On Sept. 12, the province approved bylaws banning single-use plastic products in Victoria, Saanich, Tofino, Ucluelet and Richmond. (Black Press file photo)

On Sept. 12, the province approved bylaws banning single-use plastic products in Victoria, Saanich, Tofino, Ucluelet and Richmond. (Black Press file photo)

Province greenlights plastic bag bans for five B.C. municipalities

Victoria, Saanich, Tofino, Ucluelet to receive approval for bylaws regulating plastic products

Plastic checkout bags are on borrowed time in Greater Victoria as the province has given five municipalities the green light to implement bylaws banning single-use plastics locally.

On Sept. 12, the province approved bylaws banning single-use plastics in Victoria, Saanich, Tofino, Ucluelet and Richmond and said that submissions from other municipal governments will also be considered.

READ ALSO: Province gives Saanich plastic bag ban bylaw the go-ahead

The announcement comes after the City of Victoria spent two years fighting for its Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw which went into effect July 2018 and regulated the issuance of single-use plastic bags in the city with fines.

In January 2018, the Canadian Plastic Bag Association (CPBA) challenged the bylaw and in May of that year, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in favour of the City. However, in 2019, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the CPBA after determining that the bylaw was invalid because approval from the Minister of Environment was needed under the Community Charter.

READ ALSO: City to look at options after BC Court of Appeal sides with plastic bag industry

Influenced by Victoria’s battle, the District of Saanich submitted its own plastic bag regulation bylaw to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy for approval in November 2019. In March, council was notified that the bylaw had been approved.

“The elimination of checkout bags is a small but important step toward becoming more sustainable, reducing waste and respecting our natural environment,” Mayor Fred Haynes said at the time.

Moving forward, the province said steps are being taken to draft a new regulation under the charter to allow bylaws banning single-use plastics such as straws, shopping bags and foam take-out containers to be implemented without the need for provincial approval.

“People have been consistent and vocal about the need to take serious action now on plastic waste and pollution, and we have heard the message loud and clear,” said George Heyman, minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, in a written statement.

READ ALSO: Lisa Helps ‘disappointed, not surprised’ by Supreme Court decision to not hear plastic bag bylaw appeal

He noted that the ministry plans to work to ensure that anyone who requires the single-use products for health or accessibility reasons can still access them.

The province is also looking to expand recycling programs by increasing the number of products recycled through industry-funded programs; developing recycling programs for items such as mattresses and electric-vehicle batteries; implementing a 10-cent minimum deposit on all beverage containers and, for the first time, containers for milk and dairy-alternatives; improving packaging recycling in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors; and introducing an electronic refund option to make recycling easier.

-With files from Kendra Crighton and Nicole Crescenzi.

sig

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

EnvironmentPlastic Bag BanPlastic waste

Just Posted

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

A sketch of the multi-use path that will connect Lagoon Beach and Royal Beach in Colwood. (Sketch courtesy of the City of Colwood)
Concepts for Colwood beach connector coming to council June 21

Major infrastructure project includes gathering places, public amenities and pathways

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read