Grade 5 students from Glenlyon Norfolk School, accompanied by Grade 11 student Anastasia Castro, gave a presentation to Oak Bay council on Monday, Jan. 28. (Jesse Laufer/News staff)

GNS students inspire Oak Bay to re-examine plastic bag ban

Grade 5 students present case for council to ban single-use plastics

Oak Bay council will re-examine a plastic bag ban thanks to a handful of Glenlyon Norfolk School students.

Four Grade 5 students took turns guiding packed council chambers through a presentation about the increased used of single-use plastics and the effects on nature.

“They spoke from the heart, but they also had done the research and made a very compelling case that it’s time to ban the bags in Oak Bay,” said Coun. Tara Ney. “I don’t know if we would have moved this forward had it not been for these young people who prompted us to get on with the task.”

At the end of the meeting, Ney gave notice of a motion — meaning she will bring forward a motion at a future meeting related to plastic bags. Ney said she expects that during the next council session on Feb. 11.

RELATED: Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

“This council has already decided that we are really going to look carefully at sustainability initiatives, and this one certainly fits with that strategic priority,” Ney said. “I really hope that these young people are able to attend that so they can follow the process to see what they have kick-started here.”

Ney noted when she was first elected to council in 2010 she tried to bring forward a similar initiative. At that time, Oak Bay would have been first in the area to try and implement such regulations, but it didn’t go through.

The City of Victoria recently began enforcing a ban on plastic bags and Saanich is also examining a similar bylaw.



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

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