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Checkout bag bylaw expected for Oak Bay review by spring

Single-use plastic bags could be banned by December
Single-use plastic checkout bags are on the way out in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)

Oak Bay’s single-use plastics policies could come online shortly ahead of federal rules.

Last month, council opted to make room in the 2022 budget to have staff develop a checkout bag regulation bylaw to align with neighbouring communities where bans are in place. Work on other single-use plastics policies was referred back to staff to include in 2023 and 2024 work plans.

READ ALSO: Plastic bag ban pending in Oak Bay, forks et. al. await federal work

In July 2021 the province issued an order allowing municipalities to prohibit businesses from providing single-use plastic items. The order stipulates such bylaws cannot go into effect until at least six months after adopted by council.

A memo from staff at the Feb. 14 council meeting shows the timeline for development and adoption of a checkout bag regulation bylaw would be late May or early June – pushing the earliest implementation to late November or early December.

Staff noted the Environment and Climate Change Canada website indicates federal single-use plastics regulations are scheduled for implementation beginning in 2023.

RELATED: Pandemic not a time to pursue single-use plastics ban, Oak Bay council concurs

A line in the memo notes staff will evaluate and react as federal regulations, that supersede municipal bylaws, are finalized.

Late last year, Canada released proposed regulations for the manufacture, import and sale of six categories of single-use plastics – checkout bags, cutlery, food service ware made from or containing problematic plastics, as well as ring carriers, stir sticks and straws (with certain exceptions).

Full implementation is expected by 2024.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

Longtime journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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