Zero Waste Blog
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Yukon Government announces proposed single-use bag surcharge!February 28, 2019
On Tuesday the Government of Yukon announced it was seeking input into a proposed single-use shopping bag surcharge.
They are looking for input from Yukoners into how to apply a surcharge, the surcharge amount, type of bags, potential exemptions, timing and approach for implementation.Take the Survey!
From the Engage Yukon website:
“The Government of Yukon recognizes the impact of plastic waste and has committed, along with federal, provincial and territorial environment ministers, to work towards significant reductions in waste disposal and zero plastic waste in Canada.
One way in which the Yukon government is helping decrease plastic waste is through a proposed surcharge on single-use shopping bags received at point-of-sale.
This is one of many steps that the Government of Yukon is planning to take to improve the territory’s recycling system and make it more sustainable.
The collection of fees for single-use shopping bags will contribute to making recycling more financially sustainable in Yukon and act as a disincentive for their use. Our goal is to reduce single-use shopping bag usage by 70%”
Ministers Frost and Streicker weighed in on the announcement.
“Northern Canadians are among the highest waste producers per capita in the world. We can do better. Reducing waste keeps our environment clean and our communities healthy,” said Minister of Environment Pauline Frost.
According to Minister of Community Services John Streicker,
“The Government of Yukon spends approximately $6 million every year to deal with waste including $3 million on non-refundable items such as plastics… A surcharge on single-use shopping bags is a simple yet significant way we can reduce waste, improve our recycling system and make it more sustainable.”
Last fall the Yukon Legislative Assembly unanimously adopted a motion (Motion 294, as amended) urging the Government of Yukon to “work towards eliminating the distribution of single-use plastic, including plastic bags, food and beverage containers, straws, utensils, lids, and packaging.”
We’re thrilled to see some serious movement on this issue, and it’s very encouraging to see that actions are being taken to address the growing issue of single-use plastics in the Yukon environment. In Northwest Territories, a single-use bag program has reduced bag usage by over 70% and also provided revenue to the territory’s recycling programs.
Want to give your input on the proposed single-use bag surcharge? Visit engageyukon.ca to participate in the online survey!