On Wednesday, October 7, Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson released a list of specific items to be part of the federal governments single-use plastics ban in 2021. The list includes grocery checkout bags, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings, plastic cutlery and food takeout containers made from hard-to-recycle plastics (like black plastic packaging).
OWSAG was shocked that single-use water bottles were not on the list nor was it mentioned in the discussion paper A proposed integrated management approach to plastic products, on which the federal government is inviting feedback by December 9, 2020.
Eric Schiller, Founding Member of OWSAG, wrote the letter to Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson urging that single-use bottled water included on the list and asking for an explanation as to why the banning of plastic water bottles has not been included on the list of plastics to be banned in 2021. Dr. Schiller also wrote asking if the Canadian Bottled Water Association (CBWA) or the Canadian Beverage Association lobbied the federal government to keep single-use water bottles off the list of banned plastics. Click 'Read More' at the bottom right to read Dr. Schiller's letter.
Write a letter to Minister Wilkinson and the Director of the Plastics and Marine Litter Division of ECCC at firstname.lastname@example.org to urge them to include single-use bottled water in the federal government's 2021 ban and ask if if the Canadian Bottled Water Association (CBWA) or the Canadian Beverage Association lobbied the federal government to keep single-use water bottles. The deadline for comments is December 9, 2020.
June 26, 2020 marks the one-year anniversary of Ottawa City Council's unanimous decision to eliminate single use plastics in all municipal buildings. OWSAG played a large role in bringing that motion to Council, and we continue pushing the City to implement that decision. We have been contacting our Councillors asking for updates on actions taken.
We need you to do the same. Please contact your Councillor through email, phone or in person and ask them what they personally plan to do to help implement this very important motion. It is only by keeping the topic out in front of council that they will know this issue is important to you, the citizens of Ottawa.
On April 22, we celebrated Earth Day by hosting a free screening of The Story of Plastic. More than 100 people signed up to see this seething expose uncovering the ugly truth behind the current global plastic pollution crisis. You can see segments of the film on YouTube.
Since a protest on April 22, 1970 against environmental exploitation, people around the world have celebrated this day to mark the need to protect Mother Earth. The WaterCare Allies of First United Church offered and coordinated A Time of Prayer for the Earth at 10:00 a.m. to celebrate Earth Day. Everyone was invited to join in this unifying experience of Sacred Activism.
It’s hard to deny how big a problem single-use plastic waste has become. Businesses in our community are helping address the issue by offering tap water to anyone who drops in asking to refill their water bottle.
Peter Abraham, owner of the Sir John A. MacDonald Restaurant and Pub on Elgin Street, happily signed on to the program recently. Those needing a refill of their reusable water bottle will know by the blueW sticker on the the front window that they're welcome to come in for some high-quality Ottawa tap water.
Photo: Peter Abraham, owner of the Sir John A. MacDonald Restaurant & Pub and Councillor Catherine McKenney (Somerset Ward)