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.”

RELATED: Esquimalt not rushing onto plastic bag ‘banned’ wagon

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

Saanich residents face higher sewer, water and garbage rates

Council is set to ratify an increase of 10.52 per cent for sewer

Saanich Police board chair supports department in case over fired officer, but key questions remain

Case involves former Saanich constable who was the subject of 15 separate misconduct allegations

Remember Spunky? Santa came out to Sidney to check on him

Red-tailed Hawk made headlines last year after being stolen, raised by eagles

MISSING: 59-year-old Pamela Fletcher

Fletcher was last seen in the area near Royal Jubilee Hospital on Dec. 10

Mainroad South Island reminds drivers to keep them in the loop

Call the hotlines for concerns on local provincial highways

Strong winds leave BC Ferries’ passengers at Swartz Bay terminal

As 3 p.m. sailing for Vancouver boards, some travellers waited upwards of five hours

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Woman guilty of impaired driving in death of Vancouver Island pedestrian

Man in his 70s killed in 2016 Courtenay multi-vehicle incident

Most Read