Invermere and Radium discuss plastics ban

Straw and bag ban discussed at by Valley councillors

By Dauna Ditson

reporter@columbiavalleypioneer.com

At the latest District of Invermere and Village of Radium Hot Springs council meetings, councillors discussed banning plastic bags and straws.

Invermere Councillor Paul Denchuk raised the issue of banning plastic bags after visiting Tofino and being impressed with how little plastic waste the community produced.

Mr. Denchuk said his proposal “received a lukewarm response” but he’s going to keep trying. He intends to draft a bylaw banning plastic bags and straws to bring to council by the summer.

Following the discussion in Invermere, the Radium council also debated how to reduce plastic waste.

Mayor Clara Reinhart said she reuses her bags until they wear out and is “a zealot” about it. Even so, she doesn’t think the decision about plastic bags and plastic straws is for council to make.

“I like the idea of businesses taking the lead,” she said, adding that a challenge with creating a bylaw is the question of “who is going to enforce it.”

One challenge with bylaws is that they can end up in court.

The City of Victoria will have to go to court to defend its own bylaw against plastic bags. The Canadian Plastic Bag Association is issuing a legal challenge against the ban, which is scheduled to begin on July 1st.

Mr. Denchuk said lobby groups like the plastic association should not keep communities from taking better care of the environment.

“We just need to push the dinosaurs aside and keep moving forward,” he said.

Radium council is taking a different approach. They aren’t going to ban plastic bags or straws, but Councillor Mike Gray, who owns Horsethief Creek Pub & Eatery, said he and other business owners could be part of the solution when it comes to disposable straws.

While Mr. Gray said biodegradable straws cost five times more than plastic straws, other businesses who’ve swapped out their straws have been able to lower their costs by providing straws only on request. Mr. Gray said he would talk with other businesses about their interest in using fewer straws.

Sydney-Anne Porter, part owner of Valley Foods in Invermere, thinks businesses and customers should be able to choose what they use to carry their groceries home. While Valley Foods uses biodegradable bags and sells cloth bags, Ms. Porter is looking for additional options to reduce plastic waste. She recommends that customers store their wallets in their cloth bags so they remember their bags when they leave home.

But Mr. Denchuk said it’s going to take more than good intentions for the communities to do better. He said a bylaw is necessary to help people change their habits around plastic waste.

Just Posted

New on-reserve housing for Akisqnuk

Six-plex first of 28 units to be built; first new homes in 25+ years

Slocan Ramblers mosey into town

CV Arts presents Slocan Ramberls Thursday, March 28th

Seniors association advocates for Valley health

Letter-writing campaign underway now

Market move placed on hold

Invermere market will remain in current 6th Ave. location for now

Family loses everything in Canal Flats trailer fire

GoFund me page started for the Soucy family

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Most Read