When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, December 16, 2023

Links - 16th December 2023 (2)

Meme - *Male Toilet*: "Closed for private event. Our apologies."

Meme - Richard Hanania @RichardHanania: "The aliens know to always be exactly where people will get the lowest quality footage, no matter how much camera technology improves."
Steven Pinker: "Another reason why UFOs are almost certainly not advanced aliens from outer space..."

Motorcyclist dies after accident along ECP where passenger jumped out of minibus - "A motorcyclist has died after a crash on Wednesday (Nov 8) along the East Coast Parkway (ECP), where a passenger jumped out of a minibus."
Man charged after jumping out of minibus along expressway, sparking accident that led to motorcyclist's death

HBO boss apologises for using fake Twitter accounts to troll TV critics - "The HBO CEO and chairman, Casey Bloys, has apologised for tasking employees with creating fake Twitter accounts to attack TV critics.  Bloys was responding to a bombshell Rolling Stone report that referenced alleged text messages between himself and Kathleen McCaffrey, HBO’s senior vice-president of drama programming. In six conversations, the pair discussed a “secret army” that could respond to TV critics who gave HBO shows a negative review."

S$19.60 for this economy rice: Pick your own ingredients cai png at Alexandra Retail Centre - "If you've ever queued up for economy rice at the canteen and thought to yourself, "They should have a version of this where I can help myself", well, you're so in luck.  Yes, yes, it is already like this in Malaysia, but here in Singapore?  Hundred Grains, a new self-service Chinese fast food place, has sprung up on the second floor of Alexandra Retail Centre, which puts a spin on the classic cai png (economy rice) concept... Hundred Grains offers a selection of 40 to 60 dishes showcasing flavors from Sichuan, Hunan, and Guangdong, China.  Dishes include spicy ginger chicken feet, sweet skin duck, mouth-watering chicken, as well as boneless fish with two peppers, among other dishes with unique flavours... the eatery has opted for a fixed pricing model, regardless of meat or vegetables that you pile on your plate.  The price is currently S$3.98 per 100g of food, with a minimum weight of 150g per transaction.  Rice and porridge, as well as drinks, are free flow."

Mum, 49, slams Lidl for 'barring' her from buying 100 cucumbers for juice business as supermarkets ration fruit and veg - "Lisa Fearns buys around 100 cucumbers at Lidl every week to create detox juices for her business - and has done so for the past three years.  But last weekend, the 49-year-old mum was stopped at the checkout, with the manager rushing over to "bar" her from emptying the shelves of cucumbers.  She joked that she would have to become "a cucumber dealer" to deal with limits in place."

"I’m a 90s kid" no you’re a 30 year old man : WeDoALittlePosting

Meme - ""Guys who can cook"
Expectation *buff guy*
Reality *Dad bod guy*"

Meme - "*Marvel tattoo*
M - Hulk
A - Superman
R - Batman
V - Wolverine
EL - Iron Man"

Meme - "[Italian guy gets pulled over for speeding]
Italian guy: I so sorry officer you a caughta me red handed, what is the punishment for such crime?
cop: it's a fine
Italian guy: bellissimo, molte bene, you are so a kind"
sky.lolov: "As an italian, i don't find it funny and no italians don't actually speak in that weird accent"
arthurdotexe: "As an Italian, we do speak like this, keep making jokes about it"

Honestbee founder’s biggest lie in a web of deceit - "Sng’s resume was out of this world, suggesting he had ingratiated himself with the business and political elite. After graduating from Harvard University in 2008, he supposedly made investments in the who’s who of the tech world: Razer, Xiaomi, Airbnb, Uber, and Facebook among others.  Sng claimed that he had seats on various boards and advisory panels at organizations linked to the Singapore government, including the Prime Minister’s Office...   How did Sng amass these credentials so quickly? He was good at charming potential partners and tapping into their motivations to get what he wants, multiple associates tell Tech in Asia.  While his early life remained fodder for gossip, Sng’s achievements centered around a preposterous claim: that he was the great-grandson of Chinese revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen."

Research: Being Nice in a Negotiation Can Backfire

Can you die from old age? - "There is no such thing as "dying of old age", and you won't see this term written on a death certificate.  Rather, it is a colloquial way in which we refer to the death of an older person where the cause is not obvious or well-understood...  medical issues may include heart problems, low or high blood pressure, or neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's... "The reason that many older people quietly die in their sleep is because their swallowing systems don't work, they inhale food, fluid, saliva into their lungs, they catch pneumonia and they die," he says.  And these diseases also affect mobility, making older people more likely to fall, injure themselves, and end up in hospital — where they are at risk of infections they can no longer fight off... doctors are less likely to carry out invasive testing that might uncover a specific cause in older people, compared with young, healthy patients.  "In many cases, the death certificate will only say what is the most likely cause of death without necessarily having a specific or post-mortem proven cause of death," Dr Rosenfeld says.  "Every death certificate, even when they don't know what it was, they would usually say heart attack, cardiac arrest. If it's an old person in a nursing home they probably usually say pneumonia.""

Soon you’ll be able to safely microwave Cup Noodles - "Nissin announced that it was updating the design of its iconic Cup Noodles in early 2024. Instead of polystyrene, it’ll be made out of paper. Nissin also notes that thanks to the new packaging, its Cup Noodles will now be microwaveable. As in, you were never supposed to be microwaving Cup Noodles.  Cue chaos... UChicago Medicine’s Burn and Wound Center published a study that discovered a third of childhood burns were caused by instant noodles. More specifically, the study’s authors said in a press release that the burns often occurred due to “inadvertent spills when removing containers from the microwave, along with spills while eating due to the narrow bases of instant noodle cups.”... the new microwavable Cup Noodles also won’t make you wait for three minutes. The new design will “no longer require boiling water,” meaning you can shave 45 seconds off the heating time."

No sweat is bad news for lovers, says co-author of RSC book - ""Pheromones are what we call here in Germany Sexuallockstoffe, which work on men and on women alike.   "Those pheromones are included in the sweat. This is why some girls like to wear the T-shirts of their boy-friend and vice versa. There have been studies about that both in Germany and in England.   "Napoleon Bonaparte once wrote to his wife Joséphine, while he was campaigning: 'Please don't wash, will arrive in three days'. This confidential note was transferred by a messenger, and in this specific case, even historians do agree that Napoleon didn't mean that Joséphine shouldn't do the laundry. He meant something else."

Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing in Latin America worked - "Despite the initial outcry, Netflix’s new pricing scheme appears to be working. The company has reported that subscribers are once again signing up across Latin America. New data from piracy intelligence firm EtherCity, shared with Rest of World, also shows that restricting password sharing seems to have stifled account resales. The practice, in which account access is sold online at a reduced price, is a popular way of pirating Netflix in Latin America."

Is Singapore really a Blue Zone? Experts weigh in on how healthy Singaporeans are - "Okinawa, Sardinia and Singapore. What do these places have in common? Besides all being islands, Okinawa is in Japan, Sardinia in Italy and Singapore in Southeast Asia.  In a recent Netflix series titled Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones, they were among six places named healthy “Blue Zones”. Popularised by New York Times bestselling author Dan Buettner, a Blue Zone is a region with a high concentration of centenarians or 100-year-olds.   These are places where people live longer and enjoy better health well into old age. In his book The Blue Zones, Buettner named five original Blue Zones – besides Okinawa and Sardinia, there is Ikaria in Greece, Loma Linda in California and the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.  Each of these pockets of longevity has developed a way of life where people eat plant-based diets, are active daily, have a sense of purpose and are engaged in close-knit communities.  Singapore was named a sixth Blue Zone 2.0 this year in the four-part documentary on Netflix, yet it does not fit the mould of these five...   “Good healthy habits are not inherent in our traditional culture and lifestyle. Singapore is nothing like Okinawa or Sardinia,” he said.   “On the contrary, we eat food that is rich in sugar, salt and santan (coconut milk in Malay), very often deep fried; we are not endowed with vast expanse of nature that encourages outdoor activities; the pace of life is fast and stressful.   “Many families keep to themselves and do not even talk to their immediate neighbours.”... Buettner said that life expectancy in Singapore jumped over 20 years within a lifetime, while the other five Blue Zones evolved slowly over centuries. It’s an outcome the rest of the world envies, he said.  For example, with a car ownership rate of 11 per cent, this means that 89 per cent of people here have to walk to get to a store, to see their friends and run their errands. This adds up to "more physical activity than you think", he said.  "I don’t think Singaporeans realise how much they move naturally. The people I interviewed took this non-exercise physical activity for granted when in fact, in many cases, it added up to over 6,000 to 8,000 steps per day.”  Compared with many other countries, Singapore does well on measures of health. The Global Burden of Disease 2019 study ranked Singapore first globally for both life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, ahead of Japan.   If you live in Singapore, you can expect to live, on average, to about 84 years of age. More importantly, the number of years you live in good health is also likely to be the highest in the world, at an average of 74 years.  Singapore has created this outcome through infrastructure and programmes that nudge our people towards healthier behaviours, said Mr Ong.   “Just like Singapore is a nation created by conviction and will, Singapore as a Blue Zone is constructed through policy,” he said.  Experts here agree. Dr Laureen Wang attributes Singapore residents’ stellar life expectancy to a number of factors including stable and good governance, economic security, accessible health care and public health policies – such as childhood immunisation programmes and how COVID-19 was handled.   The cardiologist and head of Alexandra Hospital’s Well Programme also cited social factors – a high literacy rate and social support, in part due to our Asian culture and also family and friends being close by for many in a small country...   Prof Maier also pointed out that one overlooked factor is insufficient sleep – which can add to the risk of developing diabetes, dementia and affects one’s mental health.  Singapore is among the cities that get the least hours of sleep in the world"

