Single-use plastic ban approved for Fernie
By Erin Knutson
The City of Fernie council recently passed a motion to prohibit single-use plastic bags following the request of Councillor Yvonne Prest.
As of July 2021, municipalities have the autonomy to instate bylaws to ban the use of plastics to mitigate the climate crisis.
“Over 20 municipalities have already created similar anti-plastic bylaws, and many more are in the process of doing so. I have been asked by an ambitious group of students at Fernie Secondary to bring this motion forward,” said Prest in a staff report.
The youth in the community of Fernie have taken a strong stance on the subject, with the Fernie Secondary School students rallying to promote and create an environmentally conscientious city.
According to youth Councillor Summit Wannamaker it’s crucial to hold leaders and government accountable for implementing measures that will help curb aggressive climate change.
“We’ve seen the irresponsibility of government’s response to climate change, and we ask that you remember the youth,” he said.
Approximately 80,000 plastic bags alone are distributed monthly in Fernie.
Residents, students, and the Fernie Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Fernie are making their voices heard through official statements and a united front to be good stewards of the city and the globe.
Mayor and council responded favourably to the motion, outlining the importance of acting now.
“This is a bylaw you can continually kick down the road, which is why we will be prioritizing it. We should think about the actions today and how these actions affect our future,” said Mayor Ange Qualizza, who strongly backed the motion and reinforced the city’s position on banning plastic bags.
“We’re in support, and we’re also disappointed that the province isn’t doing a provincial ban to reach the goal we all have to discontinue plastic bags, but we support it,” she said.