A key focus of my platform is environment. By introducing sustainable waste management now, we can prevent incurring the kinds of costs we can’t afford in the future. Of all plastic that has ever been produced, over 50% of the worlds plastic has been produced in the last 20 years. And, 40% of what is produced ends up in the garbage within a month of purchase. That's why I support a single-use plastic bylaw, but like most things that matter, we know that the issue isn’t as simple as to may appear.
Single-use plastics would not exist if they weren’t useful. Many Edmontonians with disabilities require bendable plastic straws when they are unable to lift a cup or bottle to drink. Depending on the material they’re made of, reusable straws may also be prone to piercing the mouth for those who have tremors or muscle spasms.
There’s also an issue of cost for lower income communities who may be relying on what is currently quick and affordable. Non-profits, for example, often use single-use plastics when providing food or bottled water to their clients. It becomes important in the conversation to ensure that the bylaw proposed makes steps forward to protect the environment and at the same time doesn't leave our most vulnerable behind.
As your Councillor I will always ask about people that are uniquely affected by a decision or change. How have we addressed or mitigated those impacts? How can we move forward, leaving no one behind?