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POLL: Newfoundland and Labrador government to ban retail plastic bags

Once Smith's petition kicks off, she plans to speak to the municipality about the issue.
Discarded plastic bags.

Amendments to the Environmental Protection Act were introduced Tuesday that will allow the provincial government to draft regulations to ban the distribution of retail plastic bags.

Last month, the province conducted public consultations to gauge interest in a ban of retail plastic bags and to determine the potential impacts.

Consultations data indicated that 87 per cent were in favour of a ban, the province said in a news release.

The Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment said the regulations will address such considerations as: how long businesses and industry will need to adjust to the change; what types of alternatives people will have available instead of the plastic retail bags; whether to require a fee on alternatives to limit their overconsumption and which exceptions are required.

It’s expected to take between six and 12 months before the ban is fully implemented.

 “The consultations we conducted in March indicate the strength of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians convictions: they do not want plastic bags to be distributed at retail locations,” Municipal Affairs and Environment Minister Graham Letto said in a news release.

“To protect the environment and improve the waste management system, we have introduced amendments to the legislation that will allow us to draft regulations to ban the retail plastic bag.”

To address the broader category of packaging, the provincial government and the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board are working on a program for the management of packaging and printed paper.

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