Monday, September 19, 2016


France is taking leadership in fighting the scourge of plastic but may face a test to it's sovereignty because of it.

The French have ruled to ban disposable plastic plates, cutlery and cups. They want at least 50 percent of the material going in to plastic disposable items such as summer drinking glasses, coffee cups, plates and cutlery to be organic by 2020 by 2025, 60 percent.

I would be really pleased to see rules in Canada that address the issue of non-compostable plastics, particularly in the packaging industry. While the ban will not come into place for another four years, it should stimulate the development of more environmentally friendly organic disposable substitutes.

Perhaps other companies can learn from the example of Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach, Fla. who have released edible six-pack rings, a brand-new approach to sustainable beer packaging. These six-pack rings are 100 percent biodegradable and edible—constructed of barley and wheat ribbons from the brewing process. This packaging can actually be safely eaten by animals that may come into contact with the refuse. Would it not be nice if the big breweries and pop companies acted with the same environmental consciousness? 

Wouldn't it be nice if Tim Hortons, MacDonald's and others would develop and utilize biodegradable cups, lids, straws & cutlery to limit the impact of their products on the environment? 

In the meantime, could Costco require suppliers to use more eco-friendly packaging, and or develop a collection process for collection and reuse of plastic packaging?

The amount of plastic in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Ocean is astounding. I have often used this blog to highlight the environmental nightmare of plastic trash in the ocean through a number of posts about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and more recently the Atlantic Garbage Patches.  

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ocean-borne plastic waste causes the deaths of “as many as 100,000 marine mammals” yearly. Nearly 80 percent of plastic ocean waste comes from land as well, says the United Nations Environmental Program.

Plastics are devastating the environment across the world. We use the longest lasting materials for the shortest time. Wherever possible, we must challenge a throwaway culture that uses non-biodegradable materials for disposable products.

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