The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada in 2019 will consider a motion to encourage Anglicans across the country to both curtail purchase of and, reduce reliance on, single use plastics. The proposed motion includes developing resources to assist local efforts to those ends.
Plastic products are produced from oil, a non-renewable resource. Single use plastics are those items that are used only once before being thrown away. This includes products such as plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles, and foam food packaging such as styrofoam.
While some plastic products are recycled, most end up in landfills or in the ocean. Plastic is not biodegradable. It breaks down over a long period of time into smaller pieces; these pieces have been known to make their way into food chains and water supplies. Dramatically, in the ocean, some plastics have clumped together into large floating islands of garbage. Moreover, plastic is not easily recycled into new products and in many communities foam packaging is not eligible for recycling programs at all.
Both the fifth Mark of Mission and our Baptismal Covenant call us to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth. We are a long way from eliminating the use of all plastics. Choosing to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic is a step toward sustainability. The resolution seeks to respect the need for products that promote health and inclusion, while challenging us to reflect on how changes in personal habits may contribute to a reconciled relationship with the earth. (from the background on General Synod Motion A201)