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.

Just Posted

Police say Surrey Tax Centre evacuated after ‘suspicious occurrence’

RCMP say 134th Street closed between 96th and 98th Avenue as they investigate “suspicious occurrence in the area”

Fraser Health to ‘shape food purchasing decisions’

Pilot project launched at White Rock corner store

Prolific offender arrested on Canada-wide warrant at Surrey SkyTrain station

Transit Police say 45-year-old Dean Garett Harris has 78 convictions and was wanted for revocation of parole

Police ask for help tracking down wanted Surrey siblings

Brothers Pavandeep and Jasondeep Uppal both have outstanding arrest warrants, RCMP say

‘Wickfest’ hockey festival for women coming to Surrey next winter

10th edition of Hayley Wickenheiser-backed tourney/event here in early 2019

Volken addiction treatment centre in Surrey turns ‘takers into givers’

Philanthropist opens up about motivations for opening a Surrey recovery academy amid opioid crisis

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

LISTEN: Retired broadcaster gives voice to Fraser Valley history

Heritage buff Mark Forsythe introduces Valley Voices, a podcast featuring local history.

Russian Embassy calls Trudeau’s criticism of Putin unproductive

The Russian Embassy is firing back at Trudeau for criticizing President Vladimir Putin

Murder charge upgraded for man accused in Toronto gay village death

Man accused the death of a woman in the Toronto gay village had charge upgraded after new evidence

Former NHL player Theo Fleury visits B.C. First Nations community

Abuse survivor Theo Fleury has been working with communities focusing on healing since 2009 and visited Esketemc First Nation in the Cariboo this week.

A B.C. council takes action in wake of former municipal politician’s sentencing

Dave Murray was sentenced to nine months for a sexual assault that occurred 26 years ago.

A Royal challenge awaits Giants as post-season begins

Playoff hockey at Langley Events Centre March 27 and 29, including a nationally televised game

Harsher fines, new off-road vehicle rules in effect to combat B.C. wildfires

Anyone who starts a wildfire could be ordered to pay up to $1,000,000

Most Read