Tag Archives: plastic refuse

The Outrageous Refuse of PBLA

image source: Stacey Vandenberg

If you work with PBLA, what does your program site do with the leftover Language Companion Binders?  What you are looking at in the picture are leftover PBLA binders at our location. Most are full of the quintessential “artifacts.”  We have tried to encourage students to take the binders with them when they leave the program, but the fact is that they are not wanted. Management and staff have discussed different strategies to facilitate binder departures, but so far most of our students just smile politely and say “no thank you” before exiting as fast as possible, lest we try to put it into their hands. Can you blame them? Who wants this huge awkward emblem of the past century filling shelf space at home, not to mention the weight when it is fully loaded?

What should we do with this precious plastic? We thought it would be best to take out the old artifacts and recycle the binders back into the classroom to be reused. This seems like a good idea but who is going to do this time-consuming job? Who will do the cleanup? Should the administrators or settlement workers be responsible? Perhaps those supposed volunteers that were frequently referred to but who never materialized will do the work.  As it is, teachers are still not being fully compensated for the time we spend on PBLA, so not us.

What about the ton of paper inside the binders? Those have to go into the recycling bin. The levity with which IRCC considers the environment is astonishing. In a time when many countries are banning plastic and using technology to reduce paper consumption, we are finding ways to increase its use.

The implementation of PBLA has been poorly thought out from the start. There is no fiscal plan for fair compensation, no environmental conscience, and no evidence that it is enhancing learners’ experience. Why are we still using it?