WATCH: Single-use plastic checkout bags will be banned in Victoria beginning in July. Ceilidh Millar reports.
Gayle Robinson from Robinsons Outdoor Store was pulling out the last of her stores stock of plastic bags on Wednesday.
“We have three boxes left and then we’re done,” Robinson explained.
Single-use plastic checkout bags will soon be a thing of the past in Victoria.
On Tuesday, B.C.’s Supreme Court ruled the City of Victoria can ban single-use plastic checkout bags.
Last January, the Canadian Plastic Bag Association challenged the city’s regulation citing council didn’t have authority to ban bags. However, the court ruled in favour of the ban.
“I’m happy that BC’s Supreme Court has recognized the city’s authority to introduce regulations in relation to businesses including regulations to prevent littering and pollution in the community,” said Victoria City Coun. Ben Isitt.
Victoria businesses will be required to charge customers 15 cents for a paper bag and one dollar for a reusable bag.
Those costs are set to go up on July 1, 2019, to 25 cents for a paper bag and two dollars for a reusable one.
“I hope other local governments will adopt their own bylaws to ban single-use plastic bags,” Isitt said.
Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell said their district isn’t ready to jump on board.
“I think we still need to take a wait-and-see approach on this,” Atwell explained. “There is a lot of controversy and angst around it.”
Robinson says her budget for bags has nearly doubled but agrees the ruling is the first step towards a greener future.
“When we do need to use [a bag] we’ll have something that’s more friendly to the environment,” Robinson said.
Victoria goes plastic-free on July 1, 2018.
Fines to businesses still using plastic bags will come into effect next January.
The fines range from $50 to $500 for individuals and up to $10,000 for corporate offenders.