The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) will be working to reduce or eliminate the use of single-use plastics and other disposable items in its day to day operations.

The CRD announced Wednesday it has adopted a new internal policy regarding single-use plastics including plastic utensils, plastic straws, plastic bags, styrofoam cups, plates or bowls, and plastic stir sticks at CRD staff and Board functions as well as special events hosted by the Regional District.

“I think the Board as a whole realizes that it’s important for us to manage our single-use plastics because we’re all environmentally aware on the damage that the single-use plastics do and the horrific amount of time that they take to decompose in the ground-if ever,” said Chair Margo Wagner.

“So I think the Board as a whole felt that it was time that we did what we could.”

Wagner added that although they do not have jurisdiction to ban single-use plastics across the Regional District, they wanted to take action.

“We certainly felt that we could do our part with our internal operations and supporting the member municipalities and get the three offices that are within the CRD up to speed with not using plastics and single-use items. It was just time we did something.”

Plastic bags and overwrap can be recycled at all CRD recycling depots as well as other flexible packaging including bubble wrap; nylon weaved rice, dog food bags, cereal bags, zipper-lock bags, stand up pouches, potato chip bags, cellophane, and many others.

“Regardless of whether there is a single-use plastic ban in your community or not, I encourage everyone to consider what they can do to reduce their use of single-use plastics or disposable items,” Wagner said.

“Remember your reusable bag when you go shopping, bring reusable plates and cups to your next summer BBQ, try to buy items with less packaging and recycle the plastic packaging you do receive.”

The CRD said it also aims to reduce the use of other disposable items as well, such as paper cups, plates and bowls, wooden utensils and paper bags.