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Calgary takes on plastic waste for Earth Day

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For Earth Day 2024 this week, people around the world are encouraged to take action for a healthier planet.

This year's theme is "planet versus plastics."

The City of Calgary has several programs related to the theme of plastic waste, the most prominent being the city's single-use bylaw that took effect in January.

Under this bylaw, businesses charge a mandatory minimum fee of 15 cents for a new paper shopping bag and one dollar for a reusable bag – and they will only be given if a customer asks for one.

Council voted 10-4 to pass the bylaw in 2023.

Cllrs. Chabot, McLean, Wyness and Chu voted against the bylaw.

However, on Jan. 30, just two weeks after it took effect, Calgary city council voted to begin the repeal process for the single-use bylaw.

Some councillors had said the rules generated negative feedback.

It's expected to be discussed at a public hearing meeting on May 7.

More information on the city's environment strategy can be found online.

Ottawa set to host treaty talks

Earth Day 2024 also coincides with the UN's fourth round of talks to create a global treaty to deal with plastic pollution.

Negotiators from 176 countries will gather in Ottawa this week, with the aim of finalizing a deal by the end of the year.

According to information found on earthday.org plastic production has now grown to more than 380 million tons per year.

More plastic has been produced in the last 10 years than in the entire 20th century.

Representatives in Ottawa are trying to figure out how to limit the most common types of plastic waste found in nature.

They will also address the most toxic chemicals used to make plastic.

The most contentious issue is whether countries should put a cap on how much plastic they can produce.

The treaty talks in Ottawa begin Tuesday and run for seven days.

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