Single-use plastic bags will be a thing of the past in Sooke after Council adopted a gab bylaw. (Black Press file photo)

Single-use plastic bags will be a thing of the past in Sooke after Council adopted a gab bylaw. (Black Press file photo)

Sooke adopts plastic bag ban bylaw

Sooke joins a wave of action to curb the pollution caused by bags

Sooke council celebrated the passage of the new checkout bag regulation bylaw Monday by posing for selfies with a life-sized dummy made entirely of plastic waste.

Sooke resident Anne Clement brought the effigy to the council chambers in support of the bylaw that will regulate the use of single-use plastic bags.

“This is Polly Ethyl Styrene. She lives in the Sooke of the future that I fear will exist if we don’t change (the way we handle plastics),” Clement said.

“She’s here today to celebrate that you’re bringing forward this bylaw, and she’ll be here for every one of the next steps we need to take.”

The bylaw is slated to come into effect on Jan.1 , a delay in implementation designed to allow for the education of retailers on the new regulation and to allow them to use up the stocks of plastic that they already have in place.

The passage of the bylaw received little resistance from Sooke residents since being first discussed in July 2018 with only a few of the letters sent to council voicing concerns about the bylaw.

RELATED: Sooke eyes plastic ban

The regulation is similar to bylaws already adopted in Victoria, Esquimalt, Ucluelet and Tofino.

At the federal government level, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced plans to ban single-use plastics nationally by 2021 and added other items will also be included in the ban, including water bottles, straws and other single-use plastics.

RELATED: Federal bag ban announced

Beyond those local examples, Sooke’s bylaw has joined a wave of similar regulations and initiatives right across the country and, in fact, the world.

The European Union has already voted to ban single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers and is moving toward a total ban on other single use-plastics.

In Australia, in a move led by the country’s two largest supermarkets, plastic bans have taken hold and reduced plastic bag use by 80 per cent in three months.

The United States, a bit late to the movement, has seen the ban of single-use bags in New York State and California, but the movement is spreading.

According to Greenpeace, single-use plastic bags have become a scourge on the planet. They say that Canadians generate about 3.25 million tonnes of plastic waste annually. That’s about 140,000 garbage trucks worth of waste.

The Federal Government has estimated that, if nothing changes, the amount of plastic in the ocean could outweigh the amount of fish by 2050.

But perhaps the most innovative approach to curbing the use of plastic bags was seen recently in Vancouver, where the bags are still allowed. The owner of East West Market had his bags imprinted with embarrassing messages that included “Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium” in the hopes that his customers would be shamed away from using the bags.

Unfortunately, as well-meaning as the initiative might have been, it seemed to backfire as customers started collecting the bags.

Vancouver has already banned plastic straws and is considering a plastic bag ban for 2021.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sewer construction will mean limited access to West Shore Parkway from Sooke Road for the next week. (Courtesy of the City of Langford)
West Shore Parkway access limited from Sooke Road

Crews working on sewer construction for the next week

This map shows the pharmacies in Greater Victoria offering the AstraZeneca vaccine for people born in 1981 and earlier. As the map shows, no pharmacies on the Saanich Peninsula are offering the vaccine. (B.C. Government map)
No pharmacies on Saanich Peninsula offering AstraZeneca vaccine

People born in 1981 and earlier eligible for AstraZeneca vaccines

Janitors at Uptown Shopping Centre voted to strike April 20, citing increased risk from the pandemic, minimum wage pay and no paid sick days. (Black Press Media file photo)
Janitors at Uptown Shopping Centre in Saanich vote to strike

Workers say they’re working in high-risk conditions with near minimum wage pay

Some Saanich firefighters have expressed concerns about first responders in the Island Health Region not being prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as an outbreak at a fire station would make service delivery a challenge. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich firefighters not prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine despite working on frontlines

Saanich members express frustration, department calls on Island Health to take action

Victoria police are searching for Andrew Swanson who was last seen in Victoria April 7 and is wanted on warrants for choking related to a domestic assault and obstructing police. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police searching for missing man wanted for domestic assault

Andrew Swanson, 47, last seen in Victoria April 7

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Canadian driver Paul Tracy pulls out of the pits during the morning session at the Molson Indy in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, July 26, 2003 (CP/Richard Lam)
Vancouver is considering hosting a Formula E race using electric cars

The race would be part of a three-day event focused on climate and sustainability

Chart from the April 20 B.C. budget shows sharp dip in real estate sales early in the COVID-19 pandemic and the even steeper climb since late 2020. (B.C. government)
Hot B.C. housing market drives property transfer tax gains

B.C. budget boosts tobacco, sweet drinks, carbon taxes

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

B.C.’s 2021 budget is trending in the right direction to support farmers, says the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
BC Fruit Growers’ Association gives thumbs up to provincial budget

BCFGA general manager said budgetary investments put farming industry on a good trajectory for recovery

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Most Read