initiatives that you could research further. Also, many of the proposed/draft policies discussed have since gone on to be enacted. Dig deeper on each government site to learn more!)
- Prince George:
- City of Prince George: Environment - learn about PG's 2020 Climate Change Mitigation Plan and more
- And their Garbage Collection page will help you understand current recycling options as well as the results of their waste audits.
- Pre-run search of PG City Council Minutes and Reports that mention "single use"
- Vancouver: As you've likely heard, the latest phase in Vancouver's single-use item ban came into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. I'm sure you'll read all about any implementation issues and consumer/business reactions in the news. (See my News section below for databases to help you find such articles.) Are you also interested in the consultation and deliberation that went into that decision? If so, check out...
- Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy Consultation Paper - an early draft version of the new City of Vancouver strategy
- this recent Vancouver Sun story about the staff recommendation to City Council
- News article about the initial passing of the bylaw: Vancouver city council bans plastic straws and white foam containers.
- Read more about Vancouver's long-term, Zero Waste 2040 plans.
- England - charging for plastic bags to reduce usage
- European Union - proposing a broad ban
- Queensland, Australia: Implementing a lightweight plastic shopping bag ban in Queensland: Discussion paper
- New Westminster - considering a ban
- The State of Maharashtra, India - banning plastic products statewide
- Malibu, California - in the midst of implementing a ban on plastic straws, stirrers and utensils in restaurants
- Austin, Texas - bag ban in place
- Seattle - ban and charges started in 2017
- New York State - An Analysis of the Impact of Single-Use Plastic Bags Options for New York State Plastic Bag Legislation
- Kenya - banning plastic bags
- Taiwan - staged banning of many plastic products over the next several years
- France - banning plastic cups and plates
- Also see our Green City guide, created to support research on a broader BUS 360W topic assigned a few years ago.
- I see that the UN released a report on the plastic bans enacted by dozens of countries: Single-use plastics: A roadmap for sustainability. Be sure to check their site for further resources on this topic.
- BBC - banning all single-use plastics
- More on McDonalds: McDonald's to ditch plastic straws (BBC)
- The Last Straw - advocacy organization focused specifically on plastic straws: a great place to read about initiatives that you can then research further
- We're drowning in seas of plastic - David Suzuki Foundation: be sure to follow the links plus look for additional resources on the Suzuki site
- Retail Council of Canada - Start with the RCC's page on "BC single-use bylaw updates", but be sure to dig deeper on their site to find such resources as Shopping bag and single-use plastic regulations across Canada.
- Stop Plastics - a Canadian advocacy organization that provides a detailed list of jurisdictions with varying types of bans in place (most of which you could google for more details!)
- College Campus Toolkit: Protect Your Right to Purchase Bottled Water - The Healthiest Packaged Beverage Choice - an International Bottled Water Association resource developed to help stop bans on bottled water
- The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics - World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
- Canadian Plastics Industry Association - lists some of the municipal and provincial battlegrounds in which the CPIA has fought against bans
This is definitely a hot and contentious topic... perfect for news articles. Remember to look for any mentions of specific organizations, experts, or studies in such articles, then follow those clues to original (and usually more comprehensive) sources.
- For example, this recent Globe & Mail article mentions many studies, issues, and examples of bans, each of which is a clue that you could investigate further: Replacing plastics will require a consumer revolution
- And this Guardian article expands the discussion from a focus on pollution prevention to a look at the effect on oil demand and production: Plastic bans worldwide will dent oil demand growth, says BP
- Even articles that don't mention sources may be useful if they bring up issues and perspectives you hadn't yet considered. For example: Reducing waste by banning plastic straws shouldn't come at the expense of accessibility (CBC - be sure to read the Comments below the article for additional perspectives on this issue.)
- Another example showing how important it is to regularly read the news for this fast-changing topic: City of Victoria wins court battle over right to ban plastic bags - thus clarifying the scope of the legal powers of Canadian municipalities in these sorts of situations.
- And another recent article... this one is about recent developments in Burnaby. Perhaps their desire to avoid a "patchwork" of responses applies to PG as well?
- Focus on local news in PG:
- Local newspaper, Prince George Citizen - sample article: Prince George council to discuss impacts of potential single-use plastic bag ban
- Local TV station, CKPG - sample article: Single-use plastics ban coming to PG?
Databases for news:
- Canadian Newsstream covers most major Canadian newspapers, as well as many smaller-city papers: (sample search).
- Factiva for news articles from around the world, including articles from many business publications such as the Wall Street Journal
Databases for business and environment magazine (and journal) articles:
- Business Source Complete covers such publications as Plastics News, Waste360, and Packaging News - sample search
Found via the SFU Library Catalogue:
- Plastic legacies : pollution, persistence, and politics - 2021 title: "Moving beyond policy changes, this volume offers a critique of neoliberal approaches to tackling the plastics crisis and explores how politics and communicative action are key to implementing social, cultural, and economic change."
- Plastics Waste Management: Processing and Disposal - 2019 title that "provides clear explanations for newcomers to the subject as well as contemporary details and theory for the experienced user in plastics waste management."
- Plastic Waste and Recycling: Environmental Impact, Societal Issues, Prevention, and Solutions - 2020 title with more of a technical perspective, but invaluable if you want to understand the scientific background to some of the challenges involved in plastic waste, both degradable and non-degradable.
- Understanding plastics recycling : economic, ecological, and technical aspects of plastic waste handling
2. Public opinion polling firms:
- Paper or Plastic...or Neither? British Columbians Prefer Bio-Degradable Plastic Bags (scroll to the bottom for detailed tables)
- War on plastic heats up as beverage giants push water in a can (again, scroll down to see a link to the full report)
- BC Residents Are Extremely Concerned (86%) About Declining Salmon Stocks As Well As Climate Change (76%) and Single Use Plastics (75%), and Most British Columbians (75%) Believe That Open-Net Salmon Pens Need to Be Transitioned to Land-Based Pens (includes detailed data tabulations)
- Vast majority (88%) of BC residents concerned about the environmental impact of single-use plastics, 81% support the Federal Government’s proposed ban (detailed data tabulations)
- Metro Vancouverites Support Deposit-Refund Program for Coffee Cups
<No further suggestions yet - but keep checking. Also, don't forget that this is your wiki: you are welcome to add any tips here whenever you'd like. --- MB>