Why the City is working towards restricting single-use checkout bags


  1. Why is reducing the amount of plastic bags important?


    • Victoria residents use approximately 200 bags each every year, which would equate to 17 million plastic bags from city residents, alone [1].
    • Plastic bags are made from a limited supply of non-renewable petroleum sources, which contribute to greenhouse gases, air quality issues, natural resource depletion, chemical, waste and litter accumulation.
    • People may use them only once, yet they remain in the environment for more than a human lifetime
    • Littered plastic bags are in the top 10 list of garbage found on the world’s beaches[2]
    • To reduce the amount of waste before it enters our management systems will help City staff reduce operating costs and/or increase levels of service to enhance the quality of life and experience for all Victoria residents and visitors.


    [1] Based on the 200 bag per capita estimate, from the Globe and Mail article called “The Battle of the Bag”, 7 June 2012, available online at: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/the-battle-of-the-bag/article4241011/?page=all

    [2] Ocean Conservancy (2015). International Coastal Cleanup. Annual Report.

  2. Why is the City developing a new bylaw to reduce single-use checkout bags?

    The purpose of the draft Bylaw is to restrict the provision of single-use plastic checkout bags, in order to minimize the volume of plastic bag waste entering our landfill, our waste collection systems, and littering our community.  This policy aims to reduce single-use plastic bags that quickly become waste after only a few uses.