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Vote for our Regional Cloth Bag Program Today!

November 17, 2009

Please Vote for our Regional Cloth Bag Program! Click here

The Aviva Community Fund is a competition that could result in positive change in communities across Canada. If our idea receives enough votes, it will have a chance at sharing in $500,000 of funding.

“It’s in the Bag!”

The goal of this program is to replace plastic shopping bags with high quality, fairly traded natural fibre bags, bring a large quantity into our community, and make them available to merchants and community groups to purchase in smaller quantities at the bulk cost price and silkscreen locally with their own logos or artwork.

A Worldwide Problem

Plastic is all around us. It is in our food and drink packaging and our children’s toys. It is something seen with almost everything we buy at home and at work. It is one of the cheapest, most convenient, and long-lasting materials known to man. Yet this success becomes a problem when plastic items are no longer needed. The affordability means that people can use it and discard it without thought, and the longevity has ensured that every pieced of plastic ever made is still with us today. Plastic has found its way inevitably into the oceans where there are now swirling whirlpools of plastic soup known as gyres which can mimic food, killing sealife and winding up in the food chain.

Because Powell River is a physically isolated community, only accessible by ferry, we are keenly aware of our waste, which we must pay to have barged out.  We are also a coastal community with many people dependant on the sea for their livelihood so we want to draw attention to the threat that plastic waste in the oceans poses.  Public awareness of the problems posed by plastic is increasing and many communities worldwide have taken steps to reduce their plastic consumption, targeting the plastic carrying bag as an easy first step. Already, some local Powell River stores are now charging a fee for their plastic carry bags and many consumers have taken up the challenge voluntarily by using reusable bags; however, most of these bags are still made of plastic which, when they reach the end of their usability, can wind up in our oceans and wilderness areas.

A Small-town Solution.

Our approach to the problem is a Regional Cloth Bag Program. The goal of this program is to source a suitable, high quality, fairly traded natural fibre bag, bring a large quantity into the community and make them available to merchants and community groups to purchase in smaller quantities at the bulk cost price and silkscreen locally with their own logos or artwork.

This concept furthers our community’s commitment to the important cause of reducing pollution and its associated societal, monetary & environmental costs. It also fits well with the Powell River Regional District’s newly-completed draft Solid Waste Management Plan whose stated goal is “Working Towards Zero” as well as other local sustainability initiatives. Already, groups like the Open Air Market and the Tourism Powell River have expressed interest in the program because it will make it affordable for them to purchase high quality bags in smaller quantities.

We are approaching local governmental and business organizations to put up the necessary funds to sponsor the program and be reimbursed as the bags are sold.  Because we want to source a good quality, long-lasting, fairly-traded product yet keep it affordable and allow for a portion of the bags to be donated to local organizations such as the food bank, we are also looking for other ways, such as the Aviva Community Fund Program, to offset the cost of the bags.

We hope you will agree that this is a worthwhile endeavour and vote for us!

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