Victoria’s plastic bag ban has been adopted. The City will begin enforcing it in July 2018. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Victoria first B.C. municipality to adopt plastic bag ban

City bylaw will come into effect this summer

A bylaw banning plastic bags has been adopted in Victoria, the first local government to do so in British Columbia.

The regulations were finalized Thursday following a 7-1 vote in favour of the bylaw, with Coun. Geoff Young opposed, following initial approval in December. The City will begin enforcing the bylaw in July.

RELATED: Is a plastic bag ban just a symbolic gesture?

Businesses will be restricted from charging for or providing free plastic bags, except in specific situations. Retailers must first ask customers if they need a bag, and then charge 15 cents for a paper bag, or $1 for a reusable bag.

Coun. Ben Isitt said he believes this law could become a template for other municipalities in the region and across the province.

“I think we can think of tonight as a new beginning. It’s a first step, and an important step, in pursuing a broader waste strategy,” he said prior to the final vote. “We will be, if this is approved, the first local government in British Columbia to ban single-use plastic bags.”

Merchants will still be allowed to offer small paper and other bags free for packaging live fish, bulk food, small hardware items, frozen foods, flowers and potted plants, prepared foods and bakery goods. Other items in this category include prescriptions, laundry and dry cleaning, newspapers or other delivered print material, and linens or bedding that cannot fit in a reusable bag.

RELATED: Plastic checkout bag ban to take effect in Victoria next summer

Victoria’s council had previously indicated they did not want to tackle this issue alone, and sent a letter to the province, the Capital Regional District and neighbouring municipalities hoping for some consistency and regional support. Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Saanich, Central Saanich, and Nanaimo have also been discussing potential bans.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Coastal GasLink awards contract for camp near Burns Lake

Local residents to be consulted before location is picked

Houston prepares for projected growth

Transportation Master Plan anticipates traffic increase

Houston’s Pleasant Valley Plaza to host information session about bitcoin

Locals will have a chance to ask questions about the proposed farm

Northwest firefighters deployed to eastern Canada

They will help with fire suppression efforts in Ontario and Quebec

Work “well underway” for shared revenue in northwest B.C.

Resource Benefits Alliance developing proposal for the province

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

ZONE 7: Players’ insistence delivers North West softball team to BC Games

North West hasn’t had a girls softball team since 2010 but that changed at the Cowichan Summer Games

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires

Man dead, woman in critical condition after stabbing in Quesnel

A 32-year-old man turned himself in to local RCMP Saturday, where he remains in custody

B.C. VIEWS: Unions regain control of public construction

B.C.’s 40-year battle swings back to international big labour

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Most Read