The Elk River Alliance posted on facebook, “If you are tired of seeing plastic bags in Fernie’s rivers and riparian zones, please consider signing the petition to ban plastic bags. In our annual shoreline cleanup this is one of the top offenders that we remove from the Elk River’s shore.”
Our single-use plastic problem in larger than plastic bags however we need to start making change and this is an easy step. This year over 1 trillion plastic bags will be consumed worldwide. That’s more than 200 million bags a minute. Only 9 percent of these bags are recycled; 150 million tons of single-use plastic end up in landfills and oceans every year.
Fernie is a destination promoting a healthy outdoor lifestyle to visitors from all over the world. We know that single-use plastic is destructive to the outdoors. Therefore , we, the undersigned residents of the City of Fernie aged 18 and over, call on the Mayor and Council to embrace the ideals of our mountain community by implementing a comprehensive single-use plastic strategy including a bylaw banning single-use plastic bags.
About the Zero Plastic Project:
We are part of a larger Wildsight Elk Valley Waste Reduction Project endorsed by the City of Fernie and are advocating for the reduction of single-use plastic waste in our community. We would love to work with your business in reducing your use of single-use plastics and discover how together small steps have huge impact!
Over the next few months we will be supporting businesses in their choice to reduce plastic bags,straws, and cutlery and we are hoping the customers and clients of these businesses support them by giving a positive response.
Our Plan Is To:
offer suggestions and a format for how businesses can introduce this reduction to their public.
offer alternatives for plastic bags and straws.
accumulate information on where Fernie is in its plastic consumption now and track reduction over the next year.
inform and inspire people to take an active role in ending plastic pollution by opting to reject personal consumption of single-use plastics.
Fernie is a proud mountain community which lives and sells an environmentally responsible culture.
Let’s show visitors and residents alike that our actions reflect our values!
We are asking you to consider eliminating the offering of plastic bags and straws, and to only give bags and straws ON REQUEST. This would mean that over the next several months you would deplete your businesses inventory of plastic bags, straws, and cutlery and switch to a paper or compostable product, and only give on request. Finding suppliers for the compostable options isn’t hard and there are various price ranges to suit. In North America, Aardvark Straws and Green Munch supply compostable straws.
We would like to collect data on how many plastic bags and/or straws your business uses in one year and we will come back to you next year to see how much that has been reduced.
Business can tag and challenge each other on social media by using hashtag #zeroplasticchallenge and #ferniedoesntsuck.
Things To Think About:
*How many plastic bags and/or straws do you currently have onsite?
*How long do you think it would take to use them?
*Can they be sent back to your supplier for a credit?
*Can they be sold?
*Are they recyclable?
*Can they be donated for craft projects to raise awareness?
*Resources for compostable options?
*Does your existing supplier sell a biodegradable option?
*Can your existing supplier swap out your existing plastics for biodegradable options?
*Have a staff meeting or send an email to all staff with the plan to remove the single use plastic bags and/or straws.
*Set a plastic free date! When will your business aim to be single-use plastic free?
*Let all staff know that bags and straws will no longer be given out UNLESS REQUESTED.
*Remove your straws from the bars and counters.
*Mention in any new menus, social media posts, etc that your business no longer be serving any plastic in drinks, it’s a positive marketing angle for your business.
If you would like to talk more or to join the Zero Plastic Challenge, drop us an email and let us promote your business being single use plastics free! Let’s do this as a community, and then let the world know that Fernie is single use plastics free!
Thank you to all the volunteers that are canvasing for the project and also Surf Riders Pacific Rim for their support and guidance in bring this worthwhile community project to Fernie.