Victoria, B.C. to ban plastic bags starting in July 2018
Under a new bylaw, businesses will be prohibited from providing customers single-use plastic bags. Enforcement is set to begin in January 2019.
The City of Victoria, B.C. plans to ban businesses from offering single-use plastic bags to consumers starting July 1, 2018.
The Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw, affecting plastic and other single-use bags, passed first, second and third readings by Victoria city council on Dec. 14. 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.
Once the bylaw receives final approval, it will be put into effect in July 2018 with enforcement beginning in 2019. Businesses can be fined between $100 and $1,000 while individuals can be fined from $50 to $500 for non-compliance. Retailers will be allowed to use their existing bag stock up to January 2019 without penalty.
Bags used for packing bulk foods, dry cleaning or prescriptions would still be provided.
During consultations on the proposed ban, industry stakeholders — such as the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) — said banning bags is a mistake. The Toronto-based CPIA argued that plastic bags that wind up in landfills can be recycled. It also says plastic bags are used for multiple purposes such as garbage bags.