City’s plastic bag litter is disappearing

Change attributed to reusable shopping bag trend

Posted By Joelle Tomek/EXAMINER STAFF

Posted 7 days ago
The reduction in retail paper and plastic bags since 2007 can be attributed, in part, to the efforts by retailers to discontinue use of plastic bags and promoting reusable bags instead.

Two years ago, bad waste disposal habits were putting the gross into grocery bags.

But last year’s litter audit shows Edmontonians are cleaning up their act – at least where plastic bags are concerned.

In 2007, Capital City Clean Up’s first litter audit indicated that plastic bags accounted for 1.4 per cent of the city’s wayward waste. But the plastic bag share of Edmonton’s litter was almost three times less in 2009.

“(It’s) very significant,” says Capital City Clean Up manager Don Belanger. “The drop in retail paper and plastic bags in 2009 was substantial.”

He says the litter clean up program is also targeting other plastic litter, such as sandwich bags, garbage bags and plastic wrappers.

“There are in fact two types of plastic bag litter – retail and non retail,” Belanger adds. “With the retail industry taking the lead, we are already seeing a reduction in retail plastic bags.”

Belanger credits a recent consumer trend with much of the shopping bag success.

“The reduction in retail paper and plastic bags since 2007 can be attributed, in part, to the efforts by retailers to discontinue use of plastic bags and promoting reusable bags instead,” he says. “That is why we are pleased to see that the retail industry is taking a leading role in reducing retail paper and plastic bags.”

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