(Black Press file photo)

Colwood considers banning plastic checkout bags in 2020

City consulting with public before passing bylaw

The City of Colwood is considering banning plastic bags starting next year.

Monday night council passed a checkout bag regulation bylaw through its first and second readings. Council plans to consult the public and Colwood businesses to see if any changes to the bylaw need to be made before third reading.

“This is a great first step,” said Colwood Mayor Rob Martin.

Martin said he has always been supportive of the plastic bag ban and said he thinks this will help lead to long-term environmental solutions in Colwood.

READ MORE: Saanich to ban single-use plastic bags by Jan. 1, 2010

The city first looked at banning the bags in 2017 and considered following the CRD’s single use plastic bag model bylaw and the City of Victoria’s check-out bag regulation bylaw.

However, the Canadian Plastic Bag Association filed a B.C. Supreme Court petition challenging the right of the City of Victoria to ban plastic bags.

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

In 2018, Colwood council decided to put the bylaw on hold until the Supreme Court challenge outcome was known. In June, 2018, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition but the Canadian Plastic Bag Association filed an appeal.

Despite the appeal, the City of Colwood can still proceed with adopting the bylaw and re-visit it depending on the B.C. Court of Appeal hearing.

READ MORE: City of Colwood considers plastic bag ban

Martin said he anticipates fine-tuning of the bylaw will be required after public consultation.

“Change is always difficult and obviously people are working to try and provide the best service they can to their customers,” Martin said. “Up until this point we have viewed plastic bags as the best way to serve customers.”

However, Martin said things seem to be changing as more people are using their own re-usable bags to shop.

“There’s been a societal change I think,” Martin said. “Something as simple as charging someone five cents for a bag really motivates people to bring their own bag.”

At the meeting, Martin said Couns. Doug Kobayashi and Michael Baxter both raised the point that plastic bags are not the No. 1 issue when it comes to plastics being in the environment.

Baxter said he does support the plastic bag ban in order to help reduce waste.

“Our landfill is filling up and nobody has any idea what we’re going to do once it’s full,” Baxter said. “Anything we can do to reduce stuff going in the landfill is good.”

Martin said he has heard the argument from residents that plastic bags are not single-use for them because they use them for their garbage at home. However, he noted that the city needs to start looking long-term in order to maintain its health and environment.

“This is a small step in us being environmentally sound as a community,” Martin said. “We have to look at all sorts of products that we’re using as a society that are disposable and thrown away after single use…we need to start looking at some of those other environmental costs.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Victoria City Council approves inclusionary housing policy

After years of back and forth, the policy will be ratified in two weeks

Filipino Heritage Month event takes over Centennial Square

Dancing, music and food highlight Mabuhay Day celebration in Victoria

West Shore residents report finding anti-SOGI 123 flyers in mailboxes

SD62 trustee Ravi Parmar says the flyers are ‘garbage’

Indigenous peoples celebrated at Royal Roads

June 21 event includes host of activities as part of National Indigenous Peoples Day

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read