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Not so fantastic plastic

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Indeed. But we British Columbians may soon be contemplating just that and I say, yes.

In September, at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, civic leaders will vote on whether to approve a plastax on plastic bags used in retail stores.

The amount is still to be determined. But the concept, which is being spearheaded by the District of North Vancouver, is modeled after Ireland’s plastax.

Established in 2002, the Irish plastax hits consumers with about 15 cents for every plastic bag used at the checkout stand. Singlehandedly, it has accounted for a 90-95 per cent drop in the use of plastic bags in Ireland, taking about 1 billion bags a year out of the environment. And, double bonus, the plastax, which totalled about $9.6 million in the first year of implementation, goes into a green fund to be used for environmental initiatives.

If you like the sounds of this proposal, let your civic leaders know. If you dig out that funky old cotton shopping bag at the bottom of your closet, you can use it to carry your letters down to muni hall and bring home your groceries on the way back.

Glenda Bartosh is an award-winning freelance writer who keeps a motley collection of bags in the trunk of her car.