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.”

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

Main intersection in Keremeos to be closed early next week

Soil removal from the site of an old gas station will close a portion of Highway 3 for two day

Mercury rises in the Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures reach about 36 C with humidex in the Okanagan and Shuswap

Little Learners daycare in Penticton wins national award

The Little Learners Child Care Centre at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus wins big award

Crews respond to cyclist crash south of Penticton

An ambulance was seen rushing toward Penticton with sirens on Wednesday afternoon

Defence lawyer Paul Varga retained in Penticton overdose homicide case

Varga appeared in court for Bourque, charged with manslaughter, to request disclosure from Crown

VIDEO: Vernon-area students read for rank

RCMP visited JW Inglis on Wednesday as part of the Read with Me and the RCMP program.

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

VIDEO: Vernon-area students read for rank

RCMP visited JW Inglis on Wednesday as part of the Read with Me and the RCMP program.

B.C. ‘will be ready’ for marijuana legalization

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says some stores open by Oct. 17

Most Read