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Small towns on Vancouver Island may be first in B.C. to ban plastic straws

If passed, the joint bylaw for Tofino and Ucluelet would make it illegal for businesses in the area to dispense plastic drinking straws and plastic straws to customers.


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May 6, 2019 by Canadian Plastics

The two small towns of Tofino and Ucluelet on Vancouver Island are set to become the first municipalities in British Columbia to ban businesses from using single-use plastic straws.

The joint bylaw would make it illegal for businesses in the area to dispense plastic drinking straws and plastic straws to customers, punishable by fines of $100 for a first offence and $200 for subsequent offences.

The bylaw, which has passed first and second readings at both municipal councils, would also require businesses to charge customers at least $0.25 for a paper bag and at least $2 for a reusable bag.

The proposed law is scheduled for its third reading on May 14. If it passes, it will be adopted into law on May 28 and would come into effect on June 8, which is World Oceans Day.

Fines for breaking the bylaw would not come into effect until Jan. 1, 2020.

There are proposed exemptions to the bylaw which would still allow businesses to freely supply small paper or plastic bags to package loose bulk items, meat, poultry and fish, flowers and potted plants, and certain other goods.

Businesses would also still be allowed to give customers plastic bags if the bags have been returned to the business for other customers to re-use.