20 Video Game Franchises EA Has Ruined


France’s far-Left criticised for defending leader who hit his wife - "The Left-wing of French politics faced accusations of double standards on Monday after members of its camp leapt to the defence of a top MP who admitted to slapping his wife.  French prosecutors in Lille, northern France, launched an investigation into Adrien Quatennens, the de facto head of the radical-Left La France Insoumise (LFI) party, after information was leaked to the press revealing that his wife, Céline, had reported her estranged husband to the police for violence. The revelations are embarrassing for LFI and partners from its Left-wing NUPES parliamentary alliance, which has styled itself as the most militant political force in calling out violence against women.  Mr Quattenens himself called on the government in 2019 to pay more heed to complaints filed in police stations by women reporting violence"

Meme - Hydra: "You can't beat me! IF you cut ofF one oF my head, two more grow back in its place!"
Hero: "Hmm..."
"EXOTIC FOOD Roasted Hydra's Heads. Enough for everyone!"

Meme - "I just started our online banking and never realized how much money you give to charity. I married such a sweet and generous man!
*Charity. Gentleman's CLub. FULL NUDE!*"

On brain science

Robin Monotti on X - "Mussolini was paid £100 a week from MI5 from 1917 to keep up the WW1 pro-war campaigning: "Archived documents have revealed that Mussolini got his start in politics in 1917 with the help of a £100 weekly wage from MI5. For the British intelligence agency, it must have seemed like a good investment. Mussolini, then a 34-year-old journalist, was not just willing to ensure Italy continued to fight alongside the allies in the first world war by publishing propaganda in his paper.  He was also willing to send in the boys to "persuade'' peace protesters to stay at home. Mussolini's payments were authorised by Sir Samuel Hoare, an MP and MI5's man in Rome, who ran a staff of 100 British intelligence officers in Italy at the time. Cambridge historian Peter Martland, who discovered details of the deal struck with the future dictator, said: "Britain's least reliable ally in the war at the time was Italy after revolutionary Russia's pullout from the conflict.  Mussolini was paid £100 a week from the autumn of 1917 for at least a year to keep up the pro-war campaigning – equivalent to about £6,000 a week today." As well as keeping the presses rolling at Il Popolo d'Italia, the newspaper he edited,  Mussolini also told Hoare he would send Italian army veterans to beat up peace protesters in Milan,  a dry run for his fascist blackshirt units. After the armistice, Mussolini began his rise to power, assisted by electoral fraud and blackshirt violence, establishing a fascist dictorship by the mid-1920s. His colonial ambitions in Africa brought him into contact with his old paymaster again in 1935.  Now the British foreign secretary, Hoare signed the Hoare-Laval pact, which gave Italy control over Abyssinia. The unpopularity of the Hoare-Laval pact in Britain forced Hoare to resign. Mussolini, meanwhile, built on his new colonial clout to ally with Hitler, entering the second world war in 1940, this time to fight against the allies.""
Clearly, this proves that the UK created Mussolini and was behind fascism and World War II!

Meme - France: "But l'm Celtic like you"
Wales, Scotland, Ireland: "Go hang with the G*rmanics"
France: "But I'm Germanic like you"
Netherlands, Germany, Denmark: "Go hang with the Lat*ns"
France: "But I'm Latin like you"
Spain, Portugal, Italy: "Ew, fuck off."

Meme - Red Chilean: ""sex work is work" So is child labor. The fact that it's work isn't the problem. Just because something is work doesn't mean it's inherently good for either the worker or society."

'What does this mean?'
'That. my friend. is exactly the question you have to ask'
'It means that this is one of the best ways to pile up rocks and not have them fall down for a long time.'"

Teachers at New Taipei Kid Castle affiliate accused of giving students 'Rainbow Potion' - "A preschool in New Taipei that was a franchise of the Kid Castle Educational Institute had its license revoked and was fined NT$150,000 after allegations by parents that teachers had given sedatives to children called "Rainbow Potion."  Thus far, 17 parents have filed police reports against the school for allegedly giving their children sleeping pills. Toxicology tests revealed that eight out of 28 students tested positive for barbiturates and benzodiazepines, with even the son of the principal testing positive... Angela Wang (王薇君), chairwoman of the Taiwan Children's Rights Association was cited by the news agency as saying that some parents asked for help after their children developed withdrawal symptoms such as hair pulling and hitting walls... barbiturates normally leave the body after three days, but doctors detected trace amounts on June 6, weeks after the investigation began. This possibly indicated the children had been given large doses over a long period of time.  She was concerned this could affect the children's neurodevelopment. She also questioned whether more teachers were involved, including those who had previously worked for the school."

Funny birthday card for her. - 'If a potato can become vodka you can be anything you want to be.'

UberFacts on X - "Hawaiian pizza was invented in Canada by a man from Greece He was inspired to put a South American ingredient on an Italian dish after eating Chinese food… it then went on to become the most popular kind of pizza in Australia"

Ant Simulator canceled after crowdfunding money spent on liquor and strippers

Solomon Asch Conformity Line Experiment Study - "Solomon Asch experimented with investigating the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could affect a person to conform...   Asch (1951) devised what is now regarded as a classic experiment in social psychology, whereby there was an obvious answer to a line judgment task.  If the participant gave an incorrect answer, it would be clear that this was due to group pressure...   Over the 12 critical trials, about 75% of participants conformed at least once, and 25% of participants never conformed.  In the control group, with no pressure to conform to confederates, less than 1% of participants gave the wrong answer.   Why did the participants conform so readily?  When they were interviewed after the experiment, most of them said that they did not really believe their conforming answers, but had gone along with the group for fear of being ridiculed or thought “peculiar.  A few of them said that they did believe the group’s answers were correct.  Apparently, people conform for two main reasons: because they want to fit in with the group (normative influence) and because they believe the group is better informed than they are (informational influence)."

Meme - "me using different emails to keep getting free trials of disney plus
*Scarlet Centurion, Victor Timely, Rama Tut, He Who Remains, Immortus, Kang the Conqueror*"

Meme - "Me using different emails to keep getting free trials: *Jango Fett, Commander Cody, Boba Fett, Nax*"

What Flights Used to Cost in the 'Golden Age' of Air Travel - "the average flight from L.A. to Boston in 1941 was worth $4,539.24 per person in today’s money, and it would have taken 15 hours and 15 minutes with 12 stops along the way. By comparison, a nonstop flight in 2015 would cost $480.89 and take only six hours. Thanks to intensifying low-cost competition, we can find airfares as cheap as $283 today... Part of the reason flying was so exclusive and relatively luxurious in the '40s, '50s, and '60s was that it was very expensive. Until the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, airlines were considered a public utility and airfares were set by the federal government, which ensured airlines always made more than enough money. Even after deregulation, a basic domestic round-trip airfare in 1979 averaged $615.82 in today's money. That average fare dropped to $344.22 by 2016."
Things to remember when you gush about how wonderful air travel used to be and how awful it is nowadays

Korean Feces Wine is a Real Thing and We’ve Got Two Bottles of it, Contains Cat Bones as Well - "Ttongsul, or “feces wine”, is a Korean drink made by pouring soju, a distilled grain alcohol,  into a pit filled with chicken, dog, or human feces, and leaving the mixture in the pit for three to four months until it ferments. It is then extracted from the pit and drank straight, with the belief that it can cure illness and help in the aid of bone fractures... our correspondents examined the bottles to find a brown and surprisingly clear liquid that looked similar to brandy. No bits of excrement floating around, and no visible traces of cat bone either (thank god).  Even more surprising was that the Ttongsul smelled nothing like feces. In fact, it didn’t smell of anything at all. We imagine the fermentation process has been perfected over the centuries so the wine is odorless and therefore easier to drink. After all, even if it is tradition, poo is still poo."
SoraNews24 Taste Test: Korean Feces Wine - "After running the story on our Japanese site, we received a fair bit of criticism from our Korean readers, who insisted that Ttongsul no longer existed in the country and this is just something Japan contrived to smear “mud” on Korea’s good name...   We poured Chie a glass on Tongusl, which she brought to her lips and sipped gently like a fine wine. She comments, “You can tell it has a high alcohol content. I also sense traces of Chinese medicinal herbs. It doesn’t smell like feces, but there is a feint acidity to it. I would never have guessed there was feces in it unless you had told me.”  Our other staff passed around the glass for a taste test and the consensus was in line with Chie’s: traditional Chinese medicinal wine with a strong alcohol proof and a slightly bitter aftertaste."

