Letter: Ponoka News reader challenges recycling assumptions

Reader suggests a major reduction of purchasing non-recyclable products will create change

Dear Editor,

The Ponoka News article from May 23 nailed the plastic issue we are facing.

The question now is, where do we go from here? If you leave it up to our elected officials, nothing will happen. Why? Because the provincial and federal government need more scientific proof in order to change anything. Those are the words from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Commonwealth meeting in London this spring of 2018. It is the same I heard in a meeting 2015 with town administrators. The newly posted acceptable items for the blue bag/recyclables from the Town of Ponoka is also incorrect, please Google it, all plastic items #1 and #2 is what we already bring to the Bottle Depot. Also please keep in mind what no elected official will tell you but it is proven scientific fact; you can recycle plastic only once or twice. During this process the plastic will be downgraded and does end up in landfill, or as we know now confirmed, in China or in the oceans, and a lot of plastic items you purchase have no label number at all.

What do we do?

• We need to ban plastic

• We need to switch to 100 per cent composting

How do we do that?

Here are the five Rs of Recycling that elected officials will not tell you:

1. Refuse to purchase what you don’t need, don’t purchase plastic garbage, think before you buy

2. Reduce purchases of what you don’t need and can’t refuse, don’t purchase too much plastic garbage

3. Reuse what you consume and couldn’t refuse or reduce, extend the life of any plastic product

4. Recycle what you couldn’t refuse, reduce or reuse, just purchase plastic #1 and #2,

5. Rot; compost the rest

The results:

Blue Bag equals only items like metal or aluminum cans

Grey Bin equals only items like glass, old shoes, old damaged fabric or so

Compost equals paper, cardboard, napkins, tissue and a long list over 200 items that are compostable

I am wondering if this will spark a heavy public debate, where people simply start to take actions and be so loud that the elected officials simply have to listen and do the right thing, before it is too late.

Edwin Geuder

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