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Majority of Canadians Support Single-Use Plastic Ban

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More than four in five Canadians support or somewhat support a ban on single-use plastics, and most would be willing to pay a little bit extra for more environmentally sustainable products, according to a new survey released this week by Nanos Research.

“Fifty-six per cent of Canadians support a total ban on single-use plastics, while 25% somewhat support a ban,” the Globe and Mail reports, with 8% opposed and 10% who somewhat oppose it. “Across the country, residents of British Columbia are most likely to support the ban, with 65% saying they are in favour, while residents of the Prairie provinces are less likely to back it, but still their support remains at 47%.” Support for the ban stands at 60% in Quebec, 59% in the Atlantic, and 54% in Ontario.

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Three-quarters of survey respondents said they would pay a premium for plastics alternatives—31% would pay 5% more, 21% would pay 2% more, and 19% would pay 1% more.

“The key takeaway is that there’s broad support for a ban on single-use plastic, basically across the country,” said Nanos Research Chair Nik Nanos. “However, when we get into paying a premium or paying more on items—although it’s still a majority—there’s a significant proportion of Canadians that outright don’t want to pay more, which is about one out of every four.”

Environmental Defence Plastics Program Manager Vito Buonsante said the result reflects Canadians’ belief that a plastics ban is essential in the fight against pollution. “It really confirms that view, that people want action and even very radical action,” he said. “I think bans are great. They’re not the only solution, [but] we need to rethink our relationship with plastic.”

The Globe notes that the Canadian Plastic Bag Association has been challenging cities’ plastic bans, and recently won a round in Victoria, B.C. after the provincial Court of Appeal ruled unanimously that a local bylaw was beyond municipal jurisdiction.