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Polluter pays recycling - about freakin' time

Posted by John / February 1, 2006

pollute.jpgI wrote a column (grammatically incorrect sub-headline courtesy of the editors) last week about Quebec's sluggish environmental reforms, pointing specifically to Environment Minister Thomas Mulcair's lame reasoning for the extension of Highway 25 from Laval into Montreal and his even-more-lame rejection of a PQ MNA's petition to ban plastic bags. Quebecers use at least 1.4 billion each year, and Mulcair, in what seems like an obviously spineless nod (hmm, can you nod without a spine?) to the petrochemical industry, plans to find ways to make bags biodegradable -- which the petition suggests as an option, but which Mulcair hasn't actually moved forward with.

But I'm at least marginally hopeful about reports that Mulcair plans to make industry responsible for dealing with the packaging it creates, so that municipalities don't have to foot the bill for recycling it all.

Attaboy, Mulcair, I say tentatively. Tentatively because it's currently just a promise, and not a law, and he's talking implementation by 2010, which provides a nice window of time for him to back down under industry pressure.

Update: What's up with Mulcair all of a sudden? Today, he vows to get tough with Coca-Cola, which has decided to stop paying the 5 cent return fee on non-carbonated canned drinks, which encourages consumers to bring the empty cans back when they're finished.

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