PAID BY LOCAL COMMUNITIES
On Lasqueti Island, around 80% of marine litter found on the beaches is expanded polystyrene (EPS). Eliminating expanded polystyrene pollution from British Columbia's coastlines is extremely costly.
We must stop expanded polystyrene pollution before it happens.
Lasqueti Island residents clean up 10 kilometers of beach each year.
When broken down, the costs to the community can be upwards of CAD $2,000 per 1 kilometer of coastline.
British Columbia has over 25,000 kilometers of coastline, much of which is extremely remote.
Eliminating polystyrene pollution from British Columbia's coastlines would be an extremely costly endeavour.
Thus, it is pertinent to stop the pollution at the source, before the abundance of expanded polystyrene at sea increases further.
“When market transactions generate negative externalities, leaving the market to its own devices will lead to an inefficiently high production and consumption of the good in question. It is easy to see why. People can consume the good without paying the actual cost of using it”
Dietsch & Gordon (2019), Lasqueti Island residents
THE COMMUNITY PAYS THE PRICE
Expanded polystyrene may appear cheap, but the "hidden" third-party costs are immense. Right now, citizens, communities and not-for-profit organizations are paying that price in the form of beach clean-ups, costs to tourism and fishing industries, and the potential health effects.