Oak Bay is implementing a ban on single-use plastic bags at checkout and imposing a minimum fee for paper or reusable bags.
The changes will come into effect on Nov. 24, 2022.
“These changes will help reduce plastic waste in our community and our landfills,” says Mayor Kevin Murdoch in a news release. “They will also improve regulatory consistency within the region, essentially mirroring similar bylaws in place in Victoria, Saanich, and Esquimalt.”
Once the bylaw comes into effect, the minimum fee will have a one-year introductory fee of 15 cents for a paper bag and $1 for reusable bags, then after the first year the fee will increase to 25 cents for paper bags, and $2 for reusable.
In a release, the district says the fee is to help businesses recover the costs of paper and reusable bags.
“Fees will not apply to small paper bags, such as those commonly used by pharmacies to package prescription drugs, and the bylaw includes several exemptions, including bags used for packaging loose bulk items, small hardware items, select food products, flowers, and a few similar items,” the district said in a release.