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Plastic bag initiative to continue

A Penticton man who wants to see plastic bags banned is not getting the funding he hoped for, but still vows to continue his effort.

Tarik Sayeed said he is already getting support from others and regards not making it to the semi-finals in the Aviva Community Fund competition as a temporary setback.

"We have not proceeded to the semi-finals, but we feel that it was a very successful failure," he said. "A setback is never a bad experience, but a learning curve."

Sayeed said momentum picked up throughout the process for his zero plastic bags initiative, which gives people the choice to substitute plastic bags with cotton ones.

He claims 547 supporters voted every day, resulting in a total of close to 3,000 votes.

It was close, but not enough to reach the 4,000 votes needed to get to the semi-finals.

Ultimately, the support led to the initiative ranking number 46 out of 1,076 ideas from all over Canada, said Sayeed.

In addition to people initially backing his cause, there are now three individuals who have offered to help Sayeed continue his initiative.

"A total of $7,000 has been committed provided we can reach our goal of raising $24,000," he said. "And we will attempt to raise the money on our own through personal contributions from our supporters and corporate sponsors."

The way local companies can support the effort to eradicate plastic bags is through a donation.

Sayeed will then place their logo in the 100,000 cotton bags that he plans to ship and spread throughout the Okanagan.

"We believe we can make this model into a sustainable nonprofit organization, if we have some coprorate sponsors who support our environment," he said. "It's win win for both sides, affordable recognition to support the environment and affordable advertising through 100,000 earth friendly bags.

Sayeed can be contacted at [email protected]

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