A Colchester entrepreneur who is manufacturing lumber from plastic bags says plastic bags shouldn’t be banned – they should be recycled creatively. Should there be incentives to encourage inventors and manufacturers to make useful products from single-use plastic?
Plastic lumber from plastic bags. Dan Chassie of Colchester says the plastic lumber he is manufacturing at Goodwood Plastic Products is attractive, comes in different colors and is far more durable than wooden lumber. And it’s all made of plastic bags, those convenient but polluting and slated to be banned next year throughout Canada.
Chassie is one of the very few people to have good things to say about plastic bags. A five-second Google search produces boggling statistics – that Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, requiring 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture; that 80 percent of polluting ocean plastics leach from the land into the sea, that 100,000 marine animals are killed annually by plastic bags. Many countries, including China, Italy, parts of India and the U.S., and a dozen African nations, have banned them or are taxing their usage. The Trudeau government has announced it will ban “harmful” single-use plastics in two years, like plastic bags and forks and charge manufacturers with recycling costs.
His Goodwood Plastic Products, has a backlog of orders, he told the Chronicle-Herald in an article published on Feb. 7. “The plastic bag ban is something that is created by individuals who don’t understand the industry and don’t understand a quality resource that creates jobs,” Chassie said. The ban is intended to curb the distribution of single-use plastic — but if plastic bags can be recycled into plastic boards, it’s not single-use, he said.