Plastic-bag campaign needs business buy-in: council

A study found 75% of Esquimalt shoppers supported going plastic-bag free

Esquimalt council hopes more businesses will have their say in the township’s proposed plastic-bag-free campaign.

A study conducted earlier this year found 75 per cent of Esquimalt shoppers surveyed supported going plastic-bag free, but few businesses provided their input.

“One of my recommendations would be that we need to engage them,” Coun. Lynda Hundleby said at a recent council meeting. “It needs to be done in partnership. It needs to be done with them, not to them.”

The province prohibits municipalities from banning the bags, which also can’t be placed in recycling blue boxes in the Capital Region.

At council’s request, the township’s environmental advisory committee spearheaded a study, conducted by Royal Roads University students, to develop a new plastic-bag-free initiative.

Municipal staff and council will discuss the program’s budgetary needs in the new year.

In the meantime, Marlene Lagoa, Esquimalt’s sustainability co-ordinator, will work with businesses to let them know the initiative is voluntary, and tout the value that “the less plastic bags they hand out, the less they’ll cost, the more they save money,” she said.