Whitehorse Daily Star

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Environment Minister Pauline Frost

Feedback sought on pending shopping bag ban

The territorial government wants to hear from Yukoners on how to best implement a ban on single-use plastic and paper shopping bags.

By Whitehorse Star on January 7, 2021

The territorial government wants to hear from Yukoners on how to best implement a ban on single-use plastic and paper shopping bags.

“Provide your input on details of the ban, including timing for implementation, exemptions that should be allowed and any issues or barriers related to implementing the ban,” the government said in a statement today.

“Banning single-use shopping bags will help reduce waste in Yukon and protect the environment. This public engagement will ensure the ban is introduced in a way that works for Yukoners, businesses and municipalities.”

Yukoners can share their thoughts on banning single-use shopping bags on EngageYukon.ca. Feedback will be accepted until March 8.

“A quick trip to any of Yukon’s waste facilities will show the blight of single-use shopping bags,” said Environment Minister Pauline Frost.

“This engagement is the next step in our commitment to ban single-use shopping bags.

“We have heard before that Yukoners support the ban, but it is important for us to know how we can best implement this change. We want to ensure a green future for all Yukoners where we reduce our waste and prevent plastics from overwhelming our landscape.”

Though there is a lot of focus on the impact of single-use plastics, the government noted, paper bags are also a concern.

That’s because they are resource-intensive to manufacture, and cause pollution and emissions when they are made and transported.

The ban is not proposed to cover:

• prescription bags provided by pharmacists;

• bags sold as products for waste such as bags for garbage, compost and animal waste;

• bags sold as products for snacks, sandwiches or freezer-type bags; nor

• bags provided as primary packaging for food, produce, bakery items, meat, fast food, deli items and hardware bulk items.

Comments (51)

Up 1 Down 0

DMZ on Jan 13, 2021 at 9:50 pm

@Groucho d'North, It's a mystery, isn't it? They've used just under 10 percent of the 7,200 that got here almost three weeks ago, and another 7,200 is coming in this week. Nunavat almost caught up with them in a day or two (I think they were at 0 yesterday).


Up 11 Down 2

Groucho d'North on Jan 13, 2021 at 2:19 pm

You may recall, that all of Canada's provinces and territories were to participate in a "dry run" on Dec. 7th to test the logistical readiness of getting the vaccine into the public's arms ASAP. We are now hearing that the communities are just now beginning dialog with YG and implementing this vaccine program. What have they been doing for the past 60 days? Perhaps the plastic bag ruse is more important to Minister Frost after all?

Up 5 Down 8

The uncovered Plot on Jan 13, 2021 at 7:00 am

According to Groucho we shouldn't be discussing this topic because it's just a ruse to take us away from the fact that the Trudeau government is doing everything in it's power to supply vaccine across the country in as an efficient manner as possible.
You can fool some of the people some of the time but with piercing political analytic ability you can't fool Groucho.

Up 4 Down 1

DMZ on Jan 12, 2021 at 7:03 pm

Canadian Tire doesn't have plastic bags anymore.

Up 6 Down 2

DA on Jan 12, 2021 at 9:35 am

Thanks for clarifying. You may be right, although I find it hard to believe that giant corporations are going to do away with plastic bags without government intervention. But then again, I could be wrong.

Up 14 Down 4

A.Riediger on Jan 11, 2021 at 8:56 pm

I would like all the styrofoam meat containers included in the ban.

Up 13 Down 1

covidbc on Jan 11, 2021 at 8:44 pm

The environmental impact of a cloth bag is the equivalent of 131 plastic bags.

Up 15 Down 3

Wilf Carter on Jan 11, 2021 at 8:15 pm

Plastic bags have many uses; putting away veg's, collecting garbage, making plastic lumber for multi uses, used in road construction, curbs on streets to decking on your house, etc. Only reason I know is I worked in a used plastic lumber plant.

Up 2 Down 2

Wilf Carter on Jan 11, 2021 at 8:09 pm

All I hear is bad news for the Yukon Government on all fronts.
Heath care workers and people of high risk have not got their vaccine to protect their lives.

Up 6 Down 28

Anie on Jan 11, 2021 at 2:58 pm

Let's be honest, most people who argue that they reuse the plastic grocery bag probably use it for one more task and then it goes to the landfill. When Covis first started we were someplace where grocery stores would not let us bring our own bags. By about 3 weeks we had enough stockpiled to last for years for those rare occurrences where we actually need a plastic bag. We gave them away.

