Earlier this year, the City of Victoria was all set to move forward with a plastic bag ban under the Checkout Bag Regulation bylaw.
But in February, they were met with resistance from the Canadian Plastic Bag Association who filed a Supreme Court petition to assert that the City of Victoria does not have the jurisdiction to impose the ban, or to force retailers to charge individuals for paper or reusable bags.
However as of today, the BC Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the City of Victoria, dismissing the challenge to the bylaw.
“I find no evidence of bad faith in this case. Although some members of council may have been motivated by broad environment concerns, council’s attention was properly drawn to ways in which discarded plastic bags impact municipal facilities and services,” stated Mr. Justice Smith.
“Council decided that those issues could be addressed by prohibiting a specific form of consumer transaction.”
Here’s what’s next
So from July 1st onwards, under the City of Victoria’s Checkout Bag Regulation bylaw, businesses will have to charge customers $0.15 to issue a paper bag, or $1 for a reusable bag.
In the second step of the bag-ban bylaw, starting on Jan 1st, 2019, reusable bags will cost $2, and paper bags will cost $0.25.
From January onwards, penalties for breaking the bylaw rules will also result in fines of $100-$10,000 for businesses, and $50-$500 for individuals.
Earlier this year, Montreal became the first major Canadian city to ban single use plastic bags.