Victoria has gone and done it, banned plastic bags (see the details in their draft bylaw below, it includes exceptions). Sooke has occasionally toyed with the idea of implementing a plastic-bag ban.
In October, signs popped up throughout Sooke reminding you to BYOB(bags). Zero Waste Sooke has hosted workshops making DIY reusable bags. And in 2016, Shoppers started charging an environmental fee for their plastic bags.
As recently as November, 2017, Sooke Council discussed the matter.
The item on the table at the November 27, 2017 meeting was, should Sooke endorse Victoria’s move to eliminate plastic bags. During the discussion, Councillor Kevin Pearson was in full support of this environmental initiative, and Councillor Brenda Parkinson warned that the enforcement of such a bylaw would be difficult; Sooke still only has one bylaw enforcement officer. Ultimate, the motion to support Victoria carried.
We polled Sooke in September, 2016. This is what you said then:
Plastic shopping bags should be
- Paid for by user (22%, 64 Votes)
- Freely provided by businesses (35%, 102 Votes)
- Completely banned (43%, 123 Votes)
Total Voters: 289
Victoria Councillor Ben Isitt posted the following on Facebook, celebrating the bylaw.
“We did it! The City of Victoria just became the first municipality in British Columbia to ban single-use plastic bags, with adoption of the Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw. This is the end of the beginning – as we work with local residents, communities and grassroots partners to pursue a broader zero-waste strategy, contributing toward a more sustainable region and world. Thanks to everyone, particularly the inspiring volunteers with Surfrider Vancouver Island, who made this happen! Yay!!”
Victoria’s bylaw includes exceptions. The draft bylaw proposed that businesses may provide a checkout bag to customers only if:
- the customer is first asked whether they need a bag
- the business provides a paper or reusable bag
- a fee no less than 12 cents per paper bag; and minimum two dollars per reusable bag is charged
The draft bylaw also included a number of exceptions, such as bags to package bulk items, meat, prescriptions and dry cleaning.