Up 8 Down 38

Davis on Jan 11, 2021 at 2:18 pm

About time! It's embarrassing that we still allow single-use plastics here!

Up 29 Down 2

Joe on Jan 11, 2021 at 1:54 pm

@ DA.. missing the point. It's not about multi tasking govy, lord knows there are enough govy workers sitting at at home with time on their hands. The point is society is dealing with the plastic bags (soon to be bio degradable) all on their own and the govy doesn't even need to be involved. It's all about lib govy trying to score a few points in election year.

Up 6 Down 19

DA on Jan 11, 2021 at 8:24 am

Good grief. Is it not possible to multi-task?

Dealing with plastic bags is a relatively simple issue that can be dealt with alongside all of the health/economy issues. The government doesn't need to abandon all projects/goals that have nothing to do with Coronavirus, otherwise nothing would happen for over a year. Good grief. There's a time to deal with the smaller matters, and now is a fine time to do it.

Up 26 Down 5

Excuse me!! Why is single use plastic ban a priority at all in early 2021? on Jan 10, 2021 at 8:36 pm

Surely this is NOT the time to be doing this. Please, please, focus your energy on getting the vaccine out to as many Yukon arms that you can in a timely way.
Please stop with the silly "engagement" exercises that are continuously rolling out of the Yukon government, and consuming "priority" space.

Up 44 Down 6

jack on Jan 10, 2021 at 5:18 am

If you do some research, Republic of Kenya banned plastic carrier bags in 2017 but their problem was so acute and out of control that bags were blowing everywhere in the wind, discarded everywhere, hanging in trees and found in the stomachs of livestock. Largely an issue of raising the awareness of the damage being caused.

Is the Yukon Territory remotely close to that stage yet? Why is this ban actually needed?
Has the Yukon Government even bothered to justify a ban?

Up 14 Down 20

Gunn on Jan 10, 2021 at 4:23 am

Your Liberals being responsible for everyone's mess.

Up 16 Down 1

Crayon Memorandums on Jan 9, 2021 at 3:39 pm

To Michelle - Surveys are a way of legitimizing an alternative agenda. They are never about the alleged subject matter. Most people know this and do not buy into the colour with crayons mentality that typically supports this blatant pandering.

So, Michelle... It’s not about democracy or having a say it is the absolute distaste for manipulation that is being poo-pooed. I would suggest a little rise and shine might do you some good... Although, I do recognize that dreams are often comforting they are not real and have non standing in reality... But for the crayon wishes...

Up 34 Down 9

Groucho d'North on Jan 9, 2021 at 9:11 am

After reading the Friday edition of the Star, it is apparent why this plastic bag consultation is being launched now. It is a squirrel - a distraction - a redirection of attention, in political parlance it is an attempt to change the channel.
All across the country elected officials are backpeddling on previous statements on how the vaccine will be rolled out in all the provinces and territories because the federal Liberals did not do the stellar job they say they did in securing vaccine in sufficient quantities in the time frames they wanted. So now after weeks of hyping the public up that the cure is coming, they are having to change their messages again. So give the public something else to focus their fruatrations on like a simple plastic bag issue. I had thought that the proposed Yukon Mineral Development Strategy would be in the spotlight to take attention away from the COVID issues...perhaps next week?

Up 43 Down 0

Pokemeinthearm on Jan 9, 2021 at 8:28 am

Has anyone even take time to take the survey? It is a joke! Full of leading questions or questions that only have options that will skew results.

Up 44 Down 7

Juniper Jackson on Jan 8, 2021 at 4:37 pm

The Silver government is not asking if we want a ban on plastic bags..they are saying.. you are getting a ban on plastic bags, how do you want us to implement this?
“Banning single-use shopping bags will help reduce waste in Yukon and protect the environment. This public engagement will ensure the ban is introduced in a way that works for Yukoners, businesses and municipalities.”

I don't want a ban at all. Silver and cartel think that people only use those bags one time? I don't..I line my garbage cans with them, I keep my toques hanging in a bag on my inside door, I take things to my neighbor, and others have a thousand different uses for them. At the stores? Almost everyone is using a bucket type or canvas bags.. AND if you do take a bag.. a nickel or a dime..

During the pandemic..you could NOT use your own bags, you had to use 1 plastic, and then throw it away..not reuse it.. the killer virus (that isn't) was just everywhere.