Air Steward Reveals 10 Differences Dating Korean Versus Singaporean Girls - "he told me about the latest Korean girl he was dating and proudly confessed that he became an air steward to ‘outsource’ girls from unchartered territories beyond our land...
2. The sex
Based on my experience, Singaporean girls are better in bed.  The Korean girls I dated are quite self-conscious and less adventurous. They tend to be shy, so they’ll insist you turn off the lights. When changing clothes, they’ll also hide and give that stop-staring-at-me face.
3. Different meal plans
You know how Chinese people ask 吃饭了吗 (have you eaten rice), where ‘rice’ is mostly a figure of speech? Well, Koreans literally eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s ingrained in them...
4. Conflicting working hours
I’m not saying all Korean girls work in nightlife, but the ones I meet usually do. That’s how most guys meet Korean girls in Singapore...
5. The way they break up
If Korean girls make up their minds about breaking up, they’ll just tell you “oppa, sorry we can’t work out, please take care okay.” And that’s the end of it.  I feel that Singaporean girls are more forgiving. In our tiny island, it’s harder to pull away when you’re constantly reminded of the person through mutual friends.
6. The way they carry themselves
As compared to Singaporeans, the majority of Korean girls I meet behave like they are prized possessions. They’re often pretty and go under the knives to look perfect, so they know they can get guys. I think that’s what makes them appealing; they are not afraid to flaunt their confidence...
8. The way they chase men
When a Korean girl likes you, she’ll usually chase after you, but only for one to two months max. I find Singaporean girls more patient. However, once you get the girl, Koreans are quick to say they love you.
9. What they think of Singaporean men
Korean girls repeatedly tell me they prefer Singaporean men because Korean men are more rowdy and playful. According to them, Singaporean men have bigger assets ‘down there’. I didn’t believe it until I read the global size chart that trended online here."

Plastics in Canada

Unfortunately, anti-plastic hysteria is not driven by facts. Virtue-signalling has very real costs:

The Plastics Ban, or How the Trudeau Government Plans to Create More Garbage, Raise Inflation, Boost Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Send Jobs Overseas and Make Everything Else Worse

"Plastic’s unique properties of flexibility, durability, impermeability, sterility and non-conductivity have made it ubiquitously useful. Even better, it’s inexpensive and lightweight. Between 1950 and 2015, worldwide production of plastic items of all kinds grew at an average annual compound rate of 8.4 percent – two-and-a-half times the growth rate of global GDP. During this time, the world has experienced tremendous advances in medical devices, appliances, plumbing, electrical and other building systems, furniture, packaging, food storage and on and on. All due to the myriad benefits of plastic. Plastic bags replaced paper bags at the check-out counter because they’re cheaper, lighter and more durable. Synthetic outerwear has largely replaced less practical wool and cotton. Cars are more fuel-efficient because plastic has replaced heavier metal parts. Even Canada’s paper money has been supplanted by long-lasting polymer bank notes. And today, 3-D printing holds the promise of many more plastic revolutions to come. Ours has been the Age of Plastics.

Until now...

Citing a global ocean pollution crisis, federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault announced that six disposable plastic products will be prohibited by the end of this year: retail carryout bags, cutlery, food service containers, six-pack ring carriers, stir sticks and straws. “We promised Canadians we would deliver a ban on single-use plastics,” Guilbeault said at the time. “By the end of the year, you won’t be able to manufacture or import these harmful products.” Guilbeault’s characterization of plastic as “harmful” signals a clear break in how we are meant to regard this inert, sanitary and infinitely malleable material. Beware.

The federal Liberals’ policy has been widely cheered across the environmental movement...

While it may seem a dramatic move to outlaw familiar and useful plastic grocery store bags, straws and cutlery, King notes approvingly that the looming ban is only the first stage in a much grander federal strategy to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030. “We want to see an expanded ban list,” she declares. “We want to see a phasing down of all plastic production. We want to see caps and production targets. We need to be moving out of the plastics era altogether.”

As eager proponents such as Guilbeault and King tell it, Canada’s anti-plastic campaign is built on a solid foundation of scientific and documentary evidence. In addition to frightening factoids such as King’s 3 million tonnes of annual plastic waste, the government’s June 20, 2022 press release offered a lengthy list of backgrounders, consultations, studies and guides, including a “Science assessment of plastic pollution,” “A proposed integrated management approach to plastic products to prevent waste and pollution” and a “Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement.” All this may seem authoritative on the basis of volume alone. However, a close reading of these documents reveals many surprising and unexpected facts in direct contradiction to the official narrative that Canada will be a better place without so much plastic in our lives.

Delving into the details reveals that eliminating plastic bags, straws, cutlery and so on will do nothing to redress global ocean pollution. It will have an equally negligible effect on terrestrial pollution within Canada. Where it will have a major impact is on your wallet. The replacement of inexpensive plastic items with pricier alternatives will needlessly push up prices for everything from restaurant meals to hotel rooms to basic groceries at time when inflation is rampant. It will also punish many Canadian manufacturers, sending the work they once did overseas. Finally, and most devastatingly – given the Trudeau government’s seeming obsession with fighting climate change – the government itself admits the impending prohibitions will actually increase greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. They will also cause other identifiably negative outcomes, including a greater overall volume of garbage, lower air quality and increased deforestation.

By nearly every metric, and according to the federal government’s own published evidence, the single-use plastics ban is set to make almost everything worse... 

The federal “Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement” cites numerous sources supporting the allegation that throw-away plastics have an outsized impact on pollution in Canada and around the world. Among the evidence is Ocean Wise Shoreline Cleanup, a volunteer campaign that collects and categorizes litter found on international shorelines. Curiously, however, Ocean Wise’s latest Canadian evidence does little to implicate the six banned items. The number-one shoreline garbage item – by a huge margin – is cigarette butts. The “harmful” six aren’t even among the top five garbage culprits (the other four being plastic pieces, Styrofoam, food wrappers and bottle caps). Plastic bags and straws come eighth and ninth, respectively, and account for a mere 6.5 percent of the total waste produced by the top dozen listed items. Removing them from circulation will have almost no noticeable impact on Canada’s shores or oceans.

As for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, research published this month in the peer-reviewed journal Nature reveals that “a majority of the floating material stems from fishing activities.” This is mostly fishing nets, buoys, tackle and rope. Further, “Most floating plastics in the North Pacific subtropical gyre can be traced back to five industrialized fishing nations.” Those countries are Japan, China, South Korea, the United States and Taiwan. Canada is not on the list. A recent report by the Fraser Institute calculates that Canada contributes between 0.02 percent and 0.03 percent to total global aquatic plastic pollution. “Canada’s actual discharge of plastics into the oceans is trivial,” says author Kenneth P. Green in an interview. “It’s a complete non-issue.”

The story on land is much the same as on water. While plastic bags, straws and food-service containers are often top-of-mind in litter discussions, the facts tell a different story. Toronto, for example, regularly audits litter on random plots of city land. The most recent data from 2020 show that the overall amount of garbage on city streets has declined significantly over the past two decades. Further, none of the soon-to-be-banned plastic items are among the five most common types of large litter found at street level. Straws are seventh, behind napkins, cigarette packaging, coffee cup lids, miscellaneous plastic pieces, newspapers and store receipts. The same holds for small litter, with single-use plastic cutlery comprising a minuscule 0.5 percent of the survey results.

A comprehensive analysis of Canada’s plastics industry by consulting firm Deloitte concluded that plastic in all forms poses no large-scale threat to the country’s landscape. While Greenpeace’s King is correct that Canada discards 3.2 million tonnes of plastic per year, almost all of it finds its way to an appropriate destination. Nearly 2.8 million tonnes, or 86 percent of annual plastic production, is safely landfilled. A further 9 percent is recycled, as King also noted. Four percent is burned for energy. That leaves less than 1 percent, or 29,000 tonnes, that appears to be improperly discarded as litter. This is consistent with the Toronto litter survey’s findings.

It is, of course, a worthy goal to seek to reduce those 29,000 tonnes of plastic waste to an even smaller amount. The same goes for boosting recycling rates. But the scale of the plastic litter problem in Canada is hardly of the crisis variety. Very little of Canada’s plastic waste escapes proper disposal. And what tiny amount does leave our borders represents an immaterial component of global ocean pollution.

If banning single-use plastics will have no meaningful impact on litter or ocean garbage, what explains the Trudeau government’s great enthusiasm for such a policy? Waste management is a local and provincial issue, and there’s ample evidence that municipalities and provinces are already taking action on plastics. All provinces, in fact, have implemented some form of extended producer responsibility or enhanced recycling mandates. It’s not as if other levels of government have been ignoring the topic.

One clue to understanding the Liberals’ anti-plastic crusade may be found in how Greenpeace’s King characterizes plastics as harmful because “they are derived from fossil fuels.” She also refers to “Big Plastic and Big Oil” as joint enemies arrayed against her organization’s brave fight to rid the world of plastic bags and other accoutrements of modern life.

“At its core, this is essentially an anti-fossil fuel agenda,” observes Green. “Because plastics are derived from the oil and gas industry – fossil fuels made solid, so to speak – they are considered the fruit of a poisoned tree by environmental groups. It is a holy issue.” Such religious imagery goes a long way in explaining the fervour of the federal government’s campaign: it is based on a belief that seems impervious to evidence or logic.

