While scrolling through Fakebook the other day I found an article about Canada getting ready to ban single use plastics by 2021. YAY! Well, that was my first thought but then it dawned on me, “How will this affect our forests?”

The list isn’t yet compiled of what this will include and how they will go about it. You know the government, it’s not going to be simple or logical but it will happen. It’s time. Not once, in all my years of paddling, have I landed without a bag of garbage on my deck. Each piece of garbage I haul out of the water angers me. Don’t people realize our waterways are vital to our environment? Vital to all LIFE!

We often talk about the horrible pollutants that “Big Business” dumps into the water but what about the “everyday person”? Every piece adds up. Every bit of oil leaked from your engines, every piece of plastic, every balloon, every cigarette butt, etc., adds up until we see vast oceans of garbage floating on our water. I hear people saying, “Well that all comes from Asia. It’s not our problem.” HELLO!?

Can you recall a time you went for a walk or hike somewhere and didn’t see garbage on the ground? Then think about our landfills and how long they will take to break down. As each landfill site is filled that garbage is trucked other places for storage. Not only is this horrible for our environment but also for our tax dollars.

Dealing with garbage costs us money. Think about that the next time you throw something away. And recycling? Don’t get me started on that topic. We shop with an eye to what containers and packaging can be recycled, feeling good about doing our part for the environment. We put out our blue boxes every week and forget about it, trusting that it WILL be recycled. Think again.

Years ago I lived in Northumberland County when they were implementing an incredible recycling program which is still going strong 22 years later. Their system not only cut garbage to the landfill but created employment and made money. Seriously, Google it. When we moved to London it took me some time to remember how little was allowed in the blue box. With this in mind I started to change the way I shopped by frequenting bulk food stores and finding products we enjoyed with containers that I could re-use in my home.

London, Ontario recycles a very small percentage of what is collected.

I think banning single use plastics is long over-due, not only because of the garbage we throw on the ground and in the waterways but because of the amount that ends up in the landfill. That being said, how will this affect our forests? Will we be using recycled materials and renewable materials such as hemp or will we come back to using paper products? Please keep in mind that products made from recycled materials are typically made with only a percentage of recycled material.

How will the ban on single use plastics change our everyday life? For many, it won’t really be noticed and Hats Off to those people. I’m happy to see how many people are already using reusable products and I’m hopeful that many more will follow suit.

It really isn’t that hard you just have to wash a couple more pieces when you do your dishes at the end of the day and of course actually remember to take those items with you when you leave your house. Isn’t a little effort worth helping the environment?

Until next time friends! Go forth and STEEMIATE!

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