As cities across the globe take action to reduce the amount of single-use plastic bags, Sooke is gearing up to take another look at the issue.
Mayor Maja Tait is promising a draft bylaw will come before council soon.
Council passed a motion in 2008 that directed staff to draft a bylaw banning single-use plastic bags in Sooke.
“This is a case of some items have fallen behind as a result of some staff challenges and the transition to a new district council,” Tait said.
“This particular item has been listed as an outstanding resolution by council and district staff has been working on a draft of the bylaw.”
Zero Waste Sooke has pushed for a plastic bag ban in the municipality for three years, and appeared before council recently to again promote the concept.
“Sooke could have been leaders in environmental stewardship on Vancouver Island back in 2016. With council’s recent declaration of a climate emergency in Sooke … we feel our push for an elimination of single-use plastic bags bylaw appears to be a perfect fit,” said Wendy O’Connor, co-ordinator for Zero Waste Sooke.
A bylaw restricting the use of single-use plastic bags came into effect in Victoria last July 1.
The bylaw calls for a mandatory minimum charge of 15 cents per bag (rising to 25 cents on July 1, 2019), and reusable checkout bags for a minimum charge of $1 per bag (rising to $2 in 2019).
Other municipalities in Greater Victoria, including Saanich and Esquimalt, have also said that they will move to bring in similar bylaws.
When the plastic bag ban came into effect in Victoria, the Canadian Plastic Bag Association challenged the bylaw in court arguing the city does not have jurisdiction under the Community Charter to prohibit businesses from providing plastic bags to customers.
That challenge was struck down last June by the B.C. Supreme Court.