Petition seeks support of a refund fee for plastic shotgun shell casings - InfoNews

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Petition seeks support of a refund fee for plastic shotgun shell casings

A Penticton man has launched a petition to have a levy placed on shotgun shells after encountering too many scenes like the one above.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Andrew Drouin Facebook page
May 19, 2020 - 9:00 AM

Drive nearly any backroad in B.C. long enough and you'll find ad hoc gun ranges, often littered with hundreds or thousands of spent plastic shotgun shells. Now a Penticton man has launched a petition he hopes will bring awareness and government response to what he says is a growing problem in the province’s rural areas.

Andrew Drouin says he created the petition on hoping to get the B.C. government to implement a five cent per cartridge refund fee plastic shotgun shells.

Drouin hopes to reduce the amount of plastic left on the forest floor.

“Everyone who ventures into the forest, especially sites near to roadways, sees thousands upon thousands of spent or discarded shotgun shell casings on the ground. These are generally accompanied by the remains of whatever it is the perpetrators were target practicing on,” Drouin said in an email last week.

Drouin says he doubts the levy will result in a change of behaviour amongst those who are discarding the casings, but he believes it would provide an incentive for others such as cub scouts to clean them up as a fundraiser task that could also teach social and environmental responsibility.

He can’t say for sure whether the problem is on the rise or not but says it has been an ongoing issue recognized by local forest cleanup groups over the years.

“There appears to be an ongoing problem. Discussions with members of the Four Wheel Drive Association of BC, the B.C. Outdoor Recreation Association and the Federation of Mountain Clubs of B.C. confirms this to be a province-wide issue,” he says.

In the Penticton area, Drouin says the look-off at Ellis Creek canyon is particularly bad.

“I’m confident if you were to ask other area land-managers, you will find they will all tell you that spent shotgun shell casing are an issue on the land they manage,” Drouin says.

He says if the petition gets good support he will pass it on to MP Richard Cannings and ask for the support of a private members bill.

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