Over 68% of Brossard citizens prefer a voluntary approach
BROSSARD, QC, Feb. 15, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - A CROP poll of Brossard citizens released today by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) shows that a strong majority of Brossard citizens (68%) prefer a VOLUNTARY approach to bag reduction based on the 3R's (reduce, reuse and recycle). According to the poll, only 28% support banning bags by municipal decree.
The poll also confirms that the bags have high secondary reuse (56%) which debunks the myth that thin plastic bags are single use – they are in fact multi-purpose, multi-use bags – and that if a ban is forced on residents, it will not eliminate plastic from the waste stream as residents (38%) will replace the thinner bags with thicker "kitchen catcher type" plastic bags.
In light of this new evidence, industry is calling on Brossard city council to suspend all bag ban legislative activity until it undertakes an extensive public consultation with its residents who clearly prefer traditional environmental management principles like the 3R's over top-down command approaches to product stewardship.
"The poll shows that Brossard City Council is completely out of step with its citizens," said Marc Robitaille, local bag manufacturer employing 80 and member of the CPIA. "Top down approaches don't work because bag bans have unintended consequences that harm the environment and the economy. At a minimum, citizens deserve to have a clear understanding of how a ban will hurt them in their daily lives."
The industry would like Brossard to follow the lead of Mayor Coderre and open up a dialogue on the issue and an agreement reached on the best approach that protects the environment and the local economy. Retailers, convenience store operators, independent business, and manufacturers are very concerned about the anti-democratic approach to this issue that has been taken by Brossard City Council which has refused all requests to meet and based its decision on one question in one poll last year.
"Informed decision-making is essential if we are to protect the environment," adds Robitaille. "As an industry, we strongly support source reduction and the responsible use of bags (reuse and recycling). We have already eliminated 52% of the bags from the waste stream, have built recycling capacity in order to increase the recycling and reuse rate, which is now of 93%. This is why bags are today a tiny fraction of the waste stream at 0.27% and are close to zero waste. Only essential bags should remain in the system."
The industry and retailers both contend that the best way to secure real reductions is to change consumer behavior with public education and one of the best places to do that in store at checkout with "do-you-need-a-bag" programs.
"We believe strongly that the only way to protect the environment is to work together as a society – government, retailers, manufacturers, and consumers," Robitaille contends. "That is why the 2008-2010 Provincial Voluntary Reduction Program worked and achieved the 52% reduction in just two years of a five-year program."
The poll was a telephone survey of 500 Brossard citizens conducted by CROP between January 26 and February 7, 2016. The margin of error is 4.4% with a confidence level of 95%.
About the Canadian Plastics Industry Association
The Canadian Plastics Industry Association is the national voice of Canada's plastics industry, and has represented the interests of processors, material suppliers, equipment manufacturers and brand owners across the country since 1943.
Details of the conducted survey are available upon request (French and English).
SOURCE Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA)
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