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Too soon to talk about plastics ban, Colchester mayor says

The growing stockpile of waste plastic film products at the Materials Recovery Facility in Kemptown has reached the point where they have run out of indoor storage space.
The growing stockpile of waste plastic film products at the Materials Recovery Facility in Kemptown has reached the point where they have run out of indoor storage space. - Harry Sullivan

TRURO, N.S. – Colchester County is awaiting the results of a staff report on the implications of what a ban on plastic grocery bags would mean to local residents before making a final decision on the issue.

Council passed a motion last week stating: “That the North Region Committee be informed, through Councillor (Tom) Taggart as Chair of that Committee, that the Municipality is waiting on a report from our Working Committee before making a decision on the banning of plastic bags.”

Taggart had requested that the item be placed on the council agenda following a recent meeting of the North Region Committee. During that meeting, which was held in Debert, the members of the regional committee agreed to recommend to their respective councils that they send a collective message to the Nova Scotia government of support for a province-wide ban.

But Colchester Mayor Christine Blair said council is not ready to agree to that recommendation.

“And we said ‘no,’ because we are exploring the issue,” she told the Truro Daily News by telephone Monday morning.

“At this point, council is not supporting a ban on plastics, we are looking into the issue, taking it very seriously. We want to have the facts on the whole thing and then we can take it from there.”

Municipalities across North America and beyond are dealing with growing stockpiles of waste, film plastic – primarily grocery bags – since China stopped importing the products last year.

“If we get an overseas market and apparently an overseas market has been identified, then that is another short-term solution,” Blair said. “What we need is a provincial, local solution to the whole issue, how are we going to handle these plastics?”

In the meantime, she said council will be waiting on the results of its working committee on the issue, after which it will prepare for discussions with the province.

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