This is an underhanded, kind of sneaky government.. so, my question would be.. the plastic bag issue..isn't one.. So, what are you hiding behind a big plastic bag announcement? What are you up to Silver? Can't be good for us..

Up 26 Down 7

Vlad on Jan 8, 2021 at 3:43 pm

The whole plastic bag frenzy is totally idiotic. But what do you expect? Shopping plastic bags are reusable, and most people reuse them. Then, go to a grocery store. Everything you buy is wrapped in unusable plastic! Then what? You can't change it, but you can change peoples behavior how do they deal with this terrible waste. Start with our little kids, in grade one, show them a little bird choking, trapped in a plastic bag. Forget about people living in a junkyard the whole of their lives. Too late. Good luck.

Up 29 Down 10

Anie on Jan 8, 2021 at 2:47 pm

Community Gal, thanks so much for your concern about seniors, but you can turn your attention elsewhere. I'm a senior. We abandoned plastic grocery bags about 15 years ago. It's simple. Buy or make cloth bags or totes. After emptying, put them at the exterior door. Next person to leave the house puts them back in the vehicle (two vehicles? Have 2 sets of bags). A tip - promise yourself that, at the beginning, if you end up in the store without bags you will go back to the car and get them. Trust me, it won't happen more that a couple of times. Alternatively, buy only what you can carry.

I completely understand that some people want to continue to use plastic grocery bags. Fine with me. Just don't use me, my age or disabilities, as your justification because I can manage without plastic grocery bags just fine.

Up 12 Down 59

Michelle on Jan 8, 2021 at 12:00 pm

To all you liberal haters complaining about surveys and feedbacks, I have never seen the conservatives ask for our opinions on anything. If you feel they are ignoring the results, you can use access to information to get the results. I am tired of constantly hearing your complaints about everything and blaming it all on the the liberal government.

As for you saying you reuse the plastic bags, that is great. So do I but the majority of the them are not reused or recycled. I am all for implementing the use of compostable bags as a replacement to all non-compostable single use bags including for uses of animal waste and garbage. All take out containers should be compostable too including cutlery and straws.

Up 7 Down 60

Patti Eyre on Jan 8, 2021 at 11:22 am

Thank you Minister Frost and the liberals for taking this on! I watched a plastic bag doc narrated by Scar from the lion king and the oceans are filling up with our plastic trash, horrible to see! I know here at home we don’t contribute much to that, but if it means me carrying some reusable bags in my car, that’s something I can do without complaint! God save us, and we can save our planet!

Up 64 Down 3

Martin on Jan 8, 2021 at 10:25 am

If they're really serious about plastics; they should ban the sell of water in plastic bottles. There are gazillions of then strewn around the Yukon. But we (I) know they're NOT serious.

Up 54 Down 3

Sheepchaser on Jan 8, 2021 at 10:03 am

So instead of using those thin-as-possible grocery store bags as both shopping and, later, for garbage/compost/animal waste; the ban would require that we purchase a number of other plastic products we don’t currently need (compost bin, kitchen sized garbage bags, shopping bag, etc) which will come with their own carbon burning logistics to get up here. Right...

How stupid do you have to be to virtue signal your way into destroying the planet even further while claiming to be a champion of it. Frost is minister of what department again? I can never keep track.

Up 47 Down 3

spud on Jan 8, 2021 at 9:45 am

Most of us find it expensive to not use bags provided by retailers for many other purposes until they finally hit the use for garbage. Right now there are manufacturers who have developed plastics made from canola oil which are biodegradable, They are expanding as quickly as possible. We don't need to rush this BS. it will be solved in due time.

Up 51 Down 3

Groucho d'North on Jan 8, 2021 at 9:42 am

So with plastic bags they feel it is appropriate to consult with the public, but changing the procurement policies does not warrant our opinions until after the die has been cast. Do they flip coins in the Cabinet room to make decisions because they are inconsistent in their methods, or have they determined there are some issues they will solve all on their own and we citizens' opinions don't matter? Just another in a long list of failures.

Up 48 Down 5

Community Gal on Jan 8, 2021 at 9:10 am

Banning plastic and paper grocery bags is silly. It will hurt many like the senior or the single parent who forgets their bag and then has to either juggle many items in their arms, put them back or? So I buy smokies in a plastic package, frozen pizza in cardboard and plastic wrap, some bulk foods in plastic bags and a bag of apples yet can't get a plastic bag at the till to take it all home in?
Here's my feedback - let grocery and convenience stores make their own decisions on how best to run their business. With the time YG saves minding their own business, how about figuring out how to get our health care system back on its feet to deal with all other ailments besides COVID-19? YG can then address the pot they sell and all the plastic containers and packaging it comes with. Then figure out how all the people bringing their own bags into stores can sterilize them at the door so no bacteria or other contaminants come into the store on the reusable bags.
How about banning masks as they are littered all over the streets and are, presumably, toxic? How about banning disposable diapers? Feminine hygiene products have lots of plastic too. How about finding a more important issue to use for distraction?

