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Survey finds that majority in Newfoundland oppose banning plastic shopping bags

The survey, conducted on behalf of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, found that 55% of residents of the province oppose banning plastic shopping bags.


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May 20, 2019 by Canadian Plastics

A majority of people in Newfoundland and Labrador who were contacted in a random live-telephone survey do not approve of banning plastic shopping bags.

The survey – which found that 55% of residents oppose banning plastic shopping bags – was conducted shortly before Newfoundland and Labrador announced that it is planning to proceed with just such a ban. The timeline for the implementation of the ban, as well as exemptions to that ban, have not yet been announced.

The survey was a live-phone, random sample survey of 694 respondents with a margin of error of 3.7% 19 times out of 20. It was conducted by the full-service research and strategy firm Campaign Research from March 22-24, 2019, on behalf of the Toronto-based Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA).

Campaign Research Inc. is a Gold Seal Member of Canada’s Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA).

“The findings of this survey couldn’t be clearer that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians do not want a ban on plastic shopping bags when shown the science and they want the government to pursue a different approach,” said Joe Hruska, the CPIA’s vice president, sustainability. “Residents really don’t want a ban on plastic bags. Ninety-one percent of respondents indicated that they want the freedom of choice to practice the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle. The survey also found that 63% want to be able to continue to reuse their bags to manage household waste and 81% already use reusable bags when shopping.”

Both the Newfoundland Government and industry live-phone surveys found the same usage patterns for plastic bags, CPIA said: high adoption rates for reusable bags replacing conventional plastic bags (75% government adoption rate vs 81% industry survey) as well as a high reuse rate for plastic bags (72% in the government report versus 63% in the industry survey).

“The plastic bag industry contends there is a better solution to reduce usage of conventional plastic bags and solve the island’s serious windblown litter and landfill management problems,” CPIA said. “First, the government needs to embrace science and not make the anti-environmental choice to use paper bags. Second, they should mandate a province-wide bag fee, and third, work with municipalities to put in better landfill management systems to eliminate windblown litter.”