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    Carmacks Bans Single-Use Plastic Bags

    Plastic and miscellaneous items floating in the ocean (Courtesy of the European Parliament)

    The ban came into force on August 1st, replacing the 25 cent plastic bag fee that had previously been in place.

    Carmacks has just implemented its official single-use plastic bag ban.

    The ban came into force on August 1st, replacing the 25 cent plastic bag fee that had previously been in place.

    In regards to how the ban came to fruition, Mayor of Carmacks, Lee Bodie, says, "They pitched the idea to them (Chamber of Commerce) about having everybody charge the customer 25 cents per plastic bag to help recover the costs for recycling. Every business and both the Chamber of Commerce's unanimously said 'just ban the bags.'"

    Bodie suggests the ban will help reduce the amount of plastics in the landfills and in the environment. There are up to 15 billion plastic bags used each year in Canada alone. Less than 10% of these plastic bags are recycled.

    Plastic in the environment has been a popular topic in media recently as more research is showing the devastating effects plastics in the ocean is having on the environment.

    Carmacks is still offering paper bags free of charge, and in the months leading up to the ban, Carmacks Renewable Resources Council provided residents with cloth bags.

    Bodie feels plastic bags are not needed anymore as other options are being provided, "It's a no-brainer. We don't need the plastic bags. The recyclable bags will work fine, and we, the store here, have switched to paper bags."

    Now that plastic bags will no longer be offered, Bodie encourages people to bring their own reusable bags when in Carmacks. He says, "You won't find plastic bags in Carmacks anymore. We expect people to, you know, if you've got a cloth bag, bring it. Start your own future."

    This is one ban of many taking place across Canada as the country moves to a plastic free environment.

    The only other part of the Yukon to ban plastic bags has been Mayo, which banned the bags over ten years ago.

    It can be expected to see more of these bans in the upcoming months as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in June that Canada would ban all single-use plastics by 2021.

    The ban will include straws, plastic bags, and disposable water bottles.

    Trudeau said in a statement regarding the announcement "Canadians know first-hand the impacts of plastic pollution, and are tired of seeing their beaches, parks, streets, and shorelines littered with plastic waste. We have a responsibility to work with our partners to reduce plastic pollution, protect the environment, and create jobs and grow our economy. We owe it to our kids to keep the environment clean and safe for generations to come".

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