Saanich Coun. Susan Brice, here seen in summer 2018, has been the leading advocate for Saanich’s pending ban of single-use plastic bags. (Black Press file image)

Saanich council set to finalize ban of single use plastic bags

Bylaw banning single use plastic bags one of four bylaws awaiting final approval Monday

Assuming final approval of a bylaw, Saanich will ban single use plastic bags on Jan. 1, 2020. But the bylaw also includes a grace period of six months during which Saanich won’t enforce penalties connected to the bylaw to give businesses a chance to distribute remaining bags.

This bylaw is one of four bylaws before Saanich council Monday for final approval, and will likely have the greatest impact on the day-to-day affairs of residents. Each resident of Saanich (official pop: 114,145) uses about 200 single-use plastic bags per year, according to a staff report, which also says that that business in Saanich hand out single-use plastic bags worth $22.8 million each year, according to an estimate.

RELATED: Each Saanich resident uses 200 single-use plastic bags a year, report estimates

Saanich would become the second municipality in the region to ban single use plastic bags, just as the first city, Victoria, faces a renewed legal challenge.

RELATED: Plastic Bag Association takes the City of Victoria to court once again

Led by Coun. Susan Brice, Saanich first considered the ban during the previous council term after hearing from local environmentalists including a trio of teenagers Charlotte Brady, Anastasia Castro and Grace Poole, who started to push for the ban in early 2017. Saanich eventually recognized the trio for their environmental leadership.

These efforts slowed down as Victoria’s proposed ban on single-use plastic bags faced a legal challenge, but resumed again in 2018 after Victoria’s bylaw passed legal muster (notwithstanding the current situation). While initial plans had called for a ban by June 2020, council earlier this year sped up the time line.

RELATED: Saanich to ban single-use plastic bags by Jan. 1, 2020

The basic fine for various violations of the proposed bylaw is $75 if paid within 30 days, $100 after that.

The bylaw prohibits businesses from selling or supplying customers with single-use plastic bags; prohibits businesses from supplying customers with reusable or paper bags free of charge (unless already used), and requires businesses to charge a minimum of 15 cents for a paper bag and $1 for a reusable bag, going up to 25 cents and $2 following a year-long transition period.

It also contains various exceptions for specific types of goods, such as fruit, vegetables and meat among others.

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Maritime Museum makes bid to move back into Bastion Square

The museum pitched significant renovations to make its long-time home more accommodating

UVic students return from Hong Kong amidst growing tension

All eight University of Victoria exchange students have returned to Canada

Interest swirls in Oak Bay to ban gas-powered leaf blowers

‘Two-stroke engines are obosolete technology,’ says Coun. Tara Ney

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

Saanich mayor tasks province with lowering speeds to avoid patchwork of municipal bylaws

Mayor Fred Haynes said it’s also a financial, administrative burden for municipalities

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Eagles congregate around Salish Sea for one last feast before period of famine

Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society preparing to receive birds in need of care

Smudging in B.C. classroom did not affect Christian family’s faith, says school district lawyer

Lawyers make closing arguments in a Port Alberni case about the Indigenous cultural practice

Canadian Forces member charged with possessing magic mushrooms in Comox

Master Cpl. Joshua Alexander, with the 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron, facing two drug related charges

Most B.C. residents, including those hit by 2018 storms, not prepared for outages: report

Create an emergency kit, BC Hydro says, and report all outages or downed lines

Study finds microplastics in all remote Arctic beluga whales tested

Lead author Rhiannon Moore says she wasn’t expecting to see so many microplastics so far north

Most Read