Our View: Plastic can be a wise choice

So many of our convenience products from packaging to mugs to machines are made from plastic, a by-product of the oil industry.

Plastic has been much maligned in recent years. It has been branded anti-environmental, and accused of leading to global warming and an unsustainable existence on this green planet.

But the plastics industry makes the point that plastic packaging is the most efficient form of delivering food with least amount of food waste, and resulting in less packaging waste.

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association argues that, because plastic is lightweight yet strong, it is ideal for many types of packaging.

A recent study showed that, if certain plastic packaging didn’t exist – for instance, caps and closures, beverage containers, rigid containers, carrier bags, various stretch and shrink wraps, and other forms – 450 per cent more packaging by weight would be needed, demanding expenditure of 80 per cent more energy.

Every year, that would be equivalent to the energy from 3,800 oil supertankers.

It would be like adding 15.7 million more cars on the road.

The other argument for plastic packaging is that it protects food from oxygen, light, temperature, moisture, microbes, critters, and dirt, thereby extending the shelf life of food and slowing down spoilage, which leads to less food waste, according the industry association.

There aren’t many of us who don’t use plastic every day.

In B.C., the onus for recycling is increasingly being put on the consumer, and rightly so – if you buy it, you pay to get rid of it.

In the end, whether we use wood, glass, plastic, or fibre for day-to-day use, the fact is, we all have to start using less of everything, re-use whatever we can, keep up the recycling efforts, and continue to divert as much of our garbage as possible away from landfills.

–  M.R.

Just Posted

Kodiaks dominate spring season

Seven lopsided wins in a row for the 2018 provincial midget champions

Survey finds SkyTrain extension has 85 per cent support in Surrey, Langley

TransLink says there has been record-level response in public engagement about the project

Public invited to Alzheimer walk in Langley

A Langley seniors complex and a North Langley business group have teamed… Continue reading

OPP looking for suspect after Best Buy credit-card fraud in Surrey

Ontario Provincial Police believe suspect has links to Surrey and Langley

Aldergrove shoppers watch Safeway shelves ‘go empty’ before store closes

Store closes Saturday, locals express concern over FreshCo’s product quality

BREAKING: Court says B.C. can’t restrict oil shipments in key case for Trans Mountain

A five-judge Appeal Court panel agreed unanimously that B.C.’s proposed legislation was not constitutional

RCMP probe hit-and-run of Richmond senior

The man, who is in his mid-70s, was walking with his wife when he was allegedly struck

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Coquitlam crash kills one person, injured two others

Investigators with the RCMP criminal crash unit are working to determing the cause of the incident

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Court to rule on B.C.’s pipeline permit law in crucial case for Trans Mountain

A panel of B.C. Court of Appeal judges has been mulling B.C.’s constitutional reference cas

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

Vancouver man in serious condition after crash between motorcycle, transport truck

The man, 40, remains in hospital after a Thursday collision. Police believe speed was a factor

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Most Read