Consumers at Cottage Toys in Peterborough haven’t been handed a plastic bag in a few years, says worker Megan Meyer, they usually by no means will.
Meyer has been working on the retailer, positioned on Charlotte Avenue within the downtown for 2 years, however has been purchasing there for 30, and for so long as she will keep in mind the shop has provided options to plastic.
“It’s horrifying how a lot plastic goes out,” mentioned Meyer.
In December, Canada’s new guidelines on single-use plastics went into impact, and the import or manufacture of baggage, straws, stir sticks, utensils and different merchandise have been outright banned. By subsequent December, the sale of this stuff will even be prohibited.
Small companies in Peterborough appear to be adapting although, with many having already discarded plastic in favour of paper or reusable luggage.
These are the choices out there at Cottage Toys, with Meyer saying it’s extra than simply retail shops making an attempt to do higher.
“Even the clothes we get in is manufacturers actively making an attempt to chop down,” she mentioned.
Cottage Toys is “fairly darn environmentally aware,” she added, noting extra shops are doing their half to chop down on single-use plastics.
And whereas the shop has at all times been making an attempt to be extra inexperienced, Meyer notes that’s not at all times what the purchasers need.
“Even prior to now, (the proprietor) was making an attempt to herald manufacturers that didn’t at all times promote, generally the buyer doesn’t at all times assist that, possibly as a result of it’s too costly.”
However buyer habits do appear to be altering, and there are some massive manufacturers going inexperienced and forgoing plastic, notes Meyer. Eliminating plastic luggage can also entice environmentally aware clients, she provides.
John Martin says his enterprise, John Roberts Clothiers, hasn’t been utilizing plastic luggage for shut to twenty years.
“We like paper luggage,” mentioned Martin. “We didn’t need to put plastic within the setting, and the opposite cause is we just like the look of it.”
The enterprise has by no means been an enormous shopper of plastic, and Martin notes most small companies seem to have moved on from plastic luggage.
“All the opposite outfitters I can consider use paper,” he added, noting he’s additionally seen a lot of reusable luggage.
Paper luggage are available all types of sizes, colors and have totally different shops’ logos printed on them. Martin’s luggage are brown with a definite gold emblem for the shop, and he thinks it appears elegant when clients stroll out of the shop with them.
“There was a day once we did use plastic luggage for some issues, however even 20 years in the past they have been speaking about some day eliminating them,” he added. “I believe all people must do what they will these days.”
Nicole Elson says since Day 1 her enterprise, Rawscoe’s Sport Collectibles, has been utilizing paper luggage.
“We wished to be environmentally pleasant and with this it’s simple to place our emblem on it,” mentioned Elson, who opened the shop along with her husband almost 4 years in the past.
The fee isn’t too excessive, with a single small bag costing 55 cents to the enterprise, she notes. However clients may simply reuse them as reward luggage.
There are occasions when plastics have their use, says Elson, noting she repurposes them for rubbish luggage in her residence.
Different shops have additionally been utilizing options to plastic luggage since they first opened.
“We’ve been utilizing paper luggage since opening (S.O.S.) in 2006,” mentioned Shelby Leonard-Watt, co-owner of S.O.S., Flavour and Windfall in downtown Peterborough.
Any plastic use within the different companies is being phased out, she says, and paper is extra sturdy and has extra utility since it may be reused, mentioned Leonard-Watt. However it’s not the least costly possibility.
“Plastic luggage are cheaper to buy, most paper luggage are minimal a greenback for one and that’s an enormous expense for retailers to tackle,” she mentioned.
However she does say each small enterprise ought to see what they will do for the setting, and make inexperienced and cost-effective decisions.
“I believe something that improves our environmental footprint, something that makes it smaller is useful,” she mentioned, including although it could value companies extra.
“On the similar time, it’s for the larger good,” she added.