March 23 2017 – Captain and SpringTide Crew member Mark Williams joined Mark Brennae on CFAX 1070 yesterday afternoon to talk about the negative effects plastic bags have on our environment. It is pretty hard to believe that a west coast, environmentally friendly city like Victoria even has to have this conversation. It should be a no brainer – Ban plastic bags! After all, countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa and Kenya have banned plastic bags because they pose an environmental threat. If they can do it why can’t we?
This subject is pretty close to the hearts of the crew at SpringTide Whale Watching & Eco Tours. We believe Eco-Tourism is the way of the future and we educate each and every one of our guests on the importance of keeping our Wildlife wild, our carbon footprint to a minimum and of course our Oceans free of pollution.
Unfortunately, we live in a wasteful society, but it’s not too late! For example, in 2009, Thrifty Foods was one of the first retail grocery chains in BC to eliminate single-use plastic bags. To this day they still offer only brown paper bags or reusable cloth bags to their customers. Walmart Canada has started to charge 5 cent for every single plastic bag used. While this won’t stop the ongoing problem it will most certainly eliminate a huge percentage of plastic bags coming from their stores.
Plastic grocery bags weren’t introduced in to America until 1979 and Kroger and Safeway didn’t pick them up until 1982. Mark says we managed to live without plastic shopping bags up until the 1960’s so we will learn to adapt and live like this again.
At SpringTide, Captain Mark and the rest of our crew have often stopped their boats to pick up things from the Ocean such as deflated balloons, plastic bags, bundles of old fishing line and fishing nets. All of these items can have a negative impact on wildlife & our environment and it’s up to all of us to try and make a difference. Banning plastic bags is just a start to a great environmentally friendly future.
So how can you help you ask? There are many ways. You can volunteer with Beach Clean Up organisations such as the SurfRider Foundation, you can donate to a great cause such as The Ocean Cleanup and of course you can ban plastic bags in your own home. Use compostable and biodegradable bags in your garbage cans and only use paper or reusable bags at the grocery store.
The more people that are aware of the damage that plastic bags can cause the more we will see a positive move forward into an Eco-friendly future.
If you are interested in listening to Captain Mark’s Interview that was aired on CFAX1070 on Wednesday, March 22nd 2017 you can link to it here.