The City of Colwood could soon be following in the footsteps of Victoria when it comes to banning the use of plastic bags.
During a council meeting last week, councillors voted to have staff adapt a bylaw put forward by the Capital Regional District (CRD) for Colwood to ban the sale and distribution of single-use plastic bags.
Coun. Jason Nault, who put forward the motion, said many other cities, including ones in Africa have banned the bag to much success and now it’s the City’s turn to do the same.
“If we can’t manage that in a high-tech, highly rich community then we’re really in trouble,” he said during the Tuesday meeting. “Plastic bags are a never-ending source of pollution, they get into the ocean, they choke the ocean, they kill the fish, they take up an inordinate amount of landfill space and they are entirely unnecessary.”
The CRD draft bylaw, which was sent to all 13 municipalities, prohibits the use or sale of plastic bags by businesses. It includes a number of options for regulation including municipal purpose for the bylaw, types of businesses to be regulated, a list of potential exemptions or options for compliant bags that businesses may continue to distribute.
The move to ban plastic bags has been sweeping the Capital Region in recent months.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps also wrote to Colwood council asking it to consider the Victoria’s version of the bylaw, which states businesses must provide a paper bag at a fee of $0.12 cents per bag or a reusable bag for $2.
Under Victoria’s bylaw, which will be reviewed in December, bags to package bulk food, prescriptions and dry cleaning would be exempt.
If a business were to give out a single-use plastic bag, it would receive a $100 fine. The District of Saanich is also in the process of adopting a similar plastic bag ban.
Nault said he’s in favour of the CRD’s draft bylaw, noting Victoria’s “horrendous penalties,” that would be difficult for bylaw officers in Colwood to regulate.
Once adapted by staff, the bylaw must be brought forward for public input before adoption.