Reducing Single-Use Plastic Bags

December 3, 2019
  • The previous Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw, 2019, No. 9537 has been repealed and replaced with a new bylaw, Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw, 2019, No. 9589 which has been forwarded to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy for approval. 
  • The new Bylaw is effectively the same as the old one, and has an effective date of 60 days following approval of the Bylaw by the Minister. At this point, the date of approval is unknown.

  • While the implementation of the formal prohibition on single-use checkout bags has been delayed, we appreciate local residents and businesses' cooperation in taking steps to change practices to align with the new Bylaw’s requirements with the goal of limiting the circulation of single-use plastics in the District.

July 11, 2019
  • The District of Saanich is aware of the BC Court of Appeal’s decision in the City of Victoria case.
  • Given this decision, staff are in the process of investigating the options available to Saanich and any implications on our implementation of the Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw. Next steps will be determined as soon as possible.
  • We remain committed to looking at ways to reduce waste from single-use plastic.
On June 10, 2019, Saanich Council officially adopted the Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw, No. 9537, 2019, which:
  • comes into effect January 1, 2020; 
  • prohibits a business from selling or providing a customer with a plastic checkout bag;
  • prohibits a business from providing a customer with a reusable or paper checkout bag free of charge (unless it has already been used and returned to the store for reuse);
  • requires a business to charge a minimum of .15 cents for a paper checkout bag and $1.00 for a reusable bag until January 1, 2021, and .25 cents and $2.00 thereafter;
  • requires that a paper checkout bag must be made out of paper and contain at least 40% of post-consumer recycled paper content and must also display the words “Recyclable” and “made from 40% post-consumer recycled content” (or other applicable amount) on the outside of the bag;
  • contains exemptions to the plastic bag prohibition for specific types of goods (such as packaging or wrap for fruit, vegetables and meat); and
  • provides that fines will not be issued for non-compliance until July 1, 2020.

For regulatory consistency for both residents and businesses, the Bylaw mirrors the bylaw passed by the City of Victoria in January of 2018. More information about the City’s process can be found on its website.

Questions

Our frequently asked questions documents address many common inquiries:

If you are a resident or a business owner/operator and have questions on the bylaw, please send it to brent.reems@saanich.ca.