Montreal has done it and so did Vancouver. Banning plastics will save the environment, but Ottawa is taking baby steps. According to the council’s environment chair, David Chernushenko, Ottawa is not a bold city to make radical changes:
“Ottawa, on a lot of environmental things, is a cautious city, not first to leading the parade.”
He explains that the mentality of the population is not as the one in Vancouver:
“We don’t have the population behind us like Vancouver saying, ‘Do more, do faster.’ That’s a reality, not a judgment. It is who we are.”
His motion on reducing plastic waste and update the municipal waste strategy was debated by a council, with two votes against it: Jan Harder’s and Allan Hubley’s. However, the motion passed and will soon start reducing plastic items. Ottawa citizens will see less plastic cutlery, cups, single-use plastic bags, straws, takeout containers, and Styrofoam.
Focusing on Bigger Waste Issues
Chernushenko explains they constantly receive emails from people asking why Ottawa doesn’t ban plastics like Montreal or Vancouver. He then added that Ottawa will not start banning things until they consider all the ramifications:
Harder argued at the meeting that there are other problems regarding garbage:
“When we have a light agenda, sometimes things get downright silly.”
He explains that there are issues bigger than the plastics: the waste from the industrial, commercial and institutional area, which produces 70% of the garbage in Ottawa. And while the city hall only controls the 30% waste generated by the residential sector, the rest of 70% is a bigger issue.
Ottawa is open to any solution in making people recycle and use the green bins to reduce the garbage which is sent to the Trail Road dump. Around the middle of next year, people in the city will be able to put plastic bags and dog waste in the green bins too.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.