The lack of any federal responsibility over waste management was an obstacle the Trudeau government had to overcome in order to insert itself into the plastics debate. This was accomplished in April 2021 when the Liberals controversially added “plastic manufactured items” to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act’s (CEPA) list of toxic substances. By ministerial fiat, Ottawa shifted plastic waste from a garbage problem to a direct threat to human and wildlife health. Thus, a federal mandate was born. Of course, this now means that anything made from plastic – from heart valves to the handle on your suitcase – shares space on a list with asbestos, lead, mercury and numerous tongue-twisting chemical compounds including Dibenzo-para-dioxin and Tributyltetradecylphosphonium chloride.

For this toxic transformation, the government relied on the 2020 Environment Canada report “Science assessment of plastic pollution.” Given the significance of the claim that all manufactured plastics pose a direct threat to humankind, one might expect an exhaustive and authoritative report. Not quite. As this document itself admits, it “is not intended to quantify the risks of plastic pollution on the environment or human health.” Rather, it is merely a survey of other claims made against plastic by various organizations and researchers. A literature review, if you will. And it comes to no firm conclusion, instead identifying five “key knowledge gaps” that require further study. Nonetheless, Guilbeault seized on it as all the proof he needed to take dramatic action against plastics.

There is a huge evidentiary gap between the federal government’s impetuous declaration of plastics as a deadly material and the scrupulous and time-consuming process entailed in assessing other allegedly toxic substances by other arms of the federal government. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s assessment of pesticides, for example, includes detailed commissioned laboratory studies for proposed new pesticides in the agricultural industry, as well as a painstaking review and complaint process for already-approved chemicals. Nothing like this was performed on plastics, despite the far broader implications.

A group of plastics industry firms called the Responsible Plastic Use Coalition (RPUC) has challenged the government’s toxic gambit with a lawsuit filed this summer, seeking to overturn or delay the ban. According to RPUC’s statement of claim, the federal government has “not established that the single-use plastics are ‘toxic.’ In fact, there is no credible evidence that any of the single-use plastics are ‘toxic.’ Accordingly, the Ban cannot be justified.” In an earlier legal filing, RPUC noted that “The lack of science-based decision making…is a critical issue” that must be addressed by the courts.

“This is a waste management issue, not a toxic issue,” asserts Steve Barkel, lead plaintiff in the RPUC lawsuit and vice president of Petro Plastics Inc., an Ontario-based plastic bag manufacturer. “If plastic manufactured items really were toxic, why do we brush our teeth with plastic toothbrushes?” Barkel asks pointedly in an interview. “Why is plastic okay for bread bags? Why are we eating yogurt out of plastic tubs?” The RPUC lawsuit argues that plastic is the only entry on CEPA’s list of deadly substances that earns its status due to the shape and particular use for which it is intended, rather than to any constituent danger posed by the material itself...

The economic consequences of declaring some single-use plastic items toxic are far from trivial...

Whatever non-plastic replacements he offers his clientele will come from China or Vietnam. “The government is exporting jobs overseas because of this legislation,” Barkel says. “Some of my competitors have already closed their doors.”

Whatever he pivots to will inevitably cost consumers more. Barkel explains that standard plastic grocery store bags cost about 4¢ each and weigh 8 grams. Paper bags wholesale for about 15¢ and weigh 55 grams, while reusable fabric bags can cost up to a dollar each and weigh about the same as paper. Beyond the obvious and unnecessary cost hike, all that extra weight and bulk presents another huge problem. “I can get 2.4 million plastic bags into one transport truck,” Barkel says. “To move the same number of paper bags takes roughly seventeen truckloads. You tell me, what’s better for the environment?”

Barkel and other bag manufacturers tried to convince Ottawa to approve a thicker, reusable plastic shopping bag made from 40 percent recycled material under its ban policy. Barkel calls this “Bag 125” because it can survive 125 uses; once it breaks, it can be recycled back into another plastic bag. Trend-setting California allows this kind of bag within its single-use plastic bag ban. Such is the Liberal government’s animosity towards plastic, however, that even this sensible proposal was vetoed. For similar reasons, Ottawa has also rejected compostable plastic bags. The federal position is apparently that all plastic is bad. Full stop. As a result, Barkel says, “Canada is forcing consumers to use fabric bags that come from China and are 100 percent non-recyclable. When they break, you’ll have to put them in a landfill.” 

The existential crisis facing Barkel is not unique to the plastics industry. By raising costs and burdening owners with Byzantine new rules and regulations, the ban is also threatening the livelihoods of many other small businesses across numerous sectors.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) surveyed its members on the expected costs of the single-use plastics ban. The average response: $6,600 per business in the first year alone, or $1.9 billion across Canada’s small business community. It’s hardly the recipe for a robust economic recovery. “A lot of owners took on huge debt loads as a result of Covid-19 lockdowns, and revenues are still low. It would be wise not to add any additional costs at this time,” says Jasmin Guénette, the CFIB’s vice president of national affairs. The CFIB, says Guénette, is asking Ottawa to delay the ban for a couple of years “until businesses can get back to normal levels.”...

There’s little evidence Ottawa is listening. In its recently released “Guidance for Selecting Alternatives to Single-use Plastics,” the federal government purports to offer advice to businesses struggling with the ban’s implications. It’s about as useful as a paper straw. For restaurant owners unhappy with the high cost or poor utility of non-plastic disposable forks and knives, the guide suggests they simply change their menus: “Businesses could…consider providing more meal options that do not require the use of cutlery (e.g. wraps and sandwiches).” Ottawa’s solution, the Fraser Institute’s Green cracks, is for “everyone to eat with their fingers.”

Ottawa’s handling of straws generates a further sense of the absurd. Not only are these colourful sipping tubes enjoyed by people of all ages for everything from milk shakes to cocktails, the flexible variety is also a necessity for people with disabilities that cause them to have difficulty swallowing – a fact repeatedly recognized in government documentation. As a result, Ottawa considers plastic straws to be both a deadly toxic substance and a medically-necessary device. It seems a vexing contradiction...

According to federal regulations, stores will be permitted to sell packs of 20 single-use plastic straws, but only if they treat the product in the same sinister manner as cigarettes. No signage is allowed to alert customers that straws are available for purchase, and if a customer happens to ask for straws at a service counter, the package cannot be “displayed in a manner that permits the customers to view the package without the help of a store employee.” Psst. Wanna buy a straw?

The federal government’s own regulatory analysis provides an official calculation of the economic implications of the single-use plastics ban. This cost-benefit study begins by toting up the various ways the ban will cause quantifiable new burdens for consumers, businesses and governments. These costs include extra expenditures by business owners on more-expensive alternative products, as Guénette and Elenis explain. There will also be effects on local governments’ waste management budgets. Plus, there are various and non-trivial administrative, compliance and enforcement costs for governments and businesses. While it discusses the issue of “stranded assets” such as Barkel faces with his soon-to-be-obsolete bag machinery, the government analysis does not calculate a cost for businesses forced to abandon product lines or close altogether. 

Where CFIB members estimated their first-year expenditures at $1.9 billion, Ottawa projects these costs of a mere $250 million across the entire economy. This is a big and, so far, unresolved difference. There is less debate, however, regarding the ban’s impact on landfills and other waste management facilities.

As Barkel notes, plastic bags are far lighter than competing products. Landfill expenses tend to be proportionate to weight, and all the proposed substitutes are substantially heavier than the plastic items they replace. While many of these replacements may decompose faster than plastic, they still need more space in the dump. The trade-off between reducing plastic garbage and increasing other forms of garbage seems so stunning that it’s best to let the government report speak for itself:

“The proposed Regulations would prevent approximately 1.6 million tonnes of plastics from entering the waste stream over the analytical period, but would also add about 3.2 million tonnes of other material to the waste stream from the use of substitutes, due to their increased unit weights relative to single-use plastics. This increase in tonnage of waste would represent additional costs for municipalities and provincial authorities.” (Emphasis added.)

To recap, Ottawa’s single-use plastics ban – sold to the public as a necessary blow struck against litter and waste – will create twice as much new garbage as it will save. On this basis alone, it may be the worst garbage reduction policy in history. 

All told, the federal cost-benefit analysis projects total costs imposed on consumers and businesses of $1.95 billion over the next ten years. This is obviously a low-end figure, given the CFIB survey suggesting such a sum is likely to be reached in the first year alone, and that the cost of stranded assets and bankrupted businesses are ignored. Additionally, with replacements costing at least twice as much as the original plastic items, the ban will have an immediate impact on prices throughout the hospitality and food sectors at a time when inflation is widely recognized to be this country’s most pressing public policy issue. And it will double the amount of garbage from disposable items.

Now for the benefits. The ban’s main selling point is to reduce litter. As is standard with cost-benefit analysis, the benefit of a cleaner environment must be imputed. This is done by calculating what it would have cost to pick up the amount of plastic garbage saved by the ban, at the rate of $15 per hour per garbage picker. This theoretical process yields an estimated monetary benefit of $619 million over ten years. (Cost-benefit analyses often include estimates for expected lives saved by various policy innovations, such as installing better traffic lighting or lowering speed limits. No such calculation is included in the federal analysis, even though the entire policy is motivated by the claim that the six plastic items are toxic. This is presumably not an oversight.)

