On Sept. 12, the province approved bylaws banning single-use plastic products in Victoria, Saanich, Tofino, Ucluelet and Richmond. (Black Press file photo)

Province greenlights plastic bag bans for five B.C. municipalities

Victoria, Saanich, Tofino, Ucluelet to receive approval for bylaws regulating plastic products

Plastic checkout bags are on borrowed time in Greater Victoria as the province has given five municipalities the green light to implement bylaws banning single-use plastics locally.

On Sept. 12, the province approved bylaws banning single-use plastics in Victoria, Saanich, Tofino, Ucluelet and Richmond and said that submissions from other municipal governments will also be considered.

READ ALSO: Province gives Saanich plastic bag ban bylaw the go-ahead

The announcement comes after the City of Victoria spent two years fighting for its Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw which went into effect July 2018 and regulated the issuance of single-use plastic bags in the city with fines.

In January 2018, the Canadian Plastic Bag Association (CPBA) challenged the bylaw and in May of that year, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in favour of the City. However, in 2019, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the CPBA after determining that the bylaw was invalid because approval from the Minister of Environment was needed under the Community Charter.

READ ALSO: City to look at options after BC Court of Appeal sides with plastic bag industry

Influenced by Victoria’s battle, the District of Saanich submitted its own plastic bag regulation bylaw to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy for approval in November 2019. In March, council was notified that the bylaw had been approved.

“The elimination of checkout bags is a small but important step toward becoming more sustainable, reducing waste and respecting our natural environment,” Mayor Fred Haynes said at the time.

Moving forward, the province said steps are being taken to draft a new regulation under the charter to allow bylaws banning single-use plastics such as straws, shopping bags and foam take-out containers to be implemented without the need for provincial approval.

“People have been consistent and vocal about the need to take serious action now on plastic waste and pollution, and we have heard the message loud and clear,” said George Heyman, minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, in a written statement.

READ ALSO: Lisa Helps ‘disappointed, not surprised’ by Supreme Court decision to not hear plastic bag bylaw appeal

He noted that the ministry plans to work to ensure that anyone who requires the single-use products for health or accessibility reasons can still access them.

The province is also looking to expand recycling programs by increasing the number of products recycled through industry-funded programs; developing recycling programs for items such as mattresses and electric-vehicle batteries; implementing a 10-cent minimum deposit on all beverage containers and, for the first time, containers for milk and dairy-alternatives; improving packaging recycling in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors; and introducing an electronic refund option to make recycling easier.

-With files from Kendra Crighton and Nicole Crescenzi.

sig

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

EnvironmentPlastic Bag BanPlastic waste

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Slow down, inspect vehicle ahead of driving in wet autumn weather

Saanich’s autumn full-moon lantern celebration shifts to drive-thru

Harvest Moon event takes place Sept. 26 in Gordon Head

Victoria police seek suspect in parkade break and enter

Cycling gear, tools reported stolen from vehicle, storage locker

Greater Victoria man sentenced to four and a half years for sexually abusing foster daughter

Abuse took place over a three year period while victim was between the ages of 13 to 15

B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 has caused some people to lash out in anger and frustration out of fear

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Lumber hitting record high prices due to low supply and high demand

B.C.’s forest industry hasn’t been able to keep pace with the COVID-19 building boom

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Monkey Beach’ supernatural film adaptation premiers at VIFF

Based on Kitamaat author Eden Robinson’s debut, mystical novel

Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island”

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Rare fish washes onto Whiffin Spit in Sooke

Deep water fish identified as ‘King-of-the-salmon’

Most Read