The environment is crucial to the survival of the planet and the species living on it, including humans. While there is always room for improvement, Canadians have done a decent job at keeping our neighbourhoods clean with extensive recycling and waste management programs. We need to do our best to identify polluters, be they residential, commercial, or industrial, and through due process stop and fine them and ensure that clean-up efforts are regulated.
Incidents of major pollution frequently come from lesser developed areas mainly located in China, India, and Africa. In several communities within those locations photographers have captured scenes of rivers that are overflowing with trash. This trash ultimately flows downstream into lakes or the world’s oceans. When you see pictures of tons of plastics and other contaminants in the water, or the clean-up efforts of these areas, nearly all those photos were not taken in Canada.
The banning of plastic (drinking) straws and plastic (grocery) bags is non-sensical virtue signaling. Plastic bags can and are reused and both plastic bags and straws can be recycled into other products (ranging from reusable shopping bags to home construction materials). Grocery stores who have taken it upon themselves to virtue signal to the public are now creating a waste stream of re-usable cloth and plastic bags that, upon completing their cycle of use, will go directly to the landfill.
Instead of banning plastic bags and plastic straws, only to substitute them with products that will create future problems, they should be improving on the existing item. Plastic (grocery) bags can be made with 100% biodegradable (and in some cases edible) materials and vegetable ink (or no printing on the bag at all). To reduce the use of plastic straws, have restaurants servers wait until the consumer asks for a straw instead of just including one with their drink.
When it comes to paper straws, we must think about both the health of the person and where the paper materials come from. Paper straws disintegrate at a minute level and that means that people will be ingesting fragments of those straws. It would be better, as a healthy society, not to find out five years from now the negative effects those straw fragments end up having on the people who use straws on a frequent basis.
We have the technology to improve on existing products, the solution to every problem cannot be to simply ban it or throw money at it and hope it goes away.
In September 2021, I campaigned as an Independent candidate in Canada's 44th Federal Election for the riding of Huron-Bruce. I placed 5th with a total of 509 votes (0.9%). It is my intention to run as an Independent candidate in Canada's 45th Federal Election in 2025.