“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

 

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

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to leader’s surprise resignation

The resignation of Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer caught members of his caucus by surprise

Kootenay-Columbia MP talks throne speech, USMCA trade deal

Rob Morrison to open constituency office in Cranbrook at 800C Baker St. on Dec. 19

Kaslo commits to 100 per cent renewable energy plan

Nine local governments have made the pledge this year

SOWK MP unsurprised by Scheer resignation

“It’s a very tough job being a leader of a party, and we thanked him for that service,” - MP Cannings

Promoter fundraises for new Kootenay Country Music Fest

Travis Pangburn seeks $150,000 through Gofundme campaign to re-launch event

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Owner surrenders dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage to BC SPCA

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

BC Hydro offers tips as collisions with power poles increase

Region with the largest spike in collisions was the Lower Mainland at 16 per cent

Most Read