Up 27 Down 2

michel dupont on Jan 8, 2021 at 8:41 am

After the Peel fiasco, I no longer participate to the "EXERCISES".
Thank you.

Up 29 Down 1

Bandit on Jan 8, 2021 at 7:47 am

I would gladly pay 5 cents for a " Single Use" compostable bag that I am already buying and paying $15 per hundred (15 cents ea) It may piss off Glad but I would be doing my part and saving 60%

Up 41 Down 5

Joe on Jan 7, 2021 at 10:41 pm

@DA... lol typical liberal response. Everyone else is talking health and economy and libs are focused on plastic bags. Let's hire a few consultants and have many meetings about plastic bags, then let's write a policy or two and then revisit it. Oh ya, plastic bags are very important.

Up 9 Down 45

Maverick on Jan 7, 2021 at 7:32 pm

We give feedback because we care and we expect it to be taken seriously ... even if the outcome is not always what we recommended, and even if it appears sometimes they did not take our thoughts into account (and we do not know).

I would love a full ban on these bags. Not in 2025, but right away. I've stood behind too many folks in store lineups who will never bring their own cloth bags, who stand there in their fur-lined jackets and who refuse to offer any help to the Food Bank ("Would you like to contribute $2 to the food bank?")--selfish cheapskates causing harm to animals--so I think we need to force the right action.

How long has this issue been discussed? Many years. People just don't step up. Most are just plain lazy, cheap and selfish. I've used perhaps one new plastic carry bag this year--the one time I've forgotten my permanent bags. Maybe it happened twice.

The stores will do nothing themselves if it might impact sales--just look at Superstore's earlier signs declaring that masks were "mandatory," and how many completely ignored the signs ... yet nothing was done. Until the government stepped in... It would be much better, say a lot more good about people, if they just did what was obviously right ... or maybe some just cannot connect the dots, and we need more education ... But since this issue is huge and will not resolve itself, I'd like to see a complete and total ban right away.

Up 27 Down 2

DMZ on Jan 7, 2021 at 6:18 pm

@comen sense, I'm with you on that. I don't care if they do the plastic bags, but why Pauline Frost? She should have just one job to do right now, vaccines. From all appearances, it isn't something she can do with one hand tied behind her back.

Up 42 Down 5

Matthew on Jan 7, 2021 at 5:45 pm

So I guess the countless throw away plastic gloves people are forced to wear during covid are fine? Even though there are plenty of plastics which are plant based and biodegradable now..why doesn't the gov actually do meetings instead of useless surveys that ask the same questions 5x..

Up 45 Down 8

Bingo on Jan 7, 2021 at 4:40 pm

This whole ban the bag thing is lunacy...I mean everything you buy at a grocery store or the like is in a clam shell or some sort of plastic sheathing. And don't buy into all that fear mongering about these bags out at sea bs, it's all propaganda...once again follow the money.

Up 15 Down 23

North_of_60 on Jan 7, 2021 at 4:23 pm

Paper shopping bags are not a problem, they deteriorate quickly when exposed outdoors. Many people re-use them as trash bin liners.
DO NOT BAN PAPER shopping bags.
Instead make stores charge a dollar 'recycling fee' for PAPER shopping bags with all that money going to support recycling depots.

Up 30 Down 6

My Opinion on Jan 7, 2021 at 4:19 pm

Most of the stuff that was and is going to Raven ultimately goes to the dump. See glass and plastic for starters. Follow the trucks.

Up 33 Down 5

Max Mack on Jan 7, 2021 at 4:10 pm

Liberals have one way of consultation. Agree with us.
They will flood the responses with folks and organizations that support their ideas.

They will discourage, downplay, ignore, suppress, marginalize and censor everyone else to varying degrees.
Bag bans are coming whether you like it or not. Just like everything else the Liberals do.

