Jade Janzen is a grade 10 student who created the youth environmental group called, “Lives With Less Plastic”. Back in 2018, she started the organization and appealed to Cochrane town council to ban the use of single-use plastics. While the council heard her plea, she was unable to persuade them to implement the ban. Jade Janzen is not one to give up and in the past two years, Jade's group has grown and become even more organized. They now have a website, a Facebook page, and have been teaching awareness to young students in Cochrane schools. The group has held local clean-ups to build awareness of their cause and to keep Cochrane clean. They now have merchandise (environmentally friendly of course) including hoodies and tee-shirts made from bamboo and cotton. 

Janzen is very pleased with the federal government's announcement of banning certain single-use plastics by 2021. She says, "I think it's a great step. We've been waiting for this, I wasn't able to put in a ban in Cochrane, but we have definitely been waiting for the government to take some action. They did push it back a year which is unfortunate, but under the circumstances, it's great that they are still doing the ban." 

Canada's new restrictions will see the elimination of single-use plastic items that are not easily recycled and already have environmentally friendly alternatives. On the banned list for 2021: plastic straws, stir sticks, carryout bags, cutlery, dishes and take out containers, and 6 pack rings for cans and bottles. Janzen says, "It only adds up to, I believe the environment minister, said one percent of the total amount of plastics, but it's a great step. Let's get rid of these. Let's get people changing their habits and reducing their environmental footprint. Then we can have systemic change with extended producer responsibility."

One thing is for certain, Cochrane can count on "Lives With Less Plastic" to continue to raise our awareness and help us to reduce our environmental footprint.  To go to their website click here.