The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) has gone on the PR offensive with a new website designed to counter some of the myths and promote the facts surrounding plastic bags in hopes of changing Toronto city councillors’ decision to ban the bags.
In June, Toronto made the decision to ban plastic bags entirely effective Jan. 1, 2013. Since then, the CPIA has been arguing that revising the ban is responsible from a number of angles, including environmental.
The website – www.AllAboutBags.ca – says plastic bags are no worse than the reusable bags sold in grocery stores, and that in fact reusable bags can have a larger environmental footprint.
Because heavy-duty reusable bags take more resources to make and are not recyclable, they are only more beneficial if used frequently and for multiple purposes, according to the website. It also says paper bags a larger environmental footprint than plastic bags because of the resources required to make them.
“This is a complex issue; all bags, whether used as carry bags or to manage household waste, have environmental impacts,” said Marion Axmith, the Toronto-based CPIA’s general director. “Toronto’s decision to ban plastic shopping bags was made based on misconceptions about bags and the environment and without analysis of the facts and the consequences of a ban.”
The website also notes that total bans on plastic shopping bags that have been imposed on the public in other countries have failed; and that 90 per cent of plastic bags used in Canada are made locally, while 90 per cent of reusable bags are made overseas in countries like China – plastic bags, therefore, help provide more jobs for Canadians.