Court Rules in Favour of City on Plastic Bag Ban

Today, the BC Supreme Court ruled in favour of the City and dismissed the challenge to the City’s Checkout Bag Regulation by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association.

In his reasons for judgment, Mr. Justice Smith stated: “I find no evidence of bad faith in this case. Although some members of council may have been motivated by broad environment concerns, council’s attention was properly drawn to ways in which discarded plastic bags impact municipal facilities and services. Council decided that those issues could be addressed by prohibiting a specific form of consumer transaction.”

“The City is very pleased that the Court has confirmed our ability to regulate checkout bags,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “This decision represents an important step in moving away from unsustainable business practices that create high volumes of waste and litter in our community”.

Following extensive public and stakeholder consultation, Victoria City Council decided to regulate single-use plastic checkout bags in response to community concerns and their desire to reduce plastic bag waste in public places, parks, beaches and at the landfill. The bylaw, which takes effect July 1, bans the use of single-use plastic checkout bags and sets a minimum price on paper and reusable checkout bags.

The City is working closely with retailers and the community to raise awareness and support Victoria’s transition away from single-use plastic checkout bags. An information toolkit (available here) has been developed to provide businesses with information and guidance to support communications and compliance with the new bylaw. A public awareness campaign will launch later this month and extend through the summer.

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