Victoria becomes first BC city to ban single-use plastic bags

Victoria has become the first city in B.C. city to ban single-use plastic bags. City Council voted 8 - 1 in favour of implementing the law which would apply to plastic bags at checkouts, or for take-out and delivery food.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says it comes into effect on July 1 this year, with enforcement of the fines taking effect Jan. 1st next year.

" In year 1 for paper bags it's 15 cents, and for reusable bags it's a dollar. In year 2 of the bylaw and every year after it's 25 cents for papers and $2.00 for a reusable bag. And the thinking is we want people to remember bring their reusable bags with them to the store. It solves all the problems." 

The bylaw also introduces fines for businesses of up to $100 per offence for businesses handing out plastic bags, or not charging for paper or reusable bags,

Under the bylaw businesses will only be allowed to provide paper or reusable bags to customers if they ask for them.

Some exemptions include bags used to contain loose bulk foods, hardware items, meat or plants, dry cleaning bags, and bags that protect linens, bedding or other large items that can't fit in a reusable bag.

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