Up 34 Down 1

Beej on Jan 7, 2021 at 3:47 pm

The Bag Ban Support Centre provides leadership and support to Yukon government employees in making good plastic bag ban decisions. As a Senior Plastic Bag Ban Advisor, you will use your plastic bag knowledge to provide policy interpretation and advice, offer technical support as well as promote bag ban development across Yukon Government. This role also develops and delivers comprehensive bag ban tools and training for targeted audiences with an overall goal of improving bag ban processes across Yukon Government. Permanent position. $109,000/year

Up 66 Down 3

Pokemeinthearm on Jan 7, 2021 at 3:28 pm

The ban is not proposed to cover:
• bags sold as products for waste such as bags for garbage, compost and animal waste.

Literally every plastic bag I take home from the grocery store checkout is used for some of those purposes, so here's the loophole: Sell me individual garbage/animal waste bags for five cents a piece and I'll just so happen to carry my groceries home in them if I've forgotten my reusable bags.

Up 41 Down 5

DA on Jan 7, 2021 at 3:27 pm

Feedback is useless,
I've witnessed the government responding to public feedback. Think back to when the government asked for feedback regarding the time-change. The government actually went with the popular public opinion (as evidenced in the feedback) and decided to switch to daylight savings time year round.

But yes, there may have been other times when public feedback seemed useless....

Up 20 Down 36

DA on Jan 7, 2021 at 3:24 pm

There's a time to deal with big matters, and there's a time to deal with plastic bags. There are times in which we can deal with more than one thing at once.
This is a great time to deal with plastic bags, while at the same time not ignoring other important issues.

Up 46 Down 10

joe on Jan 7, 2021 at 3:13 pm

Like there are no other important issues to deal with. Like so many issues, society is dealing with this issue on their own. But I guess if govy wants to check box ( take credit for) some successes in election year...

Up 71 Down 3

Charlie's Aunt on Jan 7, 2021 at 3:10 pm

As usual, it's unlikely any feedback would be listened to. Why do they keep referring to plastic & paper shopping bags as single use? Might be true for some but for many of us those bags are re-used many times for many purposes. One result of the ban will be more black garbage bags used & chucked. The re-usable bags can be disgusting if not washed & then they can have a short life span. Everything needs to be contained in some way, but once again they are starting at wrong end of the stick when plastic used for primary packaging is excluded. What about lobbying manufacturers to remove some of excess cardboard or plastic e.g. sometimes 3 layers on a frozen or packaged pizza; laundry/dish detergent packs that could be sold in bulk bins as refills for a buyer supplied re-usable container instead of a plastic bottle or bag. Maybe we need to go back to having milk/juice/pop in glass bottles. Raven doesn't recycle glass any more but it can be crushed at end of life. Next up: energy rebate on purchase of a household trash compactor.

Up 56 Down 18

JC on Jan 7, 2021 at 3:05 pm

So, here's how it is. The Liberals want to implement a ban on something, so they want the citizens to tell them how to do it. Nice. They can't figure it out themselves or they want to make it look like they are giving the public a say in the matter. Then after all of this, they will just do the ban their way. How about giving the public a choice in whether to the ban plastic bags and paper bags or keep them. So, they ban them and now the public has to spend money to buy their own cloth bags. And if a shopper forgets to bring his/her bag to the store, they now have to pay a huge price to buy the store's cloth bag or go home and get their own. Another typical example of Liberal subtle control over their subjects.

Up 50 Down 12

AL on Jan 7, 2021 at 2:52 pm

@Feedback is useless. It is all about optics - nothing more. Just like the big to-do with Covid and what they are going to do for Yukoners' - optics and BS...

Up 60 Down 10

comen sense on Jan 7, 2021 at 2:34 pm

Isn't there more important issues right at this moment like vaccination and a plan on how to get our economy back on track once this storm is over? The liberal government has no insight, no priorities.

Up 56 Down 10

TMYK on Jan 7, 2021 at 2:03 pm

@ Feedback because pretending to care is the Liberal way. It keeps getting them elected so why would they change.

Up 50 Down 14

Mr Facts on Jan 7, 2021 at 1:00 pm

"bags sold as products for waste such as bags for garbage, compost and animal waste"
*insert carnival music here*

We are seriously living in a clown world. We are told that the sky is green, but it's actually blue. "No, it's blue" "Shut up, I'm filing the papers to have you charged with racism"

Up 86 Down 16

Feedback is useless on Jan 7, 2021 at 12:03 pm

Why are they asking for feedback? We all know that they are going to do whatever they want, regardless of feedback just like every other survey.

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