LETTERS: The need to scrap the plastic bag ban

Some grocery stores have temporarily banned reusable shopping bags due to their risk of transmitting COVID-19. Fortunately the Victoria city bylaw that forbid businesses from providing plastic bags was struck down by the B.C. Court of Appeal last year, otherwise stores might not now have plastic bags for us to use.

A Danish study showed a cotton grocery bag has to be used more than 7,000 times to make it more environmentally sound than a plastic bag used once for groceries, once to line a wastebasket and then incinerated (or better yet recycled). Almost all plastic in the oceans originated in the Third World. I am left asking myself, “Why go back to reusable bags?”

In Saanich and Victoria, new large apartment buildings are in the works, which will add to existing high levels of congestion. Saanich council has proposed a bylaw amendment to increase Saanich’s unrelated occupancy limits. Victoria could follow suit. These are part of a population densification plan.

The COVID-19 virus is most successfully spread where multiple people are living in close quarters, sharing common indoor spaces. I am left asking myself “if densification promotes disease, why go there?” Why not move government offices and businesses out of the downtown core to areas where less surrounding population density is required?

It seems our municipal governments are fixated on myopic solutions to problems (some not real) with little concern for unintended consequences. If they have their way, we will be at even higher risk of contracting diseases and damaging our economy.

Jeff St. Gelais


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