Reducing Single-Use Plastic Bags

You’re invited to attend an Open House and Public Meeting

Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Time: Open House from 6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
           Public Meeting
 from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Victoria City Hall, 1 Centennial Square, Victoria BC

Come talk to staff, ask questions and share your thoughts with Council. Your feedback will help form recommendations for Council to consider regarding the regulation of single-use checkout bags planned for October 26, 2017.

Can’t make it in person? Send your feedback to or watch the webcasting here

Here are the display boards that will be at the Open House and Public Meeting:
Reusable Bags Are Best.pdf
Ways businesses are already taking action.pdf
Alternative bags.pdf
Facts and impacts.pdf
What's your greatest barrier.pdf
Have your say.pdf

We are working with the community to transition towards sustainable, reusable checkout bags, and away from single-use plastic bags.

Currently, we are engaging local stakeholders to better understand the benefits, barriers, concerns and success stories related to a reduction of single-use checkout bags (plastic and paper).  Much of the discussion so far has focussed on the potential ban of single-use plastic bags, and a subsequent charge for single-use paper bags, to help shift towards reusable bags.

We want to hear from you!

  • What do you think about the City implementing a ban or a fee on single-use checkout bags (plastic and paper)?
  • If you’re a business that has taken actions to reduce plastic bags, let us know and we’ll share your green efforts with the community!

Did You Know?

  • 17 million plastic bags are used every year in the Victoria alone, many of which end up in our landfill, local waterways and on our beaches.
  • Plastics make up over 15% of all landfill waste, of which two-thirds are single-use plastic bags, plastic film and packaging waste.
  • Plastic bags have negative impacts on marine life, the environment and are made using non-renewable fossil fuels.
  • Paper bags may seem less harmful than plastic bags, but paper bags actually cause more harmful greenhouse gas emissions over their lifetime than plastic bags
  • Efforts to reduce plastic waste can have a big impact.  By simply using our own sustainable, reusable bags, we can avoid the harmful effects from these materials that quickly become waste after only a few uses. 

What can a business do to help reduce plastic bag use?

Here are a few ideas for businesses to consider, even before any action is taken by the City:

• Always ask the question: A bag might not even be needed. A mandatory question at the till will also get your customer to consider their need for a single-use bag

• Create incentives: Offer benefits or incentive for those who bring in their own bags

• Charge for bags: Fees could help customers consider going bag-less next time

• Bag exchange: Set up a free, reusable bag donation program to put surplus reusable bags in the hands of those that need them.

What's Happen So far

City Council directs staff to meet with key business and waste management stakeholders to explore ways to reduce single-use plastic bags in the city. Read Council meeting minutes from May 26, 2016 here

May 2016


• City Council directs staff to meet with key business and waste  management stakeholders to explore ways to reduce single-use plastic bags in the city.

• Research and analysis of industry practice and innovation

May 2017

• Phase I: Engagement Kick-off event with local stakeholders

September – October

• City staff hosted three separate meetings with industry   representatives, advocacy groups, and local businesses.

October  18, 2017

Open House and Public Meeting


October 26

• Report and draft bylaw presented to Council, including a summary of   community input.

Fall 2017 ( After Council approves the bylaw)           

• Next Steps : Education and Awareness  


• Regulations take effect. Details to follow


 A Better Bag is a Reusable Bag


Have other ideas on what the City and community can do? Do you suggestions or feedback for us to consider? Email anytime!