Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I rise on a multifaceted issue that several constituents have brought to my attention: single-use plastics and the sustainability of our economy and environment. Earlier this year, the federal government announced its intention to ban single-use plastics by 2021. This would be following suit to many jurisdictions around the world which have been responding to the appalling amount of plastic waste clogging waterways, polluting lands and water sources, poisoning our food, and killing marine life en masse.
I am happy to see that the GNWT has announced the beginning of the process to address waste reduction through the recently published Waste Resource Management Strategy and Implementation Plan. I hope that the next Assembly will continue to advocate and take a lead in the process of banning single-use plastics and other waste management strategies. The capacity to achieve this already exists locally in the NWT. Some vendors have already begun using compostable take-away containers, and I feel we should investigate other northern solutions to this problem. I also feel that we should be incentivizing this shift in behaviour by providing cash incentives and supporting waste management projects in our private sector.
For example, the Vuntut Gwitchin people from the community of Old Crow, Yukon, began down this path in 2012 with the commissioning of a waste-to-energy facility. Since 2014, the facility has been operating and cleanly destroys up to three batches of 1.5 tonnes each per day of waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
This is but one part of the solution to the multifaceted problem of waste management that we face as a society. The GNWT can also take on a leading role on this matter. We have ENR offices all throughout our territory which could be used as collection points for recyclable materials. We can incentivize the use of compostable over single-use plastics, and we should be banning products like Styrofoam.
There are already a lot of people and groups around the world working on these issues. Conferences are held regularly. There is funding available from Ottawa and from philanthropic NGOs. I hope that we will all do our part to try to clean up our world and set a clearer path forward for future generations and ensure that the transition to a single-use plastic ban is done in a way that supports our private sector and supports those who are most concerned about this, individual families, households, business community, Indigenous governments, small communities who lack access to recycling facilities. We need a real plan that brings those resources to bear and ensure that we have a sound waste management system before this ban comes in place. Thank you Mr. Speaker.