Plastic Bag Bylaw Comes Into Effect Today

 

Victoria’s Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw is back in effect and consumers are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags when supporting local businesses.

“Reducing the distribution of single-use plastic items in Victoria is helping to keep plastic waste out of our landfill, save tax dollars and protect the environment,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “Most businesses have continued to encourage the use of reusable bags. Resuming the Checkout Bag Bylaw is a simple step to maintain our forward momentum towards reaching our goal to reduce waste by 50% by 2040 and be fully zero waste by 2050.”

With the bylaw now back in effect, all businesses have the same requirements in place previously which include restricting the use of plastic checkout bags and charging a fee for paper bags.

The City has noted excellent compliance with the original bylaw and will continue to focus on supporting businesses with education and awareness to ensure ongoing success.

“The Chamber worked closely with the City to ensure the bylaw reflected the work already being done by businesses to reduce waste and look after customer requests,” Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO Bruce Williams said. “The public asked for this change and businesses responded. Victoria is to be commended for shaping the bylaw to ensure adoption by businesses, and for using a model that allows for seamless adoption of these regulations across our region.”

Reusable bags have been shown to be safe to use during COVID-19, with many local businesses still encouraging their use to reduce waste. Initially adopted in 2018, the bylaw was the first of its kind in the province. The bylaw has since been replicated by over 20 other municipalities across Canada, including Saanich, Esquimalt and Nanaimo. Before the initial bylaw’s implementation, it is estimated that Victorians disposed of 17 million single-use plastic bags annually.

Residents and businesses can send their questions about the bylaw to reusablebags@victoria.ca.

Learn more about Zero Waste Victoria.