Following suit with some other Labrador communities, the town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay is going to ban plastic bags. The town announced the move on June 7 and said they plan to have it place before Jan. 1, 2020.
“With the province announcing they were going to do it and other communities in the area already doing it we figured we’d get ahead of it,” said town councilor Lori Dyson-Edmunds.
Nain has banned plastic bags since 2009 and other communities on the north coast soon followed. Dyson-Edmunds said as one of the larger centres in Labrador they wanted to show their support for the ban and maybe inspire some other communities to come on board.
“When Makkovik first banned them, it was amazing to see the difference in the community in the first and second years alone,” Dyson-Edmunds, who lived in Makkovik for many years, said. “It just makes the community look so much nicer.”
She said they’ve contacted the major retailers in town and they are on board too, which makes the process easier. They expect it will take people time to get used to the shift but it’s a small life change that can have a big impact, she said.
Feedback from the community on the idea has been great, Dyson-Edmunds said, and they will provide more resources for people who want more information.
The provincial government announced the ban in April, making it the second province in the country to ban plastic bags. They haven’t announced a date yet for the ban but said at the time it could take from six to 12 months.