March 13th, 2019

NDP introduces plastic bag ban

HALIFAX - The NDP Caucus will introduce legislation today to phase-in a ban on single-use plastic bags.

“Businesses, community groups, municipalities, and environmentalists have all called for a provincial ban on single-use plastic bags, but the McNeil government is refusing to listen,” said Lenore Zann, NDP Environment and Climate Change spokesperson. “We are saying government needs to take responsibility to protect our environment so there are clear standards across the province. The time for talking is over. It is time for action.”

HRM Mayor Mike Savage wrote to the province in February 2018 requesting a province-wide ban. So far, the Liberals have failed to act on this request.

Community organizations have been mobilizing across the province to push for major reductions in single-use plastic. One such group, Plastic Free Lunenburg, is working with community organizations, businesses and local municipalities to take action.

“Businesses are telling us that they want to see provincial-wide action to create a level-playing field on single-use plastics. The lack of action by the provincial government is resulting in a patchwork approach at the municipal level which is less favourable for businesses,” said Jennifer Constable, one of the founders of Plastic Free Lunenburg. “A province-wide ban on single-use plastic bags is the first step towards a broader reduction of single-use plastics.”

Prince Edward Island was the first province to ban single-use plastic bags. The PEI ban came into effect in January 2019. Other jurisdictions around the world have banned single-use plastic bags, including Canadian cities like Montreal and Tofino.