October 15, 2018
As a follow up to the release on October 8 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report¹ on the dire consequences of failing to deal with climate change, StopPlastics renews its call for a ban on plastic bags in Toronto as a first step to eliminating the plastic waste that contributes to atmospheric pollution.²,³ Disposable plastics are contaminating the Earth and are now in our water and food chain. We are sacrificing our planet for a few seconds of convenience but it is in within our power to legislate reductions in this planetary scourge.
With these considerations in mind, StopPlastics asks you and the current members of council to make this alarming environmental forecast a top priority and, should you be re-elected, to implement bans on single-use plastic starting with plastic bags.
When Moncton city council received a petition of only 57 signatures asking for a ban on plastic bags this year, Moncton Councillor Boudreau responded, "Your words are music to my ears." Moncton is currently actively working to ban plastic bags. Why can’t Toronto City Council be as proactive?
We include here the names of online petitioners who want the City of Toronto to ban plastic bags. These online signatures should be considered in addition to the other thousands of people whose postcards with a personal message asking for a bag ban were delivered to you and City Hall Councillors on July 23. We include a copy of that letter below.
We count on you to do everything in your power to reduce this city’s contribution to global warming.
Please let us know where you stand on this issue and what measures you would take to eliminate the plastic waste generated by Toronto residents and businesses.
² https://www.google.ca/search?ei=mRqcW_jNN8f8jwSN0p6YDg&q=plastics%27+role+in+global+warming+climate+change&oq=plastics%27+role+in+global+warming+climate&gs_l=psy-ab.1.0.33i160k1.9879.12880.0.153126.96.36.199.0.0.0.160.813.2j5.7.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..1.6.653...33i21k1.0.n1TClo_RfiE https://www.google.ca/search?q=plastics%27+role+in+global+warming&oq=plastics%27+role+in+global+warming&aqs=chrome..69i57.10618j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
³ Email from Natural Resources Defense Council Oct. 13, 2018, states that "The damning new report, authored by the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), reveals that we could suffer some of the most severe effects of climate change if the global temperature rises to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, which could happen as soon as 2040. We're already at 1°C. And 2°C of warming would be catastrophic."
Petition for Ban on Single-use Plastic Bags
Given that it is essential to have a healthy environment for the residents of Toronto,
and recognizing that plastic waste is a serious environmental issue because:
· most plastics are manufactured from fossil fuels which are a major source of greenhouse gases
· plastic is a non-renewable resource that degrades land, water, the health of humans and other creatures
· waterways and beaches are clogged with plastics making them unattractive
· plastics don't biodegrade but instead break up into smaller pieces in creeks, lakes, rivers and oceans where they enter the food chain,
and appreciating that the Province of Ontario has recently renewed its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions nearly 15% by 2020 and 37% below 1990 levels by 2030 and that Toronto's goal is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 80 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050,
and considering that reducing the use and disposal of plastic bags in Toronto was given precedence in the City's own Key Issues and Priority Actions initiative,
and because Torontonians are estimated to use 215 million plastic bags each year, which amounts to some 1,400 tonnes of plastic,
and since Torontonians currently pay a significant portion of the pickup and recycling costs for this material
We, the undersigned, respectfully request that you support the introduction of a bylaw which would ban single use plastic bags and vote in favour of such a by-law once introduced.