Removing plastics is the first and most necessary step in improving environmental and personal health–I envision a world in which we don’t live under the threat of continuously escalating concentrations of endocrine disrupting chemicals in our food and water. It’s not about a sepia-toned bike messenger dressed in fair trade linen carrying farm to table $50 per kg cherry tomatoes enrobed in glass and twine. It’s about a mega change to the way that we do commerce.
We could pass a whole suite of laws enabling us to effectively eliminate plastics from a huge majority of our packaging, and our lives, improving human and environmental health, and reducing our oil needs. The following are some policy-driven interventions that could occur at municipal, provincial, or federal levels:
Design a payment system where receipts are linked to credit card accounts: no receipts, especially no BPA based ones (federal/bank driven).
Dramatically widen and strengthen extended producer responsibility legislation, forcing companies. BC’s EPR legislation essentially asks producers to fund recycling programs, but there are several other ways of doing this that will be more effective:
Tax non-reusable packaging: a per-kilo fee that is *high enough* that other options (such as container re-use) become at least as cost effective (federal/provincial)
Mandate re-use programs in key industries: coca cola’s glass bottle collection program is a great demonstration of how we can remove millions of disposable containers from the system. The old school milk distribution system is another (municipal/provincial).
Mandate that the weight of jars be printed on them: this would massively enable people to bring their own containers to bulk stores without having to go through the pre-weigh hassle (federal).