2019-01-23

Group to host public sessions concerning regulating plastic use in Lunenburg

by Keith Corcoran

A citizens group backed by environmental stewards and the business sector plans a three-hour public meeting this month to gauge support for reducing and regulating single-use plastics in Lunenburg.

Plastic Free Lunenburg is also hosting five days of public open house-style consultations as it works toward the end-goal of convincing town council to institute a bylaw to ban sale and distribution of single-use plastics. The ban would impact items such as straws, beverage bottles and take-out containers.

The group has already asked Lunenburg to enact legislation targeting single-use polymer-derived plastics; material involved in making certain cups, lid; and the thin film used for wrapping and sealing food.

The three-hour session at the Lunenburg fire station, off Medway Street, takes place January 24 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Teresa Quilty, a spokeswoman for Plastic Free Lunenburg, said speakers during the first hour will highlight what's planned and dispel any myths. She said the second hour is a workshop involving attendees concerning support for elimination targets and any concerns or issues. Quilty said the last hour is a debrief and discussion about next steps.

"There's really an overabundance of plastic in the world that has been produced," she told LighthouseNOW. "There's a glut now in terms of our ability to recycle that plastic, and as it is, there's a lot of limitations with recycling single-use plastics anyway. It's not something that we can endlessly recycle; they really are ending up in landfills or in our environment where they're very harmful and it's only getting worse."

The open house drop-in style events take place at the Lunenburg School of the Arts, off Prince Street, from 1 to 4 p.m. January 25 to 27, inclusive, and between 5 and 8 p.m. on January 28 and 29.

Plastic Free Lunenburg affirms the town produces a large amount of plastic pollution each year and a lot of it ends up - and breaks up - in the environment where it lasts for years and can put habitats and wildlife at risk

The group, which partners with the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation, describes single-use plastic as a world-wide crisis, saying the equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic enters the ocean every minute. Information provided by the group indicated 400 million plastic bags are used in Nova Scotia every year.

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