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Cape Breton solid waste manager surprised by province's plastic bag ban

SYDNEY, N.S. —

SYDNEY — The Cape Breton Regional Municipality's solid waste manager was surprised by the provincial Liberal's proposed plan to ban single-use plastic items during the first day of the fall legislature sitting on Thursday.
Premier Stephen McNeil called an emergency debate about climate change during the sitting where he introduced the bill which could ban items like plastic shopping bags and regulate other single-use plastic items. 
"I think it came out of nowhere. I'm still in the midst of reading through (the press release) to understand what they're banning," said Francis Campbell during a phone interview from his office, hours after news of the proposed ban was released. 
"Of course it's good news, but the devil is always in the details." 
Since China stopped accepting film plastics as recyclable materials in December 2017, as much as 300 tonnes of the material is being stored at Camden Recycling in Edwardsville. 
Campbell said the solid waste department has been able to move some of the product to a company on the mainland which is working on ways of reusing the materials and said so far they haven't needed to request permission to bury it. 
As the bill goes through proper channels before becoming legislation, Campbell said there's a lot that needs to be determined such as "clarification by what they mean by single-use plastic." 
Although news of the new bill came as a surprise to Campbell and many of his colleagues, he still seem to welcome the news. 
"It's a start, for sure." 

nicole.sullivan@cbpost.com

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