By Lethbridge Herald on May 6, 2018.
Re: “Ottawa launches dialogue about waste,” Lethbridge Herald, April 23.
Politicians, Greenpeace and other “authorities” who vocalize about post-consumer plastic in the waste stream all seem to make the same mistake — blaming consumers for the billions of plastic products besieging them — most enticingly packaged with more chemically modified petroleum selling and sealing the product.
Look at it — it’s mostly marketing with little to do with product usefulness. Rarely spoken of is an industrial standard, hint of morality or industrial or manufacturer responsibility! The yakking centres around the consumer — what modification to their behaviours will tame the beast? Realistically, on a consumption-gone-mad planet approaching eight billion people, is there an answer?
My toothbrush comes encapsulated in plastic on a thick paper advertising card contaminated with ink and glue, creating more landfill fodder. Couldn’t this ubiquitous product simply have a cap over the business end to keep it clean and safe? I do not need any part of the useless package it arrived in, which, after I rip and tear the product from, becomes my responsibility … my fault … my guilt!
Recently Environment Minster McKenna informed that “We have to develop a national strategy to cut back on how much plastic Canadians use and toss away.” Later, during Earth Day 2018 in Eastern Passage, N.S., Minister McKenna announced she’ll create a “public online consultation to help pinpoint ways for the country to eliminate plastic waste and reduce marine litter.”
Eliminating plastic waste (not possible) should begin at point of manufacture, not after I’ve ripped the toothbrush from the packaging. Nothing from Minister McKenna, Greenpeace or anyone else, indicating any interest in nailing manufacturers/industries creating these unconscionable messes with magnitudes unimaginable beyond stir sticks, flossers and straws! As it is with curbside recycling schemes, the residential taxpayer responsible for less than 20 per cent of the problem attracts the flak, gets hung with financing the wreck — the sordid yoke of disposal — while the majority merrily contaminate and pollute recklessly well under the radar or sensibilities of a plan demonstrating progress and leadership!
Alvin W. Shier