“I shouldn’t have been smiling so happily,” said city councillor Janice Morrison after she revealed her one-month plastic collection. See more photos below. Photo: City of Nelson

Nelson council members display their October household plastic

The initiative was part of plastic awareness month

During the city’s plastic awareness month in October, councillor Janice Morrison says she peeled the plastic off a cucumber at the grocery store till and gave the wrapping to the cashier.

“The cashier said, ‘What am I supposed to do with that?’ and I said, ‘I don’t know, but I am not taking it home.’”

Morrison was collecting and monitoring all her consumer plastic throughout the month of October, a challenge undertaken by all council members.

She decided to separate her plastic into three categories: plastic allowable as curbside recycling, plastic that has to be taken to the RDCK transfer station and plastic that can’t go to either.

“That was one takeaway,” she said, “the stuff that can’t be recycled at all, like meat wrapping, the plastic rings on beer cans, and my casino card.”

Morrison said she made some attempts to reduce her plastic use during the month.

“The biggest one was when I purchased meat I had them repackage any packaged meat with butcher paper. I left them with the plastic.”

Councillor Jesse Woodward says his family decided not to try to reduce its plastic use during the month.

“We did not make radical moves because I wanted to know what it was we were dealing with. So that bag is what we, a three-person family, had in a month.”

His family learned that they could easily cut their plastic use in half.

“It would just mean making some conscious choices in the store,” Woodward said. “There are many ways with very little inconvenience to say no to buying things in a big clamshell, or saying I was going to buy that product but I am not going to, I am going to buy a different product — just modulating yourself throughout the month.

“So that was a good exercise. I suggest everybody try that out for a month and get a good read on it.”

Asked if Nelson council can really make a significant difference in reducing plastic pollution, and if it is really the city’s job, Woodward said in an email, “Of course anything Nelson as a city does makes 0.000000001 per cent difference on a global level, but we can be a model of what a small town can do. As other small towns see what is possible the may follow Nelson’s lead and you compound this by hundreds of other small towns and that is when real change begins to make an impact.”

In response to the same question Morrison said, “Refuse management, garbage, which includes plastics, is part of the city’s responsibility. People expect water, sewer, power, paved roads, safe communities and their garbage picked up and taken away.”

The plastic awareness month was a joint project of the city and the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce, whose executive director Tom Thomson said there were already many businesses reducing plastic in the community.

“That is what we wanted to focus on, some of the good news stories that were already coming out of the community. We need to keep it moving along so whether it is a one-month initiative or continues for longer I think there are a lot of things businesses are doing, and others are saying, ‘Hey, those guys are doing it so there is no reason why we can’t.’”

Related:

• October is Plastic Free Month in Nelson

• Plastic reduction: these Nelson businesses are on it

• Nelson rejects plastic bag ban, opts for education and awareness



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Mayor John Dooley and councillors unveil their plastic for the month of October. Photo: City of Nelson

Councillor Cal Renwick. Photo: City of Nelson

City councillor Jesse Woodward said he and his family did not try to reduce their plastic use during October because they wanted to get a picture of how much they normally use. Photo: City of Nelson

Just Posted

BUSINESS BUZZ: Baldface Lodge continues work on new headquarters

Our columnist also reports on a new tourism association and a Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism contest

VIDEO: Nelson grandmothers on virtual walk across South Africa

Grans to Grans are raising money for African grandmothers

Nelson police: cougar seen in Nelson

The animal was last spotted Tuesday evening on Anderson Street

First Energy Metals set to start gold exploration work in the West Kootenay

The work will be conducted at two of its sites near Nakusp and Nelson

Nelson skateboarders charged with assaulting Trail police officer

Incident happened at the skate park in Trail

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Most Read