Saskatoon residents are going to have to change their recycling habits after city council voted to ban plastic film from the blue bin program on Monday.
Councillors voted 10-1 in favour of the change, after a city administration report indicated there was no longer a market for the material. They also cited a Chinese crackdown on “contaminated” recycling, including plastic film.
Plastic film includes items like grocery bags and saran wrap.
The report noted plastic bags only account for two per cent of the city’s recyclables, but staff at Loraas have had to spend time separating the material from the rest of the recycling they bring in.
Ward 4 councillor Troy Davies voted against the change, saying he wanted to see an overall waste diversion plan before deciding on plastic film.
“When I see what’s coming forward to us in regards to green bins, organics, what our general costs are going to be on garbage — this isn’t even in my top 10,” he said.
Ward 1 Councillor Darren Hill questioned whether the ban would lead the city to ban plastic bag sales altogether.
Administration said a potential ban on bags is part of their next report to the environment, utilities and corporate services committee.
However, committee chair and Ward 7 councillor Mairin Loewen told her colleagues and the public a full plastic bag ban is “not a top priority.”
The recycling ban on plastic film goes into effect on April 1.