EDITORIAL: West Shore communities need to jump on board with plastic bag ban

Last week, the City of Colwood took the initial steps to do what no other municipality on the West Shore has officially done — ban single-use plastic bags.

During a council meeting just after the Remembrance Day long weekend, councillors voted to have staff adopt a bylaw put forward by the Capital Regional District for Colwood to ban the sale and distribution of the bags.

Coun. Jason Nault, who put forward the motion, was the only one to speak on it saying plastic bags are a “never-ending source of pollution … and they take up an inordinate amount of landfill space and they are entirely unnecessary.”

It’s no secret that what was once considered a space-age convenience has morphed into tons of plastic that poses serious consequences for the environment and the wildlife with which we share this planet.

At the moment, the retail approach to plastic bags ranges from Thrifty’s, which no longer uses them, to Western Foods and Fairways, who still do for free, and others such as Shoppers Drug Mart and Great Canadian Superstore, which charge customers who require them.

Either way, more and more residents are opting to bring their own bags into businesses.

Other municipalities across Greater Victoria, such a Victoria and Saanich, have also taken steps towards establishing similar bans. But the bigger question is why haven’t other western communities jumped on board?

It’s time for West Shore communities to move forward with similar bans. Yes, it will take a while for businesses and customers to adjust, but that will come with time.

It wasn’t that long ago that Styrofoam was the evil elephant in the room, but considering how much of it was around 20 years ago, we’ve made dramatic strides in reducing its use.

We need a change in our plastic-bag mindset if we’re going to make an impact on our environment. It’s important that municipalities start to realize that as well.


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