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

Couple grateful in aftermath of fire

Workshop fire destroyed tools and equipment but nobody was injured in blaze

Cycle relay seeks to raise pipeline awareness

The relay began in Valemount on Saturday, March 17 and will end in the Kamloops on Tuesday

Peewees host Okanagan championships

The local squad’s last game of the round robin is against Lumby this afternoon (Sunday) at 4 p.m.

SLIDESHOW: Figure-skaters enter a Time Warp

Members of Raft Mountain Skating Club put on their Winter Carnival to end the season

PHOTO: Hockey players help Legion

Clearwater Midget hockey players reduce the snowload on Clearwater Legion Hall

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

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.

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Privacy watchdog to explore Facebook leak

Canadian expert says his analytics company helped Trump campaign capitalize on private Facebook info

Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle

Ride-hailing company suspends all road-testing of such vehicles in U.S. and Canada

Spring snow melt uncovers dirty needles in B.C. city

Vernon residents are upset with number of needles being found around town with spring melt

US would host majority of games at 2026 World Cup

A decision on the winning bid will be made June 13 at the FIFA Congress in Mexico

Most people in B.C. too ‘lazy,’ ‘apathetic’ to prepare for disasters: poll

Less than half of those surveyed aren’t insured for earthquakes and wildfires

Chris Hemsworth goes surfing in Tofino

The Australian actor donned a full body wetsuit to catch some waves on Vancouver Island this weekend

Most Read