As has become standard with all federal Liberal policy analyses, the plastics ban is also run through a “gender-based analysis plus” (GBA+) lens to determine its effects on various identity groups. Here we have more bad news:

“Costs could be felt more acutely by Canadians living with low income and limited disposable income, as the cost of implementing the ban for retailers would likely be passed onto consumers through increased prices for food, beverage, and merchandise. Marginalized communities in Canada are particularly likely to be living with low income due to race, gender, age, and disability status and the intersectionality between these characteristics.”

The GBA+ further reports that “people living with homelessness” often rely on free plastic checkout bags to carry their belongings or to use as rain protection. Then again, the homeless are not the only folks who put disposable plastic items to repeated use. Ample evidence suggests that supposedly single-use plastic bags are widely reused for household litter, sorting or storage. As a result, the prospect of having to purchase boxes of plastic bags for such uses because their free versions have been banned has many consumers fired up on social media.

Taking Ottawa’s figures at face value, the federal cost-benefit analysis yields a net result of -$1.3 billion ($1.95 billion in costs less $619 million in benefits). Such a negative outcome means that, on a strict dollars and cents basis as calculated by the federal bureaucracy itself, the plastics ban is a certifiable failure and should not proceed. “When I first found the government’s impact analysis, I was really surprised,” admits Green. “I thought ‘Wow’ they are straight-up admitting this is a loser of a policy. Its costs clearly exceed its benefits.” Then again, even though the plastics ban “fails on its own merits,” says Green, “they went ahead and did it anyways.”

The most problematic aspect of Ottawa’s single-use plastic policy may be a separate “Strategic Environmental Assessment” that considers the broader non-monetary consequences of abandoning plastic for other products. Here the evidence shows the ban will worsen a wide range of environmental indicators, including Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. For a government that has demonstrated such a singular focus on climate change, it seems a bizarre outcome.

The “Strategic Environmental Assessment” uses a lifecycle approach, looking at the consequences on both the upstream (production of replacements for the banned plastic items) and downstream (consumer and post-consumer effects from using the replacements) results. Numerous negative upstream effects arise due to the fact that producing paper bags or wooden knives is substantially more damaging to the environment than making their plastic counterparts. “Substitutes,” the climate change assessment states, “typically have higher climate change impacts, due to the scale at which single-use plastics are produced, as well as natural resource inputs, electricity sources, and unit weight affecting greenhouse gas emissions during transportation.”

Separate upstream calculations regarding air and water quality, eutrophication (algae production), acidification, deforestation and water use also found “some negative environmental effects.” On the downstream side of the ledger, other than a reduction in various forms of plastic pollution, the only positive indicator comes from an improvement in biodiversity and wildlife health (ie, fewer turtles with straws up their noses).  

When asked directly for a response to the broadly adverse outcome of the government’s own lifecycle report, Greenpeace’s King is surprisingly noncommittal. “There are a lot of lifecycle analyses out there and there are often a lot of problems with where the lifecycle starts and whether you are measuring apples or oranges” she shrugs. Rather than quibble over whether paper bags will produce more garbage or air pollution than plastic ones, she’d rather argue for an end to all disposable products. “We shouldn’t even be having this discussion about paper versus plastics,” she says, “We need to find package-free solutions.”

Yet it seems curious that King would be so dismissive of the wide range of expected negative outcomes from an official government source, especially given that such results closely mirror many other equally credible lifecycle studies. The United Nations, for example, is widely regarded to have touched off worldwide plastic antipathy in 2017 when it declared plastic ocean pollution to be a planetary crisis. But in 2020 the UN reviewed existing research on the lifecycle implications of banning plastic bags and concluded, “In the majority of reviewed studies, polyethylene plastic bags [such as Barkel’s proposed Bag 125] were found to have the lowest climate impact.”

As the UN report further reports, “the single-use plastic bag is a poor option in terms of litter on land, marine litter and micro-plastics, but it scores well in other environmental impact categories, such as climate change, acidification, eutrophication, water use and land use.” (Emphasis added.) The real trade-off at the heart of the plastics debate is thus between the aesthetics of plastic waste and the quantifiable harm done by substitutes for those plastic items. And if you happen to weigh actual results over unsightliness, it makes more sense to keep plastic bags and ban the alternatives.  

In their eagerness to be seen striking a mighty blow against the modern proliferation of plastic, it seems that the Liberals have confused costs with benefits. “They are going after quite a small environmental problem, that of single-use plastic items seeping into oceans,” says Green. “But the cost of doing so will be high in monetary costs, and high in environmental damage as well. It is a profoundly anti-environmental idea.”

And this, remember, is only the first step. The Trudeau government’s Zero Plastic Waste policy is already committed to imposing even more dramatic restrictions, bans and regulations on plastic use by 2030. Once the six single-use items have been eliminated, the next plastic shoe to drop is likely to be packaging material. Bottles, jugs, bubble wrap, Styrofoam, foam inserts and all the other innovations that make it possible to store liquids, protect your cookies and ship bulky but fragile items such as computers, phones and TVs around the world safely and efficiently may soon be following plastic bags, straws and knives to oblivion.

“In the end,” says Green, “we’ll probably be carrying around all our belongings in wooden buckets. Or clay pots. Maybe they’ll let us use clay pots.” Whatever replaces plastic packaging, we already know it’ll be heavier, more expensive and worse for the environment than what we’re using right now. And this is what the Liberals call progress."


Federal Court quashes cabinet order underlying single-use plastics ban

"The federal government's ban on plastic straws and grocery bags is in question after the Federal Court ruled on Thursday that Ottawa had overstepped its bounds in designating all "plastic manufactured items" as toxic...

The Liberal cabinet designated plastic manufactured items as toxic in 2021, in order to allow the environment minister to regulate their use in Canada.

In December 2022, the first of those regulations took effect, barring the manufacture and import of six types of single-use plastics, including straws, grocery bags, cutlery, takeout containers, stir sticks and six-pack beverage rings.

The designation was applied to all plastic manufactured items.

In her ruling, Justice Angela Furlanetto noted that evidence shows "thousands" of different items are in that category, and they all have different uses and chemical makeups.

And she said that surely includes some items for which there is no reasonable expectation of environmental harm.

"The broad and all-encompassing nature of the category of (plastic manufactured items) poses a threat to the balance of federalism as it does not restrict regulation to only those (items) that truly have the potential to cause harm to the environment," Furlanetto wrote.

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act defines toxic substances as those that are or may be dangerous to human life or health, that "have or may have" a harmful impact on the environment or biological diversity or that constitute "a danger to the environment on which life depends."

Furlanetto said the government's own report identified several single-use plastic items, including garbage bags, contact lenses and disposable personal care items, that were either not prevalent or were not known to cause environmental harm...

Because the cabinet order that has now been struck down is required to enact the regulations banning some plastic items, those regulations could also now be argued to be improper." 


Guilbeault’s plan to ban grocery store meat wrapping, fruit bags - "Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault's department issued a deadline on Wednesday for grocers to provide their feedback on proposed restrictions regarding single-use plastics, such as meat wrapping and fruit bags... Approximately $205 million will be the cost to consumers due to the current ban on plastic six-pack rings and other goods, according to official estimates. “A significant amount of plastic food packaging is used only once and then ends up in landfills,” said Guilbeault. Guilbeault did not give an estimate of how much the new regulations would cost"... According to the staff, there are substitutes available for plastic checkout bags such as paper bags, which cost eight cents each, more expensive than the current plastic bags, which cost three cents each. Currently, consumers use approximately 15.6 billion checkout bags every year. Plastic forks that cost four cents each could be replaced with wooden cutlery that costs nine cents. Instead of using penny straws, switch to paper straws that cost three cents each. Also, replace plastic six-pack rings, which cost three cents each, with cardboard alternatives that cost 34 cents. Staff said “while the unit price of any one single substitute is relatively small” the overall expense multiplied by billions of substitute items was costly."
Food costs are going to rise (not just because of alternative materials, but increased waste). But "corporate greed" is, as usual, a good scapegoat

LAU: Trudeau government's plastic bans will cost Canadians money | Toronto Sun - "Between the plastic straws and the paper, which does the Trudeau government plan to ban? The plastic ones, of course, despite being far cheaper and far better. The paper straws disintegrate easily, are too rigid, and have a disagreeable texture. I know of no one who would affirm that drinking from a paper straw is better than, or even as good as, using a normal plastic one. The plastic straw ban is part of the government’s greenflation agenda — make everything more expensive by forcing everyone to go green, although it’s not clear that banning plastic straws would actually do anything to help the environment. The world’s problems with plastic pollution in oceans, for example, are caused by waste management problems in Asia and elsewhere and have nothing to do with Canadians using plastic straws. Banning straws is only a small part of Ottawa’s greenflation agenda, which also includes carbon taxes, clean fuel regulations, electric vehicle mandates and billions of dollars in various subsidies and programs. Nevertheless, it’s not an immaterial part, especially considering other plastic products will be banned, too... Similarly to the straws, banning other products would also be inflationary. Take, for example, the plastic foam food containers. An U.S. study in 2013 estimated that banning foam food and drink containers would mean a 94 per cent increase in costs to restaurants and their consumers for these containers, even assuming all restaurants switched to the lowest-cost alternative. As with the straws, the 94 per cent figure actually understates the effective inflation, because the lowest-cost alternatives are worse than the plastic — they are less sturdy, do less to keep the food hot and are less reliable. Paying a higher price is inflation, but getting something worse in return is a form of inflation, too, one that sometimes gets missed in the inflation statistics. With the plan to ban plastic foam containers, “greenflation” may again be the wrong word. To be sure, the ban would cause inflation, but whether it’s green is another question. A study from the Independent Institute in California in 2018 concluded that such bans “actually can have negative impacts on the environment” as people substitute paper products for the plastic ones. While plastic products may be worse for the landfill, paper is worse for the environment in other ways. Paper alternatives, the study reported, “often create more waste (by volume and energy use) and cause more air and water pollution.” Manufacturing paper requires mowing down trees, uses more energy than manufacturing plastic, and leaves behind a bigger carbon footprint."

