With plastic bags banned in N.S., it's just the beginning of solving the plastic problem
HALIFAX -- With the single-use plastic shopping bag banned in Nova Scotia, shoppers have no other choice.
"We have to get with it and use reusable," said shopper Laurie Reid.
But some see another plastic problem on the horizon. In a part of the country known for using, and reusing, plastic shopping bags again and again, the question is: what now?
Marla MacLeod of the Ecology Action Centre uses washable canvas bags for groceries...
And she says finding solutions for other practical problems like pet waste may take some creativity.
"But these are the kinds of shifts we're going to have to make across the board," MacLeod says.
And while the bag ban is good start, it is just that.
"This is the tip of the iceberg of plastics," MacLeod says. "We have a big plastic problem in Nova Scotia -- and in the entire world."
For some, the bag ban isn't the simple answer to that.
"Every time we use a single-use bag more than once, we are dramatically decreasing its environmental impact," said Acadia University professorDavid Duke.
Duke says the real issue is poor recycling and alternatives to the plastic bag may not be as multi-purpose as what they're replacing.
And some, like cotton bags, have their own environmental consequences.
"The land that's required to grow the cotton, the water and the fertilizers that are required to produce the cotton that then produces those bags," Duke says.