Summer students at the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society will be spending the month of August encouraging residents to ditch single use plastics.
In anticipation of the single-use plastics ban announced by the Canadian government that will be taking effect Jan. 1, 2023, the summer students will be distributing flyers across Maple Ridge with information about shifting recycling habits and replacing items with reusable alternatives.
On June 22, the Canadian government announced the upcoming ban on six single-use items that have reusable alternatives, that includes: plastic bags, stir sticks, six-pack rings, plastic utensils, food ware, and plastic straws.
People are also being encouraged to bring their soft plastics and grocery bags to the recycling depot as well, instead of putting them out curbside.
“Change is always hard and the recycling industry is constantly evolving and changing,” said Ridge Meadows Recycling Society president Glen Shipp.
“While it might take a bit of time and encouragement for people to change their recycling habits and bring soft plastic to the Recycling Depot, there are already many items that need to be brought to the Depot,” the president added, like Styrofoam.
Also, he said, plastic bags can squish down pretty small when they are put into a single bag.
The recycling society is asking people to take the Plastic Free Challenge, based on the annual Plastic Free July Challenge that started in Australia.
The challenge encourages people to go a day, a week, or even a full month avoiding single-use plastics. Any unavoidable plastic items are kept in a “dilemma bag” to be reviewed at the end of the challenge. The society is recommending participants to partner with others, in order to work together to find reusable alternatives to the plastic they couldn’t avoid.
More information about single-use plastic issues can be found at rmrecycling.org/community/single-use-plastic.
The Maple Ridge Recycling Depot is located at 10092 236th St. and accepts more than 200 different items.
It is open 7 days a week, including holidays.
Depot hours are 8–6 p.m. Monday to Saturday until September, 8-5 p.m. from October until March, and 9–5 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.
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