Saanich plans to phase out single use plastic bags following committee review

Saanich plans to stuff plastic bags

Two committees will now review the proposed ban prior to council consideration

Saanich is moving towards banning single-use plastic bags.

“This is an important step,” said Coun. Susan Brice, before council voted to send a bylaw to said effect to two committees for review prior to council consideration. “It is certainly not the end. It is the beginning of a dialogue and an engagement that will have to involve the greater community, because that what [Capital Regional District] staff found has been successful in other cities where there has been broad buy-in and broad engagement from all the stakeholders.”

Saanich’s proposed bylaw which envisions phasing out plastic bags will now go before to the environment and natural areas advisory committee, as well as the planning, transportation and economic development advisory committee for input and public engagement.

Brice — who had tabled a notice a motion last month – said interest in banning single-use plastic bags has been building for many years across the Greater Victoria region thanks to the work of students like Charlotte Brady and Anastasia Castro of Glenlyon Norfolk School who have been pushing for such a ban. In a way, the proposed ban builds on the “exemplary work” of retailers, who have been trying to “wean” the public off this “handy, but environmentally deleterious” product.

Brice’s colleagues praised her efforts in citing the various environmental harm that plastic bags cause.

“This is not draconian,” said Coun. Colin Plant, pointing to various exemptions. “This is a step in the right direction.”

Coun. Fred Haynes praised the proposed ban, but added that he would like to see Saanich go further in eventually eliminating said exemptions. The model bylaw — that will be the basis of Saanich’s bylaw — allows plastic bags for the hygenic storage of bulk items such as fruit, vegetables and nuts, as well as frozen foods, meat or fish.

Historically, merchants used to wrap food in paper, said Haynes. “That’s an appropriate way to go in the future, but we aren’t ready yet,” he said.

The report also fails to address other kinds of plastics. “Eventually, they will come,” he said.

Coun. Dean Murdock and Coun. Judy Brownoff meanwhile predicted that Saanich’s move will send an example for other communities to follow.

The time-frame of Saanich’s move remains uncertain. Plant hoped that Saanich council could approve the ban by end of its term.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Journey Middle School students try out the trades

Program is designed to expose students to career options

Province’s oldest lawyer shares advice for living well at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Saanich swaps last propane-powered Zamboni for electric model

Pearkes arena’s all-electric ice resurfacing fleet to reduce carbon emissions by six tonnes

VIDEO: Traffic snarled during Friday evening rush hour, now clear

Traffic was backed up all over Greater Victoria

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

VIDEO: Dashcam records driver’s near-miss near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

Mayors call for ‘calmness’ as highway rockslide cuts Tofino, Ucluelet off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Most Read