David Clement: Our eco-harmful plastics ban - "Friday afternoons, the start of holiday weekends, Christmas: Ottawa often releases regulatory information at inopportune times, usually to avoid scrutiny, and that’s likely the story for the plastics ban. Despite their unimpeachably green origins and objectives, the draft regulations on single-use plastics would be a huge net negative for the environment, mostly because of the arbitrary nature of what is, and isn’t, considered “single-use.” The draft regulations have four exemptions for when a single-use plastic product is not prohibited. The first is the “hot water test.”... The last and most hilarious exemption is what I call the “black market exemption.” A retailer may offer plastic straws for sale but they are to be stored so customers cannot see them and must be asked for explicitly. But customers must buy them in packs of 20 or more. That’s right, whether you need only one straw or just a few you will have to buy at least 20. So much for curbing waste. Yes, these are actual regulations drafted by the actual government of Canada. And in addition to reading like a Monty Python skit, they very likely would be a net negative for the environment. Because sturdier plastic products can earn exemption from the ban, all that manufacturers need do to comply with the law is produce products using heavier woven plastics. The overall effect may well be to increase the net amount of plastic being produced. Consumers will be faced with a choice between these heavier single-use plastic products that meet the exemption or non-plastic substitutes that are even worse for the environment. These substitutes include paper bags whose production is energy- and resource-intensive — so much so that according to Denmark’s environment ministry, paper bags would each need to be reused 43 times to bring their per-use impact on the environment down to the per-use impact of the single-use plastic bags currently available at Canadian grocery stores. For most people, reusing a paper bag 43 times is virtually impossible. Even worse: when the alternative option is a cotton bag, that number skyrockets to 7,100 uses. A consumer substituting a cotton bag for plastic would need 136 years of weekly grocery store trips to be as environmentally friendly as single-use plastic is. In addition, Ottawa’s own analysis shows that alternatives to single-use plastics currently in use are significantly more expensive... The real problem with our national plastics strategy is that we aren’t pushing for expanding “chemical depolymerization,” otherwise known as advanced recycling... This approach to solving the problem of plastic waste would be in line with Ottawa’s approach of mandating producer responsibility for plastic waste and is something that plastic producers have already expressed interest in expanding. This is especially true for companies who have already made pledges regarding recycled plastic. The Trudeau government could embrace the science that makes these technologies both scalable and sustainable. Rather than endorsing costly and ineffective plastic bans, riddled with exemptions that may only increase plastic waste, we should look to innovators who are offering a third way on plastics. That would be an approach that expands consumer choice while limiting mismanaged waste and protecting the environment."

Canada’s Wasteful Plan to Regulate Plastic Waste - "At the end of 2021, the government of Canada launched a regulatory campaign against plastic waste—Zero-Plastic Waste 2030 (ZPW2030)—that will, in the estimation of its own Regulatory Impact Assessment, impose costs on Canadian society exceeding projected benefits. This fails the first, and arguably most important, test of sound public policy. ZPW2030 will produce little or no environmental benefit because Canada’s plastics economy poses a very small environmental risk either locally or globally. Only one percent of Canada’s plastic wastes are ever released into the environment. The other 99% is disposed off safely from an environmental perspective: some incinerated, some recycled, but most discarded in landfills, an environmentally benign endpoint. Canada’s contribution to global aquatic plastic pollution, when assessed in 2016, was between 0.02% and 0.03% of the global total... Even that small reduction in environmental harm is likely to be offset by increased environmental harms stemming from replacements for the plastic products banned under ZPW2030. As government acknowledges, “the proposed Regulations are expected to increase the waste generated from substitutes by 298,054 tonnes in the first year of full policy stringency (2024) and by around 3.2 million tonnes over the analytical period (2023 to 2032), almost all of which is driven by paper substitutes”. And, the government observes: “The proposed Regulations would prevent approximately 1.6 million tonnes of plastics from entering the waste stream over the analytical period but would also add about 3.2 million tonnes of other materials to the waste stream from the use of substitutes”. The potential for this kind of regulatory “backfire” fails another important test of sound health and environment-related public policy, which is “First, do no harm”. As the government’s Regulatory Impact Analysis shows, the monetized costs of the proposed single-use plastics regulations—CA$1.3 billion—will outstrip the monetized benefits—CA$619 million—by nearly 2:1. According to a report the government contracted Deloitte to produce, over the course of the initiative estimated benefits of the overall ZPW2030 regime are estimated to be up to CA$10.5 billion, but would require investment in new facilities of up to CA$8.3 billion to achieve it. Even then, in 2030, annual costs of the program are estimated to exceed benefits by CA$300 million per year. These costs will ultimately be borne by consumers, as the government observes: the increased volume of wastes discussed above will “represent additional costs for municipalities and provincial authorities, as they are usually responsible for managing collection, transportation, and landfilling of plastic waste, and would assume most of the associated costs, which would ultimately be passed on to taxpayers”... Instead, Canadian policy makers could examine ways to crack down on end-point improper disposal of plastic wastes, such as littering in general. To the extent the federal government is involved with solid waste management, they might look for incentives they could develop to improve street cleaning and municipal waste management and handling practices to prevent littered plastics from lingering in Canada’s environment or leaving its bounds to become part of a global problem."

Links - 16th December 2023 (1 - Hamas Attack Oct 2023)

'With or without baking powder': Gaza academic who made fun of baby stuffed in oven by Hamas killed in Israel strike - "Days after he reacted to the tragic death of a baby who was found in an oven, “baked to death by Hamas terrorists”, saying, that if the baby was “baked with or without baking powder,” Dr Refaat Alareer, a key figure in Gaza, was killed in an Israeli air strike on Thursday... he posted on X that he wished he was a freedom fighter “so I die fighting back those invading Israeli genocidal maniacs invading my neighborhood and city...   A few days after Israel began its ground offensive in October and asked Palestinians to leave northern Gaza, the epicenter of the fighting at the time, Alareer refused.”
Of course, all the tributes and condemnations of Israel didn't mention all this

Hamas may have made millions by short-selling Israeli stocks before Oct. 7 - "twisted insider trading could be a means of terrorist financing or terror profiteering... Shareef Abdelhaleem, one of the architects behind the Toronto 18 terror plot, was an avid investor and stock trader before his arrest in 2006 and he said at his parole hearings he aimed to profit by short-selling stocks before the attacks."

Hamas drugged hostages to look happy, Israeli officials say - "“My mother came back with testimonies that I can’t hear. I can’t hear her talking about the fact that they were handcuffed, that they were abused. There were rumors that the conditions are fine—they are not given food and water. For us to speak, there is a Holocaust three hours’ drive from here,” Siegel said."
Of course, Israel always lies, but the Hamas-controlled Hamas health ministry is always truthful, even though they've been caught lying

'Hamas has won a round in Moncton': City hall pilloried for cancelling annual menorah display - "Francis Weil, president of the Moncton Jewish Community, said Mayor Dawn Arnold gave Jewish leaders the news this week, blaming a 2015 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that council meetings should not open with prayer... “We are not talking about prayer. In the place where the menorah goes, there are a couple Christmas trees and a few angels”"
A 2015 ruling took 8 years to trickle down. They're really inefficient

Bill Ackman wants Harvard, MIT, and UPenn's presidents to 'resign in disgrace' - "The three presidents were repeatedly asked by Rep. Elise Stefanik during the Tuesday congressional hearing if calling for the genocide of Jews violated their universities' rules on bullying and harassment. "If the speech turns into conduct, it can be harassment," said University of Pennsylvania president Liz Magill. Harvard and MIT presidents Claudine Gay and Sally Kornbluth replied similarly to Stefanik's question. "It can be, depending on the context," Gay replied when asked the same question... Ackman wrote in response to the clip: "If a CEO of one of our companies gave a similar answer, he or she would be toast within the hour." "Why has antisemitism exploded on campus and around the world? Because of leaders like Presidents Gay, Magill and Kornbluth who believe genocide depends on the context," Ackman continued."
The left thinks calls for Jewish genocide need to be contextualised, but anyone who says slavery was not 100% negative needs to be fired

Rockets under relief supplies raise questions about UNRWA - "Israeli soldiers found missiles and military gear hidden among U.N. relief supplies in the northern Gaza Strip... One hundred ten rockets, including 30 Grad rockets, were found hidden among boxes belonging to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which supports Palestinian refugees and their descendants... In October, the UNRWA reported that fuel humanitarian aid was stolen from one of its compounds by men using trucks purporting to be from the Hamas-run Ministry of Health... one of the released hostages told Channel 13 reporter Almog Boker that he had been held captive by a UNRWA teacher. The hostage said the teacher locked him away and barely fed or cared for his medical treatment... the U.K.-based Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) issued a report detailing how at least 14 UNRWA teachers celebrated Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacres of Israelis on social media. The report included links and screenshots. The report also noted that the UNRWA curriculum helped fuel the massacre by noting that IMPACT-se was able to identify at least 118 participants in the Oct. 7 attack as former students of UNRWA schools. The U.S. State Department allocated more than $220 million for UNRWA in June despite its schools’ curriculum glorifying violence and terrorism, as well as an agreement conditioning funding on the prevention of teaching hate and antisemitism."

