Manitoba Daily

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

As per a Stats Canada poll, Manitoba has the highest rate of plastic straw use

Plastic straw use is most frequent in Manitoba, as per a Stats Canada poll

Key Takeaways:

  • Recent statistics from Statistics Canada show that Manitoba is lagging behind other jurisdictions in the phase-out of specific single-use plastics.
  • Compared to Manitobans, shoppers in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia were more likely to bring bags with them when they went grocery shopping.

According to recent data from Statistics Canada, Manitoba is lagging behind other provinces in transitioning away from particular single-use plastics.

20% of the 38,000 Canadian families questioned in 2021 reported using plastic drinking straws, down from 23% in 2019.

Manitoba had the highest usage of plastic straws, with 29% of families using them and 41% using four or more weekly.

Colleen Ans, the program coordinator for Green Action Centre’s Living Green, Living Well initiative, is unsurprised by the statistics.

Because plastic straws are so widely available and some establishments have switched to them while others have reverted to using them because of the pandemic, Ans said it’s not difficult to think that people are still using them.

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“We observe that many people are eager to discover different options. It might be that they simply don’t know what the alternatives are, forget to decline it and charge it to the company, or that truly just regulating that will make the difference that we want to see it completely abolished.

At the end of this year, a government ban on manufacturing and importing products, including plastic straws, takeaway cartons, and bags, will go into force.

The Manitoba Restaurant, as well as Foodservices Association, stated that now is not the appropriate moment to restrict plastics in response to the challenges of the pandemic.

The organization’s executive director, Shaun Jeffrey, stated that because of supply chain concerns, alternatives might be more expensive and challenging for restaurants to obtain.

The government should, in Jeffrey’s opinion, “really focus on maybe focusing on the manufacturer aspect of this and also trying to find more environmentally friendly ways to provide this product rather than putting it on an industry that is still reeling from 24 months of pandemic detriment,” because “it is going to have an impact and we might significantly be looking at the government to focus on that.”

Tara and Jeff Miller, who live in Winnipeg, didn’t need much persuading to start switching from plastic drinking straws.

Plastic straw use is most frequent in Manitoba, as per a Stats Canada poll
Plastic straw use is most frequent in Manitoba, as per a Stats Canada poll. Image from iHeartRadio

The couple hardly ever used them at home, and some of their favorite restaurants stopped serving food in plastic.

“They ended up switching that way a lot when we were eating out, and some of the establishments that we had tended to convert over to the paper straws,” Tara added.

Shoppers in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia were more likely to bring their bags to the grocery shop than were Manitobans. The latter comprised 49% of households and were roughly twice as likely to do so as residents of British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.

I probably have two rubber tote buckets full of the brand-new recycled bags; sometimes they get to the car, sometimes they get to the store, said, Jeff.

Ans suggested carrying out your purchases by hand to help serve as motivation to pack them on your next trip to people who frequently forget to bring bags to the store.

Ans said that a reusable bag needs to be used 450 times to become carbon neutral, depending on the material.

She stated that as a result, it’s critical to remember that everything you purchase leaves a carbon imprint.

Source: CTV News

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