(File photo)

Just as Tim Hortons across BC started using cardboard lids this week, Research Co. published data in regards to a survey to see if British Columbians would like to see the end of single-use plastics.

The result was a resounding yes.

In some municipalities within BC and on Vancouver Island, certain single-use plastic items have already been banned. In their place, paper grocery bags are used when customers don’t have a reusable bag handy.

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In December 2022, the federal government passed another landmark legislation to take an environmental step forward—they banned the manufacturing and import of many single-use plastics.

Research Co.’s recent survey on the matter found that the majority of British Columbians support the new legislation—especially Vancouver Islanders.

The Canada-wide online survey was done with a representative provincial sample and it turns out 80% of BC residents were in favour of the new law. 

Vancouver Islanders especially support the move away from plastic products. 

“The highest level of support for the federal ban on single-use plastics is observed on Vancouver Island (84%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. 

“The prohibition is also supported by majorities of residents in Metro Vancouver (81%), the Fraser Valley (also 81%), Northern BC (77%) and Southern BC (73%).”

Related:

Here’s what ‘intersectional environmentalism’ means and how Victoria can benefit from it

The ban in question was specifically on the import and manufacturing of items such as plastic grocery bags, straws, stir sticks, six pack rings, food takeout containers and plastic cutlery. 

These types of plastic products are hard to recycle in that they utilize a lot of resources and time to break down in order to be reused in some way. 

In a similar poll done in December 2021, only 13% of British Columbians said that they still relied on single-use plastic bags from the grocery store. 

The poll also found that the older you are, the more likely you are to be using a reusable bag in a BC grocery store. 96% of people older than 55-years-old said they use reusable bags, while 85% of people between 35 and 54-years-old did the same and 69% of people 18 to 34-years-old use reusable bags. 

Based on Research Co.’s stats from British Columbians

Just under half of BC residents said they use their blue bin for recycling “all the time.” This means 51% of British Columbians are not recycling as much as they could which in turn adds more waste to landfills across BC.

Other interesting environmental statistics that resulted from this survey are that 19% of people in BC actively attempt to limit hot water usage, 12% try to reduce their electricity usage by unplugging devices, 9% of British Columbians try to buy biodegradable products and 5% try to grow their own food. 

Victorians have plenty of ways to learn how to do better by mother earth if these statistics scare them. The Sustainable Fox teaches intersectional environmentalism and the Compost Education Centre will teach community members how to be self-sufficient with their organic waste and how to create thriving gardens.

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