UN official grilled on accusations UNRWA trucks bringing rockets into Gaza - "An official from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency was grilled over claims the agency aimed at helping Palestinians helped bring rockets into Gaza to attack Israel."

WATCH: Gaza woman tells Al-Jazeera Hamas stealing all the aid - "In a rare display of public criticism, a Gaza resident tells the Al-Jazeera TV channel that the lack of aid to residents of the Strip is due to Hamas stealing it.  Asked about the supposed trickle of aid coming into Gaza, the woman, says there is plenty of aid, but “all aid goes down (into Hamas tunnels).”  “The aid does not reach the nation, all the people,” she says.  When the journalist from the pro-Palestinian Qatari channel tells her that only a small amount of aid is coming in and it is all being distributed, she shakes her fingers at him and says: “All of it goes into their houses. They take it and will even shoot me or do whatever they want, Hamas.”"
I saw people mocking the fact that if you donate to Gaza, you're donating to Hamas. But Gaza supporters tend to support "resistance" anyway (which involves parading the naked body of a dead woman, much less genocide), so with plausible deniability, they can support terrorism without bad optics

Israel and activists accuse U.N. of slow response to accounts of Hamas militants raping women - "Israeli authorities say they have collected extensive testimonies of rape and sex crimes from witnesses and first responders who were present during or after the atrocities took place, including accounts of mutilation and torture. Israeli police also cite images allegedly taken by Hamas militants showing the state of their female victims.  “A survivor from the Nova rave party testified, ‘Everything was an apocalypse of corpses, girls without any clothes on, without tops, without underwear, people cut in half, butchered, some were beheaded,’” Yael Reichert, a chief superintendent with the Israeli national police, said at the U.N. meeting. Reichert is taking part in the Israeli government’s probe into sex crimes carried out in the Oct. 7 attack.  Shari Mendes, a member of an Israeli reserve unit preparing deceased female troops for burial, said there seemed to be “a systematic genital mutilation of a group of victims.”"
Believe women and condemn sexual violence, unless it's against the left's agenda. Of course, one cope is that Israel did it

CBC president will not apologize for its reporting on Israel-Hamas conflict, observers say the broadcaster lacks accountability - "Some political and industry voices say that Tait’s behaviour at the committee was arrogant, and the CBC’s coverage of the Hamas terrorist attack and the ensuing war reflects a lack of public accountability on the part of the broadcaster. One flashpoint was CBC’s coverage of an explosion that occurred at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, which Hamas-run government agencies in Gaza stated killed 471 people. Hamas blamed an Israeli airstrike for the explosion, while Israel rejected these claims and instead blamed the incident on a misfired rocket launched from Gaza by Hamas. CBC ran a story on the day of the explosion from the Associated Press with the headline “Palestinians say hundreds killed in Israeli airstrike on hospital; Israel blames Islamic Jihad.”   Other outlets like the New York Times and the BBC also laid the blame on Israeli airstrikes during their initial reporting on the explosion. Examination of later evidence, including the size of the crater made by the explosion, revealed that a Hamas rocket launched from inside Gaza had most likely failed to launch properly before landing at the hospital.   The New York Times released an editor’s note that acknowledged that it had relied too heavily on information provided by Hamas and noted the newspaper would be more careful with facts coming out of Gaza. The BBC also admitted it made mistakes when reporting on the hospital blast. CBC has neither retracted the article or the headline nor issued an apology.  At the committee hearing, Lantsman questioned Tait why the CBC has not retracted or altered its story and whether an apology would be issued by the CBC similar to other outlets.  “I will not apologize, because the journalism is among the finest in the world; our journalists operate in an independent fashion, independent of management, independent of the board of directors, and independent of government and political interference,” said Tait. In an exclusive interview with The Hub, Lantsman says that Tait’s answer surprised her and that Tait’s refusal to apologize demonstrates that she has little respect for CBC’s own journalistic principles.   “When you make a mistake, you should own up to it. We saw none of that at committee,” says Lantsman. “Catherine Tait’s responses were stunningly arrogant and tone-deaf.”... Zubyk says that the CBC’s failure to own up to the mistaken reporting like other outlets risks undermining its credibility.  When questioned by Lanstman on why the CBC will not refer to Hamas as “terrorists”, Tait referred to a blog post by the CBC’s editor-in-chief Brodie Fenlon, which states that while the CBC will label some terrorist attacks as such, it refrains from labelling specific groups as such.   “CBC News does not itself designate specific groups as terrorists or specific acts as terrorism, regardless of the region or the events, because these words are so loaded with meaning, politics, and emotion that they can end up being impediments to our journalism,” wrote Fenlon.   Mark Goldberg, a telecommunications consultant in Toronto, says the CBC lacks an accountability body, which impacts their reporting... “A news organization that refuses to take accountability for flawed reporting and contributes to dangerous antisemitism deserves zero dollars of taxpayer funding,” says Lantsman. “I will never apologize for holding [to account] an organization who receives $1.4 billion dollars in taxpayer subsidies where viewership is down year over year and their trust scores have followed that steady decline.”"
Weird how the CBC in 2023 called the Air India bombing a terrorist attack

IDF chief says flooding Gaza tunnels with seawater ‘a good idea’ - "“They ask us a lot about the destruction in Gaza. Hamas is the address, [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar is the address. Our forces find in nearly every home weapons, terrorists. We understand that part of their way of operating is to leave weapons in the homes, a terrorist comes to the home in civilian clothing, and fights from there,” Halevi said... The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says Israel’s military campaign, in response to the terror group’s murderous attacks, has killed more than 16,000 people so far, most of them women and children. Those figures cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include both Hamas terrorists and civilians, and people killed as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires...   Turning to an incident in Jerusalem last week, in which civilian Yuval Castleman was killed by a reservist who mistook him for a terrorist, Halevi said soldiers should not shoot at someone putting their hands up.  Staff Sgt. (res.) Aviad Frija was one of two off-duty troops who responded to a terror attack at a Jerusalem bus stop on Thursday, shooting at the two assailants but also at Castleman, an armed civilian who had also opened fire first at the terrorists."
So much for the American fantasy about the good guy with a gun

EDITORIAL: Rising anti-Semitism in Canada a disgrace : canada - "I had to explain why BLM was important to my more right-leaning friends. Now seeing the left go with pretty much the same "all lives" thing when it comes to anti-semitism has completely lost me"
When anti-Semitism soars, the left always goes on about "hatred" in general, or starts talking about "Islamophobia"

Why Was Tommy Robinson Arrested At The March Against Antisemitism? - "The predominantly peaceful protest against the increase in antisemitism in the UK was attended by up to 60,000 people, including former PM Boris Johnson... Social media clips suggest the tensions between Robinson and officers began when the far-right figure was asked to leave the event while he was in a café.  Robinson reportedly said he had ordered his breakfast, and subsequently refused to leave.  He also said he was present at the march against antisemitism as a journalist – at which point, police started to arrest him. The Met Police later explained in a statement: “He had refused to comply with a direction to disperse under section 35 of the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act.”  This legislation gives police officers the authority to direct a person to leave a public place (for 48 hours, maximum) if they think the individual will harass, alarm or distress others, or if they’re likely to contribute to “the occurrence in the locality of crime or disorder”."
Winston Marshall on X - "Now you discover Section 35?  For seven weeks you’ve let antisemites, Islamists, terrorist sympathisers and far-left hooligans tear up London, vandalise our sacred monuments and intimidate Jews  And now you discover Section 35?  Two-tier policing"
They don't care about "minorities" - just pushing the left's political agenda
Basically the left hates Tommy Robinson, so he can't be allowed to appear on public, since they will be "distressed"

My Word: A dark season before the light - comment - "As activist Hen Mazzig put it: “I wish people cared about Jewish babies being murdered, as much as they do for the rights of those responsible for their deaths.”... There are also plenty of barbed jokes at the BBC’s expense. They deserve it. The Beeb’s initial refusal to call Hamas terrorists and its tendency to blame the Jewish state for whatever befalls it, earned the BBC a special place in Israeli dark humor as we go through hell.   One noted a rule of “Journalism 101: If someone says it’s raining outside and another person says it’s dry. It’s not your job to quote them both. Your job is to look out of the window and find out which is true.”  Israeli satire TV programs such as Eretz Nehederet and Zehu Zeh!, making a comeback in these challenging times, both noted that Israel’s dislike and distrust of the BBC has created a new bond of national unity... Those who side with the terrorists – the monsters who raped women, beheaded children, abducted captives, and burned homes around families whose charred remains were found bound together – have no right to claim to support human rights and justice. Those who call not for an end to terrorism, but to end the operation aimed at destroying the terrorists’ capabilities, have a broken moral compass that points in the wrong direction.   The anti-Israel rallies on American campuses including at Ivy League universities have given rise to their own genre of jokes, with people sharing Facebook posts proudly stating: “Not to brag or anything, but I never went to Harvard.” And just when you thought the world could not get any more absurd, UN Watch noted that on Thursday, Iran was slated to chair a UN human rights forum meeting. The UN is a bad joke in its own right. I’M OFTEN asked whether I regret having made aliyah, building my life in Israel since 1979. It’s an easier question to answer than “How are you doing?” No. No regrets at all. The catalyst for my Zionism was the Munich Olympics massacre in 1972. The Yom Kippur War and every subsequent terrorist attack, the Kiryat Shmona massacre, the Maalot massacre, the Coastal Road massacre, every one strengthened my resolve to make my life in Israel. It’s my personal victory over terrorism. And I have no doubt that even as I write these lines, there are Jews around the world considering aliyah more seriously than ever."

