The Nova Scotia Department of Environment has given itself a temporary reprieve from the ongoing challenge faced by its municipalities in finding new markets for / diminishing the use of plastic film in Nova Scotia society. The Nova Scotia government has granted a temporary, six-month exemption to Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) to allow plastic film to go to the Green for Life landfill in West Hants, Nova Scotia.
The plastic film subjected to this temporary exemption includes plastic shopping bags, the wrap around toilet paper and paper towels, and the wrapping around water bottles, pop or juice cans. This temporary exemption only applies to HRM and the West Hants landfill. Given that HRM accounts for almost half of Nova Scotia’s population, the province now has more time to investigate longer term solutions.
Member To Do:
In 2017, RCC members committed to a proactive approach that would see RCC members work with governments to diminish the use of single use items (including single use plastic bags). This approach has been shared with government officials across Atlantic Canada and the approach has been generally well received. RCC’s approach is only a starting point and thus, as provinces like Nova Scotia develop a long-term plan, RCC will work with governments to provide input on these plans.
What RCC Did/Next Steps:
RCC has been working with government officials in all Atlantic Provinces trying to find a solution to the increasing public pressure for bans / fees on single use plastic bags.
The Nova Scotia government appreciates RCC’s constructive approach and willingness to work with government on finding solutions to this issue. RCC will continue to work with its members, government and other stakeholders on this issue.
Further details can be found in the government’s press release: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20180105005
In recent years, this issue has gained prominence across the country. In July 2017, the issue reached a tipping point in Atlantic Canada when China announced that it would no longer accept plastic film for recycling. Given that Nova Scotia has a landfill ban on plastic film, the issue was particularly sensitive throughout this province.