Thursday, February 14, 2008

Letter To The Editor - Feb 14, 2008 - From Paul Richard - RE: Support Plastic Bag Phase out

Students support plastic bag phase out

Representatives of a group of environmental students from Kwantlen University College spoke in favour of the motion to phase out plastic bags in the City of Vancouver, and presented a petition to that effect.
The petition collected over 700 signatures in support of a tax to discourage the unnecessary use of the bags. While the motion does not refer to a tax, the intent of the petition is the same, said Ashley Bangsund, a spokesperson for the group. "We asked for a tax because we thought it was one of the ways to reduce the excessive use of the bags", said Bangsund, "But we support any measure, including this motion, that produces the same final effect".
The petition was created as part of a class project in the environmental program they were attending at Kwantlen. The student group, called BABE for "Bring A Bag Everywhere", quickly garnered support among the public in Vancouver as well as from SAFE (Students Active For the Environment), the environmental club of Kwantlen student association. The signatures were collected in June and July last summer, but the on-line version of the petition is still active and the public can add their say at
The students pointed out that billions of bags end up in litter every year worldwide, and that Canadians consume 55 million new bags per week. They added that hundred of thousand of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.
Paul Richard, the faculty liaison for SAFE, also spoke in favour of the motion. Richard pointed out that, far from being a minor issue in waste management, plastic bags represent a huge problem. "Phasing out the bags has a huge symbolic value as well", added Richard. "People are hungry for leadership on environmental issues; phasing out the bags increases awareness of how wasteful these are, and this motion shows that our politicians can have a positive influence and restore hope in a solution."
For information contact
Ashley Bangsund 604-221-8546
Paul Richard 604-599-2556

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