EDITORIAL: Ban on plastic bags reflects new reality

The plastic bag ban Victoria introduced in July of this year is beginning to spread to its neighbouring municipalities, however slowly.

Saanich council has determined that Vancouver Island’s largest municipality will ban single-use plastic bags by June 2020, a timeline questioned by at least one of those around the council table.

“That’s 22 months away,” Coun. Colin Plant said Monday night. “This a little bit slower than I prefer. We could have been more ambitious.”

But slow-going would seem to be the order of the day, as many municipalities in the Capital Regional District have decided to weigh the fallout from Victoria’s ban before making a decision to let the plastic out of the bag in their own communities.

Saanich’s timeline calls for council to give the bylaw first and second reading in January 2019. Consultations with the public and industry would then take place until April 2019, with council set to give the bylaw third reading by May.

Council would adopt the bylaw in June with an effective date in December 2019. Businesses would then have until June 2020 to use up the remaining plastic bags.

A cautious approach to the ban seems warranted as more than a few wrinkles remain to be ironed out. Victoria’s ban has more than a few moving pieces, as merchants are still allowed to offer small paper and other bags free for packaging items such as live fish, bulk food, small hardware items, frozen foods, flowers and potted plants, prepared foods and bakery goods. But your takeout from the local fast food franchise comes with a cost if you want it in a bag.

While these details must be worked out, it shouldn’t take two years to do so. If a ban on plastic bags is coming, then let’s get on with it.

While single-use plastic bags are convenient, much of society has already moved towards alternatives because of their environmental effects. Greener Footprints, a not-for-profit society registered in British Columbia, estimates that Canadians use up to 15 billion bags every year, or about 17,000 bags a minute.

Whether they like it or not, the public seems to have accepted that a ban on plastic bags is the new reality. And with the threat that plastics represent to our marine life, there’s no sense delaying legislation that reflects that reality.

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Safe water should trump traffic plan

Emergency Malahat route through Sooke watershed a non-starter

VicPD honours seven citizens for their courage and dedication

Civic Service Awards presented at ceremony in Hall of Honour

Savory School music room addition a hit

School’s PAC praises Legion’s generosity

‘It’s just hair:’ Central Saanich woman chops her locks for Wigs for Kids

Wigs for Kids BC will receive two 12-inch braids from Brentwood Bay resident Liza Glynn

New orca calf in Salish Sea ‘healthy and active’

Birth cause for celebration but things still dire genetically, expert says

Second fatal crash occurs in Alberni Valley

Traffic on Highway 4 is being re-routed as investigators are en route

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

VIDEO: Mattress fire at Cowichan Hospital under investigation

The Cowichan District Hospital was locked down on Tuesday afternoon due to… Continue reading

Most Read