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    Iqaluit Moves Towards Plastic Bag Ban

    Courtesy of Mother Nature Network

    The development of the ban includes research on other areas of Canada which have introduced similar bans.

    Iqaluit city council is making a move towards banning single-use plastic bags. The development of the ban includes research on other areas of Canada which have introduced similar bans. This ban comes after much public urging by hunters and fishers in the area, citing concerns of damage to forests and bodies of water from the plastic bags. There are up to 15 billion plastic bags used each year in Canada alone. Less than 10% of these plastic bags are recycled.

    A concern from the public in Iqaluit is the number of animals discovered with plastic in their stomachs. A non-profit called Worldwatch Institute reports that at least 267 species of marine wildlife are known to have suffered from entanglement or ingestion of plastic which winds up in the oceans. Similarly there have been reports of plastic found in caribou and moose stomachs.   .

    Iqaluit city is one of many communities moving toward banning plastics.

    Last year, Victoria B.C. banned single use plastic bags, and on July 1st Prince Edward Island did the same, marking the first ever province wide plastic-bag ban. Montreal's plastic bag ban went into place on January 1st, 2018. Many Canadian cities like Iqaluit are working on passing bans, such as Vancouver, which plans to ban plastic bags by 2020.

    These plastic bag bans are expected to increase as last month Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the intention to ban all single use plastics across Canada by 2021, including straws, plastic bags, and 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

    The Iqaluit city council hopes to have their ban in place by January 1st, 2020.

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