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Fort McMurray to ban plastic shopping bags
Sort: News of Nonwoven bag  Click: 2238  Date: 2018-12-11 6:50:21 [Font size: Large Medium Small]

Fort McMurray resident Robert Vargo won't be able to pop into the grocery store on his way home from work if he doesn't have reusable bags with him anymore, but he says it's a small inconvenience that will help the environment.www.zjbag.com

"Everybody's going to have to make some adjustments in order to correct the environment problem," Vargo said.www.zjbag.com

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo's council passed a bylaw on Tuesday that bans shopping bags such as plastic and paper or biodegradable shopping bags.www.zjbag.com

A local high school student gathered nearly 2,500 signatures in support of a ban on single-use shopping bags last year and presented the petition to a city councillor who tabled the motion last spring, Fort McMurray Mayor Melissa Blake said.www.zjbag.com

But bags from fast-food restaurants, pharmacies, and bags used to purchase bulk items such as produce will be allowed under the bylaw, Blake said.www.zjbag.com

Liquor stores will also be allowed to distribute bags so that people won't walk around with exposed bottles, she said.www.zjbag.com

"We want to be more responsible and sustainable in our practices, whether it's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, water conservation, recycling, all of these things we've done for the same purpose," Blake said.www.zjbag.com

Although council heard from some Fort McMurray business owners and residents who were in opposition, there was surprisingly little controversy surrounding the bylaw, Blake said.www.zjbag.com

"I've got to say, my initial reaction was surprise about how much public support there really was throughout the entire process," she said.www.zjbag.com

The bag ban will make it difficult for people without cars and who walk or rely on transit to make impulsive purchases, said Willie Engelbrecht, who owns a specialty import food store in Fort McMurray and opposes the bylaw.www.zjbag.com

"It's easy to say we're green, but what happens to the poorest of the poor in our community?www.zjbag.com

"The people who have to travel with taxis, people who have to walk to do their shopping. What happens to them? I don't think this law has ever considered them," Engelbrecht said.www.zjbag.com

Fort McMurray isn't usually noticed for its contributions to the environment, Vargo added.www.zjbag.com

"Everybody looks at us in Fort Mc-Murray as being dirty oilsands. Well, that's not true.www.zjbag.com

"This will help a little, that we're as concerned about the environment as anybody else -- probably more, because we live here," Vargo said.www.zjbag.com

The bylaw will come into effect September 2010.

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