Gillian Montgomery (left) and Annie Gibson (right) of Vancouver Island Surfrider Foundation hold a mountain of plastic bags tied to a suit they brought to the Victoria City Hall Thursday afternoon when council discussed a staff report about council’s proposed plastic bag ban. Council will consider a draft plastic ban bylaw no later than December 2017. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Victoria moves for regional plastic bag ban

Victoria bylaw to be considered by December fines businesses for providing plastic bags

Plastic bags may soon be a thing of the past in Victoria.

Victoria City Council is considering a ban on the sale and distribution of plastic bags by Victoria businesses, and will be reviewing a draft bylaw by December. Businesses must first ask customers if they need a bag, and then charge 12 cents for a paper bag, or two dollars for a reusable one in the first draft of the law. Bags to package bulk food, prescriptions and dry cleaning are exempt. Businesses that charge less for a paper or reusable bags, that sell or provide plastic bags, or give any bag without first asking will be fined $100.

But the City doesn’t want to tackle this alone. Council is sending a letter to the CRD and neighbouring municipalities hoping for some consistency and regional support. A letter is also being sent to the provincial government.

RELATED: Saanich councillor wants to stuff plastic bags

Coun. Geoff Young said having other municipalities on board will make it easier to enforce, and easier for people to adapt.

“I think there will be some people who express a negative reaction to [the law] and may decide they want to shop in another municipality,” he said. “It is certainly going to be a lot easier to implement this if we can have one information campaign for the entire region.”

Young said a ban will mean people need to form new habits and change their lifestyles.

RELATED: Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

“Trying to force it on people is just going to be very difficult. It’s like the requirements to pick up after dogs or to not smoke in bars,” he said. “They were fairly major changes in people’s behaviours, and they were achieved, but it was because there was broad public support.”

Carolyn Whittaker of the Vancouver Island Surfrider Foundation attended the Committee of the Whole meeting Thursday and heard staff’s presentation on ideas for the new bylaw, and was satisfied with what she heard.

“I’m happy with the outcome [but] I wish it was happening faster because I feel like everybody is on board and everyone’s on the same page, and we all know what needs to be done,” she said.

“While we wait, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of bags are still continuing to end up in the wrong place and in the way streams.”

The City is seeking feedback on draft bylaw, which would come into effect July 1, 2018.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

RELATED: Central Saanich takes first step toward plastic bag ban

RELATED: Victoria council mulls plastic bag ban

 

Carolyn Whittaker, a member of the Vancouver Island Surfrider Foundation, holds up the purple reusable bag she takes with her everywhere outside Victoria Council chambers Thursday afternoon. More Victorians will be carrying reusable bags if the City approves of bylaw banning plastic bags in December. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Just Posted

Library’s French collection gets $15,000 boost

Provincial grant adds extra French-language materials to Greater Victoria Public Library collection

Emily Carr Quartet to perform in Sooke

Show begins at 7 p.m. at the Sooke Harbour House on Feb. 28

Man charged in suspected Greater Victoria bus assault

The Victoria Police Department has arrested a man for sexual assault aboard… Continue reading

Celebrating the heroic dogs of Saanich past

Cedar Hill exhibit features great dogs of history

Rookie boxer gains new self-confidence

After ten weeks of training ‘Killer’ Gibson is ‘unstoppable’

President praises nearly 1,800 volunteers at B.C. Games

Ashley Wadhwani sits down with the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games President Niki Remesz

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

The way government learn someone has died is getting a digital overhaul

Governments in Canada turned to private consultants 2 years ago to offer blueprint

Bobsleigh team misses Olympic medal finish

Canadian team finishes four-man event 0.84 seconds behind first place, 0.31 seconds from podium

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Minor injuries after car veers into Courtenay dance studio

A driver and passenger were taken to hospital after their vehicle crashed… Continue reading

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Cougars hold upper hand on Westshore in VIJHL South semifinal

Victoria leads series 2-0, games 3 and 4 go tonight and tomorrow

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

Most Read