Why Israel must fight on - "by choosing to murder Israelis regardless of how many Palestinians will die in Gaza, Hamas has proved that it is undeterrable. The only way out of the cycle of violence is to destroy Hamas’s rule—which means killing its senior leaders and smashing its military infrastructure. The suggestion that a war which entails the deaths of thousands of innocent people can lead to peace will appal many. In the past one act of violence has led to the next. That is indeed the great risk today.  However, while Hamas runs Gaza, peace is impossible. Israelis will feel unsafe, so their government will strike Gaza pre-emptively every time Hamas threatens. Suffocated by permanently tight Israeli security and killed as Hamas’s human shields in pre-emptive Israeli raids, Palestinians will be radicalised. The only way forward is to weaken its control while building the conditions for something new to emerge.  That starts with new leadership for both sides... The Palestinians need moderate leaders with a democratic mandate. At the moment they have none. That is partly because Mr Netanyahu boosted Hamas, but also because Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian authority, has sidelined potential rivals. The question is how to stop Hamas or its successor from seizing back control of Gaza before fresh leaders can emerge from fair elections.  Hence, the second condition for peace: a force to provide security in Gaza. Israel cannot supply it as an occupying power. Instead the strip needs an international coalition, possibly containing Arab countries that oppose Hamas and its backer, Iran... A ceasefire is the enemy of peace, because it would allow Hamas to continue to rule over Gaza by consent or by force with most of its weapons and fighters intact. The case for humanitarian pauses is stronger, but even they involve a trade-off. Repeated pauses would increase the likelihood that Hamas survives.  Nobody can know whether peace will come to Gaza. But for the sake of Israelis and Palestinians it deserves to have the best possible chance. A ceasefire removes that chance entirely."
What happens when the Palestinians don't want moderate leaders?

Jordanian coffee shop sells 'Holocaust' drink with burning marshmallows - "A coffee shop in Jordan called Gosta Coffee began selling a 'Holo-gosta' coffee (a portmanteau of the words "Holocaust" and the name of the shop) with burning Star of David marshmallows on top in recent days, according to ads published by the shop. The first appearance was in a poster featuring the drink and a hand in a Palestinian flag glove holding a blowtorch. The ad featured the name of the drink and a hashtag reading "feel_the_Arabic_taste." The ad sparked outrage on social media, with some wondering how Instagram and Facebook were allowing it to stay up. The coffee shop expressed outrage at the complaints, claiming that its Instagram page had been disabled for several hours by "a campaign of attacks" launched "due to the Zionists' objection to the new drink."... Gosta Coffee called on its supporters to express support for the page. "We will remain supportive of the Palestinian cause despite all these threats," it said.  Many of the hundreds of civilians massacred by Hamas on October 7 were burnt alive or after they were killed. Forensic pathologists have found cases of women and children tied together and immolated, as well as the corpses of infants that were immolated by Hamas terrorists.  This wasn't the first incident of an eatery in the region attacking Jews in light of the October 7 massacre.  Shortly after the attack, a pizzeria in Huwara in the West Bank published an online advertisement that depicted an elderly Israeli woman kidnapped by terrorists in Gaza. The pizzeria was shuttered by the IDF after the advertisement was reported."
Clearly, glorifying the Holocaust is just "resistance"

Meme - *Palestine flag*: "NO FOOD

Gaza Report - اخبار غزة on X - "#BREAKING: Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar in his first publicized statements since launching Al Aqsa Floods campaign: "The leaders of the Occupation should know, October 7th was just a rehearsal""

Thread by @YoniFreedhoff on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - "Weird that not releasing more hostages and then firing rockets during a ceasefire while saying you'll never stop trying to murder Israelis and that October 7th was just a rehearsal led to the resumption of war. The ceasefire people are really angry at Hamas for breaking the ceasefire and restarting the war, right? If you're someone who vocally called for a ceasefire, or attended marches purportedly calling for same, have you condemned Hamas for ending the ceasefire and restarting the war? If not, why not? Not that I think public calls for action outside of Israel and Gaza affect changes inside Israel or Gaza, but if you do, and if you want the war to end, shouldn't you be calling for Hamas' unconditional surrender?"

Pro-Palestinian protesters stand on rail line in Regina to pressure federal government

The pro-terror hate groups behind Canada's 'ceasefire now' rallies - "the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, a Vancouver-headquartered group founded by Khaled Barakat, a man acknowledged by both Israeli and Palestinian sources as being among the leadership of the PFLP... While leftist Canadian media will often euphemistically refer to Barakat as an “author” or “voice and truth-teller of Palestine,” foreign outlets don’t bother with the distinction. As noted in a 2022 investigation by National Post columnist Terry Glavin, a quick Google search reveals Arab-language Palestinian websites referring to Barakat either as a “leader of the PFLP” or a member of the PFLP’s governing central committee.  It’s for this reason that Samidoun was listed as a terrorist entity by Israel in 2021. Germany would follow suit last month, amid a nationwide crackdown on “pro-Hamas” organizations. According to a Nov. 2 statement by German Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser, Samidoun has an “antisemitic, inhuman world view” that was “particularly repugnant.” But no such sanction has been handed out by the country that hosts Samidoun and its founders. Quite the opposite; Samidoun has federal non-profit status. According to Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, it is “likely” that some of Samidoun’s tax-deductible donations are finding their way to the PFLP.  Samidoun has never been shy about calling for violence to bring about the total destruction of Israel. As recently as May, the group marked the 75th anniversary of Israel’s founding with an Arabic-language post carrying images of protesters in Vancouver, whom they said were there to “affirm” the right of Palestinians to “carry out popular and armed struggle to liberate Palestine from the river to the sea.” Local media, meanwhile, have consistently missed the extremism of these rallies — with one such march in 2021 described merely as a “pro-Palestine” demonstration.  After Oct. 7, Samidoun has openly offered vocal support of Hamas and the Oct. 7 massacres — and it has been a key organizer of Canadian anti-Israeli rallies since the first hours after the attacks. When former B.C. Civil Liberties Association head Harsha Walia openly praised the “Palestinians on hang-gliders” responsible for the massacre of more than 200 young people at an Israeli music festival, she was speaking at an Oct. 9 Samidoun-organized rally on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery.  Samidoun is just one of several Canadian groups that have been organizing waves of “ceasefire” and “stop the genocide” mass-rallies to have occurred since the Oct. 7 massacres. Like Samidoun, social media channels for some of the others are also replete with open praise for terrorism in the months leading up to Oct. 7 — and ecstatic celebration when the first details of the massacres became public. Toronto4Palestine, a perennial organizer in the Greater Toronto Area, reacted to news of the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks on its Instagram page by calling them an act of “heroic resistance” that “has shaped a new precedent for our national liberation struggle.” It was a Nov. 12 Toronto4Palestine rally at which NDP MP Matthew Green was a guest speaker — and ended up sharing a dais with a Toronto4Palestine coordinator whose own speech echoed the Hamas demand that Israeli hostages should only be released in exchange for “political prisoners” — a term referring to Palestinians held in Israel on terror charges.  The group has also engaged in Holocaust denial... in the dozens of events held since, the protests have included everything from displays of the swastika to children leading open calls for “intifada” as the “only solution.” Most recently, they were the primary organizer of a major Saturday rally on Parliament Hill they dubbed as “Canada’s biggest pro-Palestine demonstration.”  While PYM events have often been publicized as “ceasefire” or “peace” rallies, the group has been very open about their support for Palestinian terrorism, and their ultimate goal to see Israel violently destroyed.  “In the last several days, we have witnessed the active decolonization of Palestinian land led by the Palestinian resistance,” read the group’s official statement issued in the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 7 massacres. “May the memory of our martyrs continue to guide us on the steadfast path to liberation.”"
Holocaust denial should only be illegal if white people do it. Prosecuting Muslims for it is Islamophobia

Timelapse of today’s protest : sanfrancisco - "Even if these people don't GAF about the Jews butchered or taken hostage by Hamas & Friends on 10/7, they sure were silent about the -- how many??--Thai nationals who were swept up in this as well? Where was the outcry on their behalf? Or for the Arab Israelis and Bedouins who were also murdered because they were with the Jews and in some cases trying to defend them?"
Clearly, by being in Israel, they were complicit in Zionist crimes!

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