Thompson Rivers University’s Student Union slogan “Ban the bottle” should be “Ban all disposable drink containers.”
Plastic bottles are not the only issue. The effort that has been put into this campaign getting people to ban plastic bottles should be put into educating people to recycle their beverage containers responsibly.
A majority of people in this beautiful city of Kamloops are unaware of how to or what to recycle as beverage containers not limited to but including plastic bottles.
I worked at a bottle depot for two and half years.
When I was approached by a student union member on campus providing information on “Ban the Bottle,” I realized there was a problem, the information offered was that we should be banning plastic bottles because they can only be “downcycled” meaning that they could only be made into lower grade plastic.
However I know that plastic bottles are made into new plastic bottles, paint buckets, and clothing. In fact, I have a shirt that is made from a plastic bottle.
From my experience, tetra packs (juice boxes) are the biggest offenders. According to encorp.ca, for every tonne of juice boxes recycled, 17 trees are not cut down. Only 60 per cent of tetra packs sold in B.C. are returned, whereas 80 per cent of aluminum cans and 75 per cent of plastic bottles are returned.
Let’s focus on recycling these as well as plastic bottles.
Banning plastic bottles on campus is not a long-term solution, since commercialization, consumerism and convenience will make it difficult to achieve.
If people educated themselves on recycling beverage containers responsibly this would be a step in the right direction and a long-term solution.