Plastic bags like this will become hard to find in Victoria after July 1. News files

EDITORIAL: Is a plastic bag ban just a symbolic gesture?

All eyes around the CRD will be on Victoria watching to see what happens after July 1

It’s no secret that plastic is bad for the environment, and yet it’s everywhere. We even use it to carry other plastic, at least for now.

Municipalities across the Capital Region are reviewing potential bans on single-use plastic bags, meaning retail businesses would be prohibited from supplying shopping bags for free, or at a cost.

So far, Victoria is the only city who has made a decisive action, implementing the Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw, effective July 1, 2018.

Both Esquimalt and Oak Bay have said their plan is to wait and watch, and make decisions for their own municipalities once they see the effectiveness of Victoria’s ban.

We all know how muddy the borders of our region can be, and while each municipality makes decisions from their individual perspective, one has to wonder how effective a ban will be, if not region-wide.

Readers have written to us debating the “single-use” term saying plastic bags carry in their groceries and then carry out their garbage. The financial benefits of these bags pulling double duty cannot be discounted.

While no one likes seeing plastic bags or other debris littering our beaches, could the bag ban be more of a symbolic gesture to the environmentally-friendly gods?

Obviously the jury is still out when it comes to evaluating whether this is the logical next step to a greener future. And all eyes will be on Victoria, so the heat is on to do this right. It will be imperative that the City listens to the impact a ban will have on both merchants and residents, as well as Mother Earth.

The grand experiment will be interesting, to say the least, and kicks off Canada Day weekend, surely a busy time for shoppers stocking up on BBQ essentials – at the grocery store.

Just Posted

Anxiety amongst voters on amalgamation referendum

Non-binding referendum asks Victoria and Saanich residents to endorse citizens’ assembly

Traffic delays minimized on Quadra after large boat blocks lane

Sail boat has shifted from its trailer bed near Quadra and Greenridge

UPDATE: Tent city campers told to leave Oak Bay, given outstanding bill

Police department delivers $1,882 bill for damages from fall of 2017

Victoria Royals defeat defending champion Broncos

Victoria’s six-game homestand continues this weekend

West Shore teens fined for possession of pot on Wednesday

Two teens receive $230 fines for smoking pot in public

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Trio of Saint Bernard find their ‘forever home’ after story goes viral

Edmonton Humane Society had put out the call to adopt Gasket, Gunther and Goliath

Nurses deliver 24,000 anti-violence postcards to B.C. Health Minister

Nurses delivered thousands of postcards to the front steps of the B.C. legislature, each carrying a message for violence prevention

Openly gay, female priest of B.C. church defying norms

Andrea Brennan serves Fernie at pivotal time in church’s history

Nova Scotia works to stop underage online cannabis sales

The government cannabis retailer moves to prevent workaround of online-age verification

Foster care is ‘superhighway to homelessness,’ B.C. youth advocate says

Katherine McParland grew up in foster care and lived on the streets

Most Read