Okotoks has dodged the crisis of not being able to get rid of its recyclable plastic for now, but it’s just dodging what has become a major problem, with literally boat loads of the stuff ready to be shipped back to Canada.
When the famous words “Plastics” was uttered as the future in the 60s classic film The Graduate, Benjamin had no idea he was hearing about a problem that would glut the planet.
Although Okotoks waste manager Paul Lyons said, so far, that 95 per cent of the recycling going through the Eco Centre is being processed or sold to buyers, that doesn’t solve the problem that there is just too much darn plastic.
It’s likely that Okotoks residents are better than most, this is a community that prides itself on — and has received recognition for — its sustainability and environmental concerns.
However, there is still plenty more that residents can do.
There is no need to get everything wrapped in plastic at the grocery store, for example.
Maybe it’s time to risk that jug of milk — likely also a plastic jug of milk — won’t leak all over your food by not get getting wrapped in plastic.
And is there a need to have already plastic-wrapped chicken placed in another plastic bag?
There are things that corporations and consumers can do to fight the plastic bulge.
(Including the Okotoks Western Wheel — maybe it is time we rethought a way to deliver the newspaper rather than putting them in plastic bags?)
Councillor Tanya Thorn isn’t talking trash when she speaks of how Okotoks — and Okotokians — need to look at how they recycle in the future.
Although it’s doubtful a reminder is needed — recycling and plastics have become international news — Thorn is stressing that awareness starts at home.
It’s a clear, precise message and one that doesn’t need to be delivered in some kind of pretty plastic to hit home.