By ROY WOOD
Spurred by the efforts of a class of environmentally aware high schoolers, Osoyoos council will at least look at taking action against plastic-waste pollution in the community and will urge the local business community to get on board.
Tuesday’s decisions follow a May 22 appearance of a grade-11 class asking council to fight back against the threats to the environment posed by discarded cigarette butts and plastic drinking straws.
They proposed a ban on the straws and participation in a program to collect and eventually recycle the plastic in cigarette filters.
Despite a report from chief administrative officer Barry Romanko recommending no action, council directed staff to “determine the costs of one or both actions and … that this information be taken to 2019 business plan discussion.”
Romanko’s report had recommended against doing anything because of lack of staff resources or budget.
Councillor CJ Rhodes, who described himself as a crusader against plastic pollution, specifically the threat facing the world’s oceans from “an island of plastic … the size of the country of France.”
He added, “As a municipality … I feel it is absolutely mandatory that we do something about this and banning straws would be my choice.”
Mayor Sue McKortoff echoed the fears about plastic pollution caused by straws and added plastic stir sticks, lids and cutlery used in eateries. “I think we should do something now,” she said.
She got approval from her council-mates to send a letter to the Osoyoos business community urging them to curb usage of “single-use plastic items