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CFIB questions the need for a plastic bag ban

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Cooperation may be the better option

St. John’s, September 26, 2016 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is questioning whether a province-wide plastic bag ban is the answer to a growing problem. CFIB wrote the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Municipal Affairs recommending the provincial government take a cautious approach to completely banning plastic bags, which is being advocated by a number of municipal leaders. 

“Small business owners in Newfoundland and Labrador have indicated time and time again that they support protecting the environment, but wonder whether regulations like a plastic bag ban are necessary,” stated Vaughn Hammond, director of provincial affairs for CFIB in Newfoundland and Labrador. “Plastic bags hanging off trees and shrubs and floating in ponds and rivers are certainly an eye-sore, but banning single-use plastic bags may be an inappropriate solution.” 

In 2015, a voluntary plastic bag ban was introduced on Fogo Island with mixed results. Some business owners have kept plastic bags out of their stores, but many others on the island continue to provide them to customers. While these small business owners are using less plastic bags in their businesses, they find it necessary to have them as an option for customers. 

“Providing plastic bags to customers is a cost of doing business and any efforts that can be made to reduce costs, particularly in this economic environment, should be welcome by small business owners,” explained Hammond. “By working together, the small business community and the municipalities should be able to find a more effective way to curb plastic bag use in the province.” 

A copy of the letter to the Ministers is available here

For further information, contact Vaughn Hammond at [email protected] or 709-753-7745. 

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.