BC Liquor Stores to switch from plastic to paper bags

BC Liquor Stores to switch from plastic to paper bags
B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch
The B.C. government said B.C. Liquor Stores are switching to paper bags.

The provincial government announced Thursday that BC Liquor Stores will be switching from plastic bags to paper bags.

The government selected Richmond-based Bulldog Bag Ltd. to provide paper bags to all 197 government-owned and operated BC Liquor Stores.

Paper bags will be brought in to the liquor stores this month, with Vancouver Island locations making the transition on Nov. 25. Stores in Metro Vancouver will switch on on Feb. 3, 2020, with the rest of the province converting by March 9, 2020.

The government said the paper bags have the strength to withstand 7.5 kilograms – approximately equivalent to six bottles of wine or a six-pack of beer and two bottles of wine.

The Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) currently distributes 22 million plastic bags per year to BC Liquor Stores throughout the province, the government said. After the switch, customers will be charged per paper bag to encourage customers to use reusable bags.

Unless a municipal bylaw specifies otherwise, BC Liquor Stores will charge $0.10 per bag.

The Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) will be giving away one free reusable bag per customer for a limited time, while supplies last.

According to the government, more than 40 per cent of plastic products are used only once and there have been calls for plastic bag bans in some jurisdictions across B.C.

“Our government is committed to protecting B.C.’s environment, both today and for future generations,” Attorney General and Minister responsible for the LDB David Eby said. “Too often, single-use plastics end up polluting our oceans, waterways, parks and forests. At a minimum, the action taken today will mean that there will be 22 million fewer plastic bags in the landfill.”

In July, the B.C. Court of Appeal set aside the City of Victoria’s bylaw banning single-use plastic bags, saying the city needed to get approval from the provincial government to take such action.

In September, the city said it will be asking the Supreme Court of Canada to clarify a local government’s power to regulate what it describes as unsustainable business practices that negatively impact the community.

With files